Behind the Kitchen Door: Northwest Side Vietnamese restaurant fails health inspection

Dead insects in the kitchen and several repeat violations lead to a failing score

A South Side nonprofit organization is remembering the lives lost in the shooting at Robb Elementary School. Fuerza Unida held a silent candlelight vigil Thursday evening at its headquarters on New Laredo Highway.

SAN ANTONIO – When inspectors visited Real Pho, a Vietnamese restaurant on the Northwest Side in the 11200 block of Potranco Road, they found all kinds of violations, including five repeats.

Their refrigerators were running warm, showing a temp of 50 degrees when it should be 41 degrees or lower. They were also missing thermometers.

The inspector found dead roaches and flies in the kitchen that needed to be cleaned up, and so did many other things. Those included the insides of all the freezers and refrigerators and the ventilation hood, which hadn’t been cleaned since December last year. It was full of grease and food debris.

The restaurant earned a failing score of 69, a significant drop from its last inspection in January when it earned an 81.

KSAT reporter Tim Gerber stopped by this week to see what happened and if they had fixed the problems.

The owner took Tim behind the kitchen door to show him they had corrected the violations.

Metro Health ordered a reinspection, but the owner said they hadn’t returned.

To see more health inspection scores and to go Behind the Kitchen Door, click HERE for our special section.

Kong’s Express

Kong’s Express, located in the 900 block of Zarzamora, had a score of 74.

The inspector saw cooked chicken waiting to be recooked inside a non-working refrigerator. Food containers were dirty with food debris, and the ice machine had mold-like debris.

According to the report, the manager on site couldn’t correctly explain the wash, rinse and sanitizing process.

Cockroaches were spotted stuck to a sticky trap, and the AC vent above the food prep area was dirty with dust buildup.

Eight violations were corrected at the time of inspection, but Kong’s still earned a reinspection.

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Score Guide:

  • 100-90 = A (Very Good to Acceptable)
  • 89-80 = B (Acceptable to Marginal)
  • 79 or lower = C (Marginal to Poor)

→Click here to see the database of San Antonio restaurants with perfect scores

You can catch Tim’s BKD reports on Thursday nights on the KSAT Nightbeat.

Behind the Kitchen Door image. (KSAT)

About the Authors:

Tim Gerber is an investigative reporter and anchor on the KSAT Defenders team.

Dale Keller is senior news photographer at KSAT-12.