Behind the Kitchen Door: Trio of Mexican restaurants rack up similar violations

Peeling paint, plumbing problems, bare hand food contact lead to low scores

SAN ANTONIO – A trio of Mexican restaurants racked up similar health code violations during recent inspections leading to low scores for the San Antonio food businesses.

Taqueria Jalisco

Taqueria Jalisco, located in the 6600 block of Zarzamora Street, earned a 75 on their December health inspection.

An inspector found a cheese container stored on uncovered shredded lettuce. The food was tossed out due to possible contamination.

Employees were seen handling ready-to-eat foods with bare hands. On top of that, kitchen workers were not washing their hands when required.

In-use knives were being stored improperly and needed to be sanitized.

There was mold and mildew build up on the walls and some flaking paint that needed to be repaired.

The business also had numerous plumbing issues, including a handwashing sink that was missing pipes and was draining water directly onto the floor.

The business called a plumber during the inspection, and everything was repaired, according to a manager.

A re-inspection was ordered.

El Sol Mexican

El Sol Mexican restaurant in the 1800 block of Pleasanton Road earned a 77 and a re-inspection.

At the time of the inspection, they operated without a valid permit.

The shelves in a refrigerator were rusty and soiled with food debris.

Employees were using their bare hands to touch ready-to-eat foods.

The inspector also noted the business was in need of a deep cleaning throughout the entire establishment.

Caballito Del Mar

Caballito Del Mar in the 900 block of New Laredo Highway earned an 80.

The inspector found raw meat stored above fish and other seafood.

They needed to clean the shelves in a refrigerator and a fan in the same unit to remove dust, rust, and food debris.

Employees weren’t washing their hands when changing tasks, while others were seen using their bare hands to touch ready-to-eat foods. In addition, they were using the handwashing sink to store raw fish, which was removed during the inspection.

They also needed to address flaking paint on kitchen walls and conduct more routine cleanings of non-food contact surfaces.

They were ordered to have re-inspection.

Score Guide:

  • 100-90 = A (Very Good to Acceptable)
  • 89-80 = B (Acceptable to Marginal)
  • 79 or lower = C (Marginal to Poor)
  • *Metro Health indicates that scores of 69 or lower are failing scores

Other scores from this week of inspections:


4715 Medical Dr, 100


Chipotle Mexican Grill

4727 Medical Dr., 100


Cold Stone Creamery

11851 Bandera Rd, 100


KFC/Taco Bell

2907 Thousand Oaks, 100


Margaritaville at River Center

849 E. Commerce St., 100


Goomba’s Pizzeria

9825 IH 10 W, 98


Firehouse Subs

11600 Bandera Rd, 97


Panda Express

834 Loop 410 NW, 96


Chili’s Grill and Bar

22402 US 281 N, 95


Taco Cabana

5738 W. FM 1604 N., 94


Grandma B’s Meat Market

7802 Somerset Rd, 88


Tia’s Taco Hut

8514 S. IH-35, 87


Taqueria El Ranchero

505 Fair Ave, 85


El Nuevo Laredo Mexican Restaurant

1126 New Laredo Hwy, 85


Juany’s Taqueria

1502 Somerset Rd, 80

Want to know who has good scores and who doesn’t? KSAT 12 has a new tool for that.

Just click this link, and it will take you to a new mapping tool we have showing the recent scores for San Antonio food businesses.

The reports go back six months and are frequently updated.

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


Watch other Behind the Kitchen Door stories here

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.