Behind the Kitchen Door: Asian buffet hit with smorgasbord of health violations including dead rodent, roaches

Kin’s Cafe saw previous score of 89 drop to barely passing 71

SAN ANTONIO – A Metro Health inspector found various health code violations at a South Side Asian buffet, racking up 20 that included a dead rodent and roaches.

This week, KSAT Investigates reporter Tim Gerber tried to get some answers about their nearly failing score, but the manager disappeared behind the kitchen door.

Kin’s Cafe

Kin’s Cafe, located in the 7800 block of IH-35 South, saw its score drop 18 points in just four months — going from an 89 in January down to a barely passing 71 in May.

The sushi on the buffet line was too warm.

Fly traps with pests stuck to them were found right above the food prep area.

There was a dead rodent and roaches stuck to a glue trap in the pantry. The business was ordered to hire pest control services and provide receipts.

Raw chicken was being stored next to cooked chicken.

The business had numerous plumbing problems that needed to be fixed, including a hand sink that wasn’t attached to the wall and had the hot water turned off. Another sink was clogged.

Toxic chemicals needed to be stored in a locked closet, not in the food prep area or under the stove where the inspector found them.

Employees weren’t wearing hair restraints, and the kitchen needed a deep cleaning.

The employee bathroom also needed to be cleaned and sanitized. According to the inspection report, the manager said it wasn’t being used, but the inspector wrote that it had a foul stench and evidence it was being used.

Gerber stopped by the business this week to ask some questions. An employee looked at the report and said she would be right back to answer questions, but she never returned.

While waiting, Gerber noticed the business was displaying the much higher score of 89, and the current inspection report was not visible to customers.

A re-inspection was ordered.

Mi Mexico Restaurant

Mi Mexico Restaurant in the 3100 block of South Zarzamora got a 73.

Chicken and fajitas cooked the day before were improperly cooled.

Other foods in cold hold units were too warm.

A worker was preparing food without gloves but put them on when the inspector noted the violation.

Tortillas were being stored in grocery-style to-go bags. A can of Glade air freshener was found next to single service items.

The cutting boards were deeply scored and scratched and needed to be replaced.

The floors required deep cleaning.

Instead of storing cleaning towels in sanitizing solution, workers were seen with the towels hanging from their waists and left on food prep areas.

The business was scheduled for a re-inspection.

Culebra Meat Market #12

Culebra Meat Market #12, located in the 4600 block of South Flores, got an 81.

They needed to thoroughly clean the inside of the ice machine as well as the display case windows and sliding doors.

They were using Foca laundry detergent to clean dishes and utensils.

Drain pipes were spraying and leaking water.

The ceiling tiles above the bakery and meat market were peeling and had exposed insulation that needed to be fixed.

A re-inspection was ordered.

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

Dos Sirenos Brewing, 100

231 E Cevallos St


Subway Sandwich Shop, 100

11309 Bandera Rd


Burger King, 100

211 SW Military Dr


Jersey Mike’s Subs, 100

999 E Basse


Pollos Asados el Carbonero, 100

619 S Gen. McMullen


The Black Bear Dinner, 99

2707 SE Military Dr


Cowgirl Kitchen, 98

1219 SE Military Dr


Taqueria Arandas-Potranco, 97

10538 Potranco Rd


Bobbie’s Cafe, 96

6728 S Flores St


Pik Nik Foods Econ-Liquors Inc., 95

550 Ruiz St


El Chilaquil Taqueria, 94

1821 W Commerce St


Las Tapatias De Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, 93

1619 Goliad Rd


Boba Tea, 92

3850 S New Braunfels


Chili’s Grill and Bar, 91

5790 W FM 1604 N


R & R Cafe, 90

4241 Clark Ave

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 Thursdays on the Nightbeat.


Watch other Behind the Kitchen Door stories here

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.