Behind the Kitchen Door: Restaurant workers didn’t wash up during inspection, prepped tacos with bare hands

Manager of El Charro De Jalisco claims inspector wasn’t ‘feeling their energy’

SAN ANTONIO – The manager of a Mexican restaurant claimed a health inspector wasn’t “feeling their energy” when she gave them a low score last month.

Meanwhile, a popular North Side Chinese restaurant is undergoing some big changes following their July inspection, which appears to have been the final inspection for that business.

China Harbor

China Harbor, located in the 17300 block of Highway 281 North, got an 80 on its July inspection. It appears to have been its final inspection.

The business was closed this week when KSAT Investigates reporter Tim Gerber stopped by, and crews were clearing the place out.

A demolition worker told Gerber they had been working to gut the former buffet for about a week.

A sign on the front door states the business closed at the end of July, and a new seafood and sushi buffet will open later this year.

The inspection report stated the business was going through an ownership change.

Alamo Cafe

Alamo Cafe, located in the 14000 block of Highway 281 North, earned an 82 on its July inspection.

The inspection report stated equipment was dirty with grease and debris.

There was mold on surfaces where glasses are stored, and some caulking was also moldy.

Workers were caught adjusting hats and blowing their noses then continuing to work without hand-washing, while one worker was seen handling food with their bare hands.

The inspector gave them 10 days to clean things up or face a re-inspection.

El Charro De Jalisco

El Charro De Jalisco, located at 8388 Marbach Road, comes in with a 75.

Food in a walk-in cooler was way too warm at 70 degrees, while other foods on the cook’s line were also above temp. The report states all the food items were put on ice.

Employees didn’t wash their hands during the inspection and those unwashed, bare hands were seen touching tacos that were served to customers.

Manager Miguel Garcia told Gerber the inspector just wasn’t feeling their vibe that day.

“She wasn’t low-key feeling our side, like our energy, so I don’t know if it was personal, but that’s on her,” Garcia said.

Garcia said they have made the necessary corrections.

Taqueria Nuevo Vallarta

Taqueria Nuevo Vallarta in the 3400 block of Roosevelt Ave also earned a 75.

According to the inspection report, they had to throw out food cooked the day before that was still too warm, and food that was above temp in a reach-in cooler under the grill was also tossed.

Knives and the rack they were stored on were dirty with food debris.

Workers weren’t washing hands or changing gloves, and the cook was touching food with their bare hands.

The inspector left a long list of items to be corrected for a 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 7/02-7/08

Muy Macho, 100

6301 Loop 410 NW


Tokoyo Gardens, 100

24165 IH 10 W


Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar, 100

15900 La Cantera Parkway


IHOP, 100

203 N FM 1604 W


Mary’s Snack Bar & Cafe, 100

2709 Southcross W


Sip It Daquiris To Go, 99

3667 Fredericksburg Rd


Griff’s Burger Bar, 98

2418 Pleasanton Rd


Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 97

17303 IH 10 W


La Tamaulipeka, 96

407 Vine St


LA Crawfish, 95

25 Loop 410 NE


Bowl & Barrell, 94

17619 La Cantera Parkway


Guerrero’s Mexican Restaurant, 93

1859 Rigsby Ave


Jack in the Box, 92

7206 Blanco Rd


Sabor De Mexico, 91

1367 Austin Hwy


Bexar County Jail, 90

200 Comal St N

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)

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