Behind the Kitchen Door: Roach infestation forces temporary closure of Chinese Restaurant

Owner of Ming Garden Express blamed oil delivery for bringing pests into business

SAN ANTONIO – In this edition of “Behind the Kitchen Door,” a West Side fruit and snack shop was shut down by health inspectors last month due to a roach infestation and other health code violations, and the owner of a Chinese restaurant told KSAT Investigates reporter Tim Gerber the roaches in his business came from a delivery.

Ming Garden Express

Ming Garden Express, located in the 7100 block of Highway 90 West, was temporarily shut down by a health inspector in late August, mainly due to a roach infestation.

According to Metro Health Food Inspection reports, live roaches were found in a container of clean utensils, and dead roaches were found on pans stored on a shelf. Roach droppings were found in the corners of the cold hold doors, and the inspector wrote there was “heavy roach activity throughout” the business.

The business was also told to repair and seal several holes and gaps in the walls, floors, and ceilings to keep out additional pests and to hire professional pest control services.

The inspector gave them an 81 and told them to call when ready to re-open.

Gerber stopped by the restaurant this week to see if they’d made improvements. The owner didn’t want to talk on camera, but he took Gerber behind the kitchen door.

He said the roaches came in an oil delivery the same day the inspector arrived. He also said they were closed for a day to clean things up, and the bugs were no longer a problem.


Fabito’s, located in the 7300 block of West Military Drive, was also shut down by an inspector who gave the establishment a 77 on its Sept. 21 inspection.

According to the inspection report, the business was storing utensils in room-temperature water with food debris floating in it.

There were numerous live and dead roaches throughout the place, including in the hand sink.

The business was also told to stop using unapproved chemicals for pest control. An open bottle of the chemical was found next to single-use to-go containers.

The ice machine was missing a panel that protects the water and ice from contamination.

In all, the business had eight repeat violations.

The business was closed during regular business hours when Gerber stopped by this week. However, the city says the business was allowed to reopen.

Gorditas Estilo Torreon

Gorditas Estilo Torreon, located in the 1300 block of South W.W. White Road, got a 76 on its September inspection.

Employees had to remove food from a refrigeration unit that wasn’t working.

Eggs left at room temperature were temping at 81 degrees, and they were tossed out.

There was no sanitizing solution in the dishwasher, and workers were touching food with bare hands and not properly washing hands.

Ants were crawling around a sugar container, and employees used recycled grocery bags to store raw meat.

A re-inspection was ordered for early October.

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 (9/17-9/23)

Pepe’s Barbacoa, 100

1727 Bandera Rd


Burger King, 100

2002 N 1604 W


Casa Guajardo, 100

5223 S Flores St


Firehouse Subs, 100

5887 Babcock Rd


Marcos Pizza, 100

14510 NW Military Hwy


Mexico Taco, 99

203 Gen. McMullen S


Marias Cafe, 98

1105 Nogalitos St


Jack In the Box, 97

4626 Fredericksburg Rd


Popeye’s, 96

2107 Culebra Rd


Aldino Cucina Italiana, 95

1203 N FM 1604 W


Cerrito Restaurante & Cantina, 94

1953 W W White Rd S


Pik Nik Foods, 93

550 Ruiz St


Jersey Mike’s, 92

5886 De Zavala Rd


VN Bistro, 91

10003 NW Military Hwy


The Little Fish Factory, 90

1555 W W White Rd S

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:

Dale Keller is senior news photographer at KSAT-12.