February 28 RESTAURANT REPORT - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

February 28 RESTAURANT REPORT

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Food temperatures, sanitizer levels, covering foods. It's a lot to remember to run a restaurant properly. But restaurants showed us they're on top of it after they got a few reminders during their latest state health inspections.

Martin Gonzalez opened La Milpa Real Mexican Food and Market 11 years ago to bring Latin American flavors to the neighborhood.

Said Gonzalez, "It's a very exciting experience to show them different products from all over Latin America."

La Milpa, at 6925 Hull Street Road in Chesterfield, usually gets better health inspection scores, but this time had 4 critical violations. When we stopped by, Gonzalez showed us they've all been fixed. He showed us they had the right level of sanitizer in the dishwasher, and that foods in the fridge are covered and date labeled.

"Everything is covered, lids, labeled the products," he pointed out on each shelf.

And he explained the temperature on the salsa was a little too high because customers left the cover open. But he showed us they monitor it with a thermometer. "We have a thermometer and we make sure we have a good temperature in there."

Gonzalez even proudly pointed out his ServeSafe certificate. "You have to be certified, that's the key to run a place like this," he said.

Next up, Pho Saigon Garden at 12020 Southshore Pointe Drive in Chesterfield. It had 5 critical violations, including that methods were not being used to control pests. But they were upon re-inspection. The restaurant earned a perfect score just two weeks later and the owner registered for a ServeSafe course.

We found a spic and span kitchen out at The Boondocks, 2220 Broad Rock Boulevard in Richmond when we went to present it with the NBC12 Hall of Fame Award. Debbie Blackburn and her staff serve up home-style meals to some serious regulars. She even calls them if they don't come in.

"If we don't see our regular customers in a day or two," Blackburn said, "we'll pick up the phone and check on them. Because most of my clientele are of age, and we want to make sure they're okay."

The Boondocks has been acing its health inspections for two years.

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