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Restaurant Report Card: Hickory House Ribs, Fontana Sushi, Maya’s Mexican

DENVER — In this week’s Restaurant Report Card, a Parker BBQ place earns an F and in this case the F also stands for fly strip.

Hickory House Ribs

Hickory House Ribs at 10335 South Parker Road claims to have the best ribs in Colorado, but we cannot say the same about their coleslaw because it could have been made with cabbage kept on the floor.

The BBQ restaurant failed because inspectors found 13 critical violations in their last two regular inspections.  In April, inspectors found “an employee was observed handling dirty and then clean dishes without washing his hands in between” and “several potentially hazardous foods were too warm.”

Last year, inspectors found “cabbage on the floor” and “a fly strip hung over the clean dish(es).”

The owner of the restaurant refused to do an interview, but said in a statement, “Any negative grade by Fox news would be misleading as the issues cited by the health department were corrected before the inspector left the premises.”

A follow up inspection report shows inspectors gave the restaurant a clean bill of health with zero critical violations.

Fontana Sushi

Our next F goes to Fontana Sushi at 8601 West Cross Drive in Littleton.

The sushi restaurant earned 12 critical mistakes in its last two inspections.  Earlier this month, inspectors found “the sanitizer solution in the sushi area did not register any sanitizer” and “the ice machine needs cleaning for slime mold.”

Last November, inspectors observed an employee “handling raw chicken…drying his hands with a soiled cloth and then handling clean dishes.”  Tri-county inspectors also said the cooler, freezer, toaster oven and shelves were covered in dirt and grease.

The owner of the restaurant told FOX31 Denver’s Heidi Hemmat that, “I don’t think I have a problem…and never has anyone been sick.”

The owner also said all the violations have been corrected.

Taqueria El Trompito

Another failing grade goes to Taqueria El Trompito on 70th Avenue in Denver.

On May 5, inspectors found “cooked pork was stored with raw pork in bags in a metal container” and “an employee was observed handling ready-to-eat tacos with their bare hands” and “dishware was not being sanitized.”

In January, inspectors found six critical and several non-critical violations.  The owner of the restaurant did not return our phone calls.

Mr. Fuji Japanese Cuisine

Mt. Fuji may be the highest mountain in Japan, but Mt Fuji Japanese Cuisine in Castle Rock has hit a low point.

The restaurant earned five critical and eight non critical violations in January.   Tri-county Health Inspectors said, “Fish was thawing at room temperature” and “no soap or paper towels” were available at the hand sink.  Also, “a container of unapproved insecticide was present under the cook’s line.”

The owner of the restaurant said the critical violations have been corrected.

Maya’s Mexican

Here’s a reason to get fired up for fajitas.  Maya’s Mexican at 3600 Park Avenue earns an A plus for perfect back to back inspections.

“I’m basically a clean freak” said restaurant owner, Janet Soltero.  She credits her high expectations and her staff for their sparking clean kitchen.

“It feels really good. I feel like I’m doing something right.” Soltero said.

Food safety tip from Denver Department of Environmental Health:

Tip 1

Click here for more tips on how to keep your food safe.

Check Your Favorite Restaurants
Follow this link for restaurants in the city of Denver
Follow this link for restaurants covered by the Tri-County Health Department (Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties)