Dirty Dining: Hicks H & H BBQ Pit Stop
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a North Las Vegas staple. A place most have driven by and many have visited.
It's known for barbecue, but now, as Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears reports, it's also known for Dirty Dining.
At the red and yellow shack on Las Vegas Boulevard and Civic Center, there's usually a line-up for ribs, hot links and okra fries.
But now, Hicks H & H Barbecue Pit Stop has some cleaning up to do.
"We're here because you guys are on Dirty Dining this week for the 39-demerit C grade you got from the Health District," announced Darcy Spears at the restaurant's walk-up window.
It seems everyone inside is camera-shy, pointing fingers at one another, but not stepping up to talk.
Darcy: I just need to talk to whomever's in charge.
Hiding from our camera, an employee calls the manager and says he'll meet us back there in an hour.
So we wait near the rusted and graffiti-covered smoker out back, while flies buzz around discarded rib bones at the one outdoor table.
But after an hour, instead of meeting the manager, we're handed the phone to talk to the owner who's in Oregon.
Darcy on phone: Hi Cassandra, this is Darcy Spears at channel 13.
Cassandra tries to blame the violations on it being an old building and the landlord not fixing things, but that's not at all what the inspector documented.
Darcy on phone: They didn't even clean up the night before inspection. They came in and started cooking with old, dirty pots and pans that were full of old, caked-on food and using that to cook the next day. According to the health inspection they did, so is the inspector wrong?
Cassandra says yes. She believes the inspector is wrong.
But the report is quite clear.
It says the pot used to heat BBQ sauce was not cleaned from the previous night and was re-used. There was dried meat debris on both the slicer and chopping block, which also hadn't been cleaned from the previous night.
Darcy on phone: Do you think the inspector made this up or why do you...?
She says she thinks the inspector is lying.
There were cut french fries in dirty water in the refrigerator. As well as three-week-old custard and tartar sauce. And 10-day-old rice.
Darcy on phone: It's very, very potentially dangerous what the health inspector documented was going on here.
Black-eyed peas and collard greens were at unsafe temperatures.
Oxtails were improperly thawing in standing water in the sink alongside dirty dishes.
And it seems H & H is attracting flies. Inspectors found an excessive amount in the food prep area as evidenced by the fly strips--which shouldn't be anywhere near where they're preparing food.
The owner continued to blame inspectors, saying she thinks they're angry because they're over-worked and under-paid and that they're taking it out on the small business owners.
The "dirty list" also included utensils in a dirty storage drawer. Dirty flour and corn meal containers, fish breading cart, shelving, ceiling tiles and the grease-caked, food debris-covered stove top.
Overall, the inspector wrote that the "entire prep area should be deep cleaned."
And he reminded them to clean it before closing every day.
As of this September 11 report, Hicks H & H Barbecue Pit Stop has not been re-inspected yet, so they've still got a "C" grade.