Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A brief rant about illegal tamales

For the last couple of weeks, I've been working out of a new Jukt Micronics warehouse in Richland Hills, Texas. 
Three different ladies come by every morning, selling homemade tamales and breakfast burritos. 

As best I can tell, there's not a convenience store, grocery store, or restaurant within a half mile of this location.
I've established that none of these ladies have food-handler's permits, small business licenses, street vendor authorization permits, or any of the other competition-stifling apparatus that would keep these three ladies from getting my guys fed every morning.

If there is a risk associated with eating this food, it's one that my employees and I have accepted with our eyes wide open.  Compare these tamales with the 3-day old, shrink-wrapped, industrialized fodder in a retail establishment.  The stuff that the "illegals" provide will make you throw rocks at that mess.   

If you are a city health inspector, my email address is dapfortworth at aol dot com.  Please email me, and I will let you know when the food vendors are going to come by my warehouse.  I want to photograph your sorry ass writing health violations on some of the best food provided by some of the best cooks in North Texas.
Or you could just call in sick for the rest of your "career".  No one would miss you.  Just stay home.  You're a burden on society who does nothing but add to the debt level.     
End of rant.  Thanks for listening !  


JT said...

Gawd those look good. Do they only make savory ones, or sweet ones as well? I had a sweet tamale once with some heavenly mixture of pineapple and other stuff. It was like crack. The little Mexican lady gave it to me when I bought the others. She knew I would get hooked. I would kill for one of those tamales.

Hot Sam said...

When I was in college there was a guy who would bring a small cooler of breakfast burritos in the morning and regular buritos at lunch. He regularly sold out in five minutes. I always wondered why he didn't charge more or bring more. He could have easily made more money. I used to intercept him two blocks off campus to make sure I got mine.

There is a truck here in SF that sells tamales, illegally and the city was going to shut her down. There was a bumper sticker campaign to save the "tamale lady."

The difference between a one person operation and a restaurant is that a restaurant could kill 100 people before anyone figured out there was something wrong. I agree with inspections at those venues. I agree that with small operations, there's no difference between that and eating at their house.

I remember the story of an entrepreneur from DC who braided and beaded hair. The city was forcing her out of business because she didn't have training, a license and a permit for cosmetology or hair cutting. When she explained that she neither cut nor colored hair, it made no difference to the fat, stupid, Shoniqua who ran the city's Office of Regulating Hair and Nail Salons or whatever the hell it was called.

I have more respect for those small business woman than the petty bureaucrat who was probably overpaid and underworked for what little she did.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Two days ago, as I was eating my tepid salad with warmish dressing at a fully health dept certified restaurant in Dallas, I was thinking to myself - this could end badly, but I'm in a rush and I'll roll the dice. A short time later I was in a gastrological civil war (the South won).

I used to go to a Chinese food place that may or may not have been certified. It had a drive through and I would drive up and look away, since I didn't want to know how that particular 'sausage' was made. I just knew it was fantastic. Eventually it was shut down by a drive through customer. No, they didn't die - and they weren't an inspector. They just drove through the front of the restaurant.

I would also like to invoke my beloved Angelos. I'm fairly confident that they have their 'proper' licenses - - I'm also fairly confident that they've never washed their grill since the Nixon Administration. I can taste the same flavors as I did when we were wearing "Whip Inflation Now" buttons. The taste has improved actually... Sadly, inflation still exists.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I think you're assuming that the government inspectors and training programs are effective.
I will never, ever forget the waste of an afternoon that I once endured in order to get a food-handler's permit.
Will post about it in the future.

Hot Sam said...

I'm never surprised by anecdotes of government incompetence.

There are lazy and brutal cops, but I generally welcome their presence. I have no experience with food permits, but I've worked in the kitchen of several restaurants and I was present for some inspections. The cleanest restaurant I worked for was Burger King. The least fastidious about sanitation and hygeine was the most popular and upscale sports bar and grill in Denver. I was their frequent customer before I was their employee.

I've always said I wouldn't eat in a Chinese restaurant that passed a health inspection. Then I came to San Francisco where I heard stories of pans of chicken being left to thaw, uncovered, on a kitchen floor with roaches crawling over it.

When I lived in Illinois, the most popular buffet in town was shut down after 90 people got sick.

Some inspectors are just nitpicking micromanaging control freaks with a God complex. Others want bribes. Some are petty bureaucrats who can't think beyond a set of instructions.

I'd love to hear your restaurant story sometime. This is getting to be the only "fun" blog I read anymore. The others are getting tired, busy, or distracted, including me.

That Damn Libertarian said...

I grew up drinking raw milk from the jersey cow residing down the road. After the health inspector shut down her business I had to drink store bought milk and she had to get by on social security. Not a way to thrive.