EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - In this week's Restaurant Report Card, an El Paso County Mexican restaurant with two rough health inspections, and an Ethiopian restaurant with no violations in years.
Located in the Falcon-Peyton area on McLaughlin Road across from Walmart, Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant's health inspection on August 23 revealed seven critical violations, including:
- Employees not washing hands when required.
- Bare hands touching ready-to-eat food.
- Food being held at dangerous temperatures.
Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant had a follow-up inspection on September 4. All but two violations were corrected, but employees were still touching food with bare hands.
FOX21 reached out to the owner, but they haven't yet gotten back to us.
This is why Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant fails our Restaurant Report Card.
You may or may not know this, but a little piece of Africa sits right in Old Colorado City at Uchenna Ethiopian and Mediterranean Cuisine, where the health inspection history is as clean as the kitchen.
"I'm very meticulous and almost a maniac when it comes to cleanliness," owner Maya Gaadevi said.
And it shows. Uchenna hasn't had a health code violation in more than two years.
"My helpers always say, 'I just washed my hands' and I would say, 'Go wash them again please,'" Gaadevi said.
Gaadevi and her family opened Uchenna nearly nine years ago.
"I come from the mountains in my land, so we loved it, and our friend, she said, 'Colorado Springs is your place. You need to stay here,'" Gaadevi said.
Her love for cooking began when she was just 7 years old.
"In my family we believe that you can have degrees, but you still need a manual thing to learn so that if your degree does not take you somewhere or you don't have the possibility to work, at least you can survive by knowing handy things," Gaadevi said.
Every day, those hands authentically prepare delicious meats and vegetables just as she learned in Ethiopia, now to be shared with her home away from home.
"All of our customers have become our family now," Gaadevi said. "All of them. Whether they're from any of the states in America or foreign countries, they all come, and they all say 'I'm coming home.'"
This is why Uchenna passes our Restaurant Report Card.