New Baluchi’s on Henry Closed by Department of Health

It didn’t take long. Reader Derek Jetah reports:

Took family for lunch to brand new Baluchi’s in North Heights yesterday. Imagine my surprise upon arrival when I found Dept. of Health notice on door and workers moving food from fridge into (unrefrigerated) truck. Worker said current refrigerator “not cold enough.” Um, yuck! Think I’ll wait a couple weeks and check BHB & Yelp to be sure there’s no Gandhi’s Revenge coming from new Baluchi’s…

The NYC Department of Health whacked the Brooklyn Heights Baluchi’s with 58 violation points.

The DOH says that, “a Notice of Violation issued and establishment ordered closed by the Department of Health at the reinspection conducted on 02/10/2012.”

The restaurant’s last inspection, when it was called Seasons and operated under the same management, was on December 3, 2011. The eatery received 36 violation points when the DOH found “evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.”

Here’s the latest DOH report:

Violation points: 58

Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours.
3) Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding.
4) Insufficient or no refrigerated or hot holding equipment to keep potentially hazardous foods at required temperatures.
5) Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared.

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  • bkheightsgal

    Not too surprised. I once ordered from another Baluchi’s in brooklyn and got food poisoning. I know it is irrational, but I wouldn’t ever go to one of their other locations.

  • Vipin

    Good Evening,

    Yes, sadly our refrigerator was not working working properly. The food was being taken for disposal. We have taken all steps to remedy the situation. We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Heightsguy

    It seems strange that they would be closed rather than ticketed for a malfunctioning refrigerator. I’d like to see the official report from the DOH. They were open a very short time!

  • http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com Flashlight Worthy

    Heightsguy, if the fridge wasn’t able to keep food cold enough, it was right for them to be closed — after all, how could they function without a refrigerator? (I’m assuming it was the main unit, not an ancillary lowboy or some such.)

  • Henry

    Fridge not working…yeah right! Seems like mgmt was cutting corners to make a buck. Why did the restaurant wait for the DOH to close them down to get a new fridge??? As soon as it stopped working, they should’ve been on the phone getting a new one the same day. For anyone not familiar with this location, this spot on Henry Street is cursed…Balucchi’s is the 4th or 5th restaurant in this spot over the last four years. There has not been this turnover on anyother restuarants on Henry Street.

  • Vipin

    @Henry,

    That is definitely not the case. It wouldn’t make any sense to save money at one point in time and then pay the fines later on. We care about our guests and would never have any intentions to hurt anyone. Once again, we are very sorry for the current situation.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Vipin, I don’t buy your story “The food was being taken for disposal” you would simply throw it into bags and have your commercial waste contractor dispose of it. Looks like you were taking it to another location to be peddled to some unsuspecting customer. Shame on you, liar.

  • PBL

    @Vipin, welcome to Brooklyn Heights. In case you haven’t noticed, sadly most of our residents are exactly like the posters on here: whiney curmudgeons who wake up simply to complain about something. I wish you the best in the hood, this hiccup will not deter me from visiting your establishment.

  • Vipin

    @ Arch,

    Sorry you feel that way. The truth is that the food has been thrown out.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    PBL: I don’t think “whiney curmudgeons” is an accurate description of “most [Brooklyn Heights] residents.” I don’t think it describes the majority of those who post comments here. Nevertheless, any online discussion forum that allows anonymous comments is going to attract a disproportionate number of people who do fit that description. Sad but true.

  • Heightsguy

    funny/tragic that the owner feels compelled to insist that he isn’t selling the thrown out rotten food to someone else, too awful to even imagine. That is putting your foot further in your mouth, multiplying “yuck” factor. I love Indian food, and was looking forward to this new spot. I still miss the video store, although that is about ten technologies back.

    aspiring to be a non whiney curmudgeon

  • indian

    Been to several of their locations throughout Manhattan and Queens. Never had a problem with their food and I will go back! I am confident that Vipin will do his best to resolve the issue.

  • GHB

    @Vipin, welcome to the Heights. I look forward to visiting Baluchi’s once your issues get cleared up. Most of us are not whiney curmudgeons, but you will see some negative comments, and if you stick with the site, you’ll soon start to recognize the negative regulars. Some people complain in every thread. Often good for a laugh or two! We’re not all that nasty. Good luck!

  • Chris

    We ate here on opening week and the food was great! We got excited for a minute there. Hopefully this gets sorted out fast.

  • Master Of Middagh

    Why did you have to mention the video store? Now I can’t stop crying, ’cause I miss that place so bad…

  • shamrock

    @Vipin, personally, I find it admirable for you to address the situation on the blog and hopefully you correct the violation issues sooner than later. Good luck with your new Baluchi’s location. Hope it prospers.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Vilpin,

    Can’t wait for you to get up and running again. Count me in for lunch the first day you guys are open.

  • Jorale-man

    @Vipin,
    Count me among those who sympathizes. Opening glitches happen. I feel most Heights residents are understanding and not quick to pass judgment. Looking forward to eating there soon.

  • David on Middagh

    MoM,
    Had any video luck in the book room at the thrift shop on Montague? VHS’s are only fifty cents/tape.

  • BH’er

    very sorry to say, but that DOH rapsheet doesn’t sound like an ‘oops, we missed something’ – it reads more like the place was not run properly. 36 violation points followed by 58?

    I think I’ll stick with JtH!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    @Vipin, Really, then where were you taking it to be legally disposed of? why didn’t you have your sanitation service (that you have to pay for anyway) take the stuff away. You might be able to fool some of the folks here but not me.

  • AEB

    Keep laboring this one, Arch! It’s really important for you to be right–then, now, and always!

  • Master Of Middagh

    @DoM- Where is that at? I didn’t even know we had a thrift store on Montague. And thanks for the tip!

    Of course, it isn’t the movies I miss half as much as the people- Marty and his girls were always a joy to encounter and I often wound up being introduced to neighbors there. I remember one time, Chris (one of the few males who worked there) just straight up gave me a copy of The Rutles record on vinyl because he had two at home and knew I loved that movie. Ahhhh, good times….

  • James

    Arch is just our local troll that lives under the bridge, no need to pay him any attention.

  • nabeguy

    Season’s had a different owner, right? So why are you posting their violations as well? Seems like you’re piling on. Kind of odd that a new restaurant would have equipment problems so early on, but I’m willing to give the benefit of doubt in this case. Besides, better to find out about these things now and correct them…nothing worse than eating in a place for years to discover it’s a not up to code.

  • Knight

    Even the local trolls have valid points SOMEtimes, James!

  • Heightsguy

    Seasons was a totally different operation, awfully inaccurate to say it is the same management as Baluchis. Please edit that statement out. Nevertheless, not a stellar start. “Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant” & etc. Eeww. Cringeworthy. Not only trolls or whiners might be put off.

  • David on Middagh

    MoM,
    That’s the Housing Works thrift shop near the corner of Henry, in between the psychic and Crocodilian Real Estate. There is a book nook/media room near the jewelry counter, with a selection that varies daily. (Full disclosure: I volunteer there sometimes.)

  • MonroeOrange

    The fact that the owner is trying to address the issue on this public forum is a good sign and we should give him benefit of the doubt. I hope you do well here!

    Also miss old video store, but Mr. Video is still great and truly a Brooklyn heights institution that I hope everyone supports, instead of mail order DVDs. Keep the charm of Bh alive, support all local businesses, Lassens, fiscatti, etc.

  • Hicks St Guy

    @Vipin. Scary start for a restaurant, but will check you out, er, better luck with your venture.