Cookout had a grease puddle, Poke needs a worker sick plan in this week’s Restaurant Ratings

Restaurant Ratings
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Health inspectors caught a burger place with a grease puddle, and a Hawaiian eatery needs a workplace sick plan.

Cookout on Sparkman Drive was inspected on February 25. The inspector says the drive-thru hand sink was being used as a dump sink. They found a wastewater solution of grease and degreaser pooled on the ground behind the back door, and there was a worker using tongs to place raw bacon in the fryer, then using the same tongs to move burgers on the grill without cleaning them. In a follow-up visit, the problems were corrected. Cookout scored a 79.

Buena Vista Cantina on Highway 72 in Madison was inspected on February 25th. The inspector found several damaged cutting boards in storage. There was also cooked pork and beef in the cooler longer than 24 hours that wasn't dated. In a follow-up inspection, the problems were taken care of. Buena Vista scored an 85.

Poke Aloha on University Drive in Huntsville was inspected on February 28th. The inspector says the eatery hadn't completed a food service workplace sickness reporting policy. They also found residue in the ice chute and the hot water in the men's room only reached 95 degrees. In a follow-up visit, the problems were corrected. Poke Aloha scored an 85.

If you drive west on US-72, you can find one or two of just about anything when it comes to restaurants. But if you're in the mood for some authentic Cuban, there's one place to go. The Cuban Cafe, a spot that's quickly becoming well-known in Madison.

“It's just a vision my wife and I had,” Cuban Café owner Andy Ysalgue said. “We wanted to bring authentic Cuban cuisine to this area.”

Andy Ysalgue and his wife Jessi moved to Alabama 12 years ago from Florida. About a year and a half ago, the couple decided to open their own restaurant.

“Our lechon asado is our signature pork,” Ysalgue said. “Everybody here knows the Boston butt, the pork butt, but when you put the house-made mojo on it, you get a different feel for the pork.

Just like you'd find in Miami or Havana, Ysalgue says the Cuban Cafe offers cigars, mojitos and several Cuban entrees and desserts.

“The Cuban sandwich is what our best seller is, last year we sold just under 10,000 of them,” Ysalgue said.

Another crowd favorite is the tostone burger, served on a plantain bun. In their last inspection, Cuban Cafe scored a 98.

Cuban Cafe also runs its own food truck. You can find Cuban Cafe at Promenade Point in Madison, but they're closed on Mondays.

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