Chow Bella

Gross Out: County Supe Mary Rose Wilcox's El Portal Fails County Health Inspection -- Again

If you want to schmooze with local political types, go to El Portal, County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox's restaurant just south of downtown Phoenix.

But you might not want to order anything to eat.

We suppose it's good to know that the county restaurant inspectors aren't mincing words with a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Three times in approximately the past year, El Portal's earned a "No Award" rating from Maricopa County's inspectors.

In fact, after the most recent inspection -- conducted in late February -- the inspector recommended that El Portal work with the county to come up with a "risk plan".

Among the latest litany of complaints:


Raw hamburger stored over tomato paste; raw sliced steak over cooked chicken/beef; and a box of raw bacon stored over jalapenos.

Spanish rice and refried beans cooked and held below the required temperatures. 

Latex gloves coming into direct contact with food.

Yellow bulb onions stored by the mop sink without a cover --- within the "splash zone".

A wisk and spatula in "disrepair".

An unmarked spray bottle with "an unknown blue ammonia-smelling liquid".

Not the worst report on record. But hardly the best.  

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at