HAROLD SELTZERS STEAKHOUSE -   “AVOID”  FOOD VIOLATIONS



MAYBE THE SECOND TIME AROUND IS BETTER… DON’T THINK SO.

SAM SELTZER (Version One) "Michaels Mess"
They went bottom up and filed a two year reorganization, the famous Chapter eleven but eventually they went seven. I thought it was seven come eleven… Oh, thats Vegas.  As a food place and restaurant it was a crap shoot anyway.  A beautiful display of baroque architecture rivaling some of the better places and an incredible letdown in food and service.

They could have recovered sooner had they put good food out and worked on the help.  Better back-end management and stop substituting lower class meat on the specials. I doubt it.  Sam Seltzer was a butcher but had nothing to do with the restaurant. The Times, the TV stations all advertising followed the released "Sam the Butcher" story.  

Sam was a butcher in Montreal, Canada,  and his grandsons Harold and Michael Seltzer named their restaurants for him, but Sam was never in the restaurant business.  

Thats good because some of the worst grizzled steak I ever had on two out of two occasions was at the Tyrone location.  I ordered and sent the better cut of sirloin and t-bone back. It would have taken a machete to cut it, and a Tasmanian Devil to chew it.  I rated it two Vultures. Sam never would of served that. 

On another occasion I could not decide which was worse, the attempt at a Blooming Onion or the blooming idiot who served it.  We tried five times at both Tyrone and on US 19 and the servers did a good job, four times, they tried. The fifth and last time we met the Village Idiot. The census, we went with two, four and five folks to try different dishes and the composite reaction was abysmal.  No one really thought of going back, ever.

Harold Seltzer sold his interest in 2004 while his cousin Michael ceded control to lenders in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy five years later.  That might explain a few things.

Borrowing deeply to bankroll expansion to 30 stores, the chain's fortunes headed south with a faltering economy in 2007. Faulty food might have had something to do with it and some of the worst service I have ever experienced.  Penny-pinching diners, drawn by ads selling $9.95 slabs of prime rib was the bait. Unfortunately the picture was of the larger cuts and another case of what you see is not what you get.

To this day the newer version of Seltzers is doing the same thing with the disclaimers more prominent. Advertising the $9.95 prime rib on special with the large portion picture only there is a disclosure there now explaining this is a larger cut in the picture.  

I laughed because I was wondering if the car dealers were writing their ads.  You know after you read the small print at the bottom, you find you weren't qualified for the prices shown.  And it's done everyday in the car business and people still fall for it.   Add a poor experience when you got there and this doomed Sam Seltzer's and other casual sit-down restaurants nationally over the past three years. I call it "fulfillment problems". You simply don't get what they show you.

After the company filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2008, it quickly closed four unprofitable stores and ditched plans for a store in Ocala that would have been the chain's 11th. Lenders who were owed $11 million ended up with ownership of the shrunken company.

HAROLD SELTZER, Hopefully Harold the Conqueror  VERSION TWO - 

I was right, when I drove by, they just shut the doors and never told the help.  A cowards way out. NOTE:  Another bad taste, was screwing customers who bought or held gift cards, some sold as recently as one day before the chain's last day in business.  People paid for those cards now were stuck with empty plates.  

We are talking about many, many, thousands of dollars, estimates might be in the quarter million dollar range and that went down with the bankruptcy failure.  

The new Seltzers under Harold is not responsible for the dealings of the old Seltzers but he has come forward and has offered one dinner per card and will eat about 10,000 free meals with that offer.  That is a noble gesture to redeem ones family name.

The brother, Harold came in like the Seventh Calvary, and they just reopened at the northern Pinellas County location near Tarpon springs, New Port Richey and in southern Pinellas County near Tyrone Boulevard and 38th avenue under "Harold Seltzers”.  Harold is trying to rebuild, restore a legacy and undo what I would call a bad management mess, even down to the PR companies and advisors they had.  

Well how do you fire your family, obviously they can’t get it right.

He admits he is working to be able to bring back the business that originally bore his grandfather's name, and is still working to get back in other markets. He says he did it to be there for employees he thought were unceremoniously let go by previous management and to fill a niche with a dedicated customer base and he shows a lot of humility and humbleness when conversing about it.

He was quoted in the Times, "Every night, I'm in the dining room and people tell me how glad they are we're back. It gets emotional. They remember birthday parties here, or this was their dad's favorite place, or they were engaged here. It has been a little overwhelming."We will check them out.  

We did get our hands on a menu and the costs went up about 15-38% on certain items cross the board compared to the before the bankruptcy. The Times revisited them and gave them 2.5 stars.  It's a work in progress. They started the 2015 new year with one of the worst inspections for the month.  


On   January 30 - 2015  The Food police didn’t think that much of them

HAROLD SELTZERS STEAKHOUSE  •  License Number:  SEA6214941 •  License Expiration Date:  02/01/2016

3500 TYRONE BLVD,  ST PETERSBURG, FL 33710  Inspection Information  Date   01/23/2015.  

Follow-up Inspection Required, Violations require further review.

Violations 

Basic - Accumulation of debris on exterior of ware washing machine. **Warning**  
Basic - Accumulation of food debris/soil residue on hand wash sink. (Multiple hand sinks.) **Warning** 
Basic - Bowl or other container with no handle used to dispense food. (Bowl in bin of cleaned, cut lettuce). 
Bowl used as scoop in white granular product. **Warning** **Corrected On-Site** **Repeat Violation** 
Basic - Ceiling tiles not full sealing ceiling gaps next to walk in unit. **Warning**
Basic - Clean containers not properly air dried - wet nesting on dry rack. **Warning**    
Basic - Condensation or other drainage not disposed of.Make table has buildup of water inside unit and cooler at bar. **Warning**  
Basic - Cove molding at floor/wall juncture broken/missing in mixer room. **Warning**  
Basic - Croutons stored next to washed stack of mats with potential for splash from mats. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
Basic - Cutting board has cut marks and is no longer cleanable. **Repeat Violation** **Warning**
Basic - Dead roaches on premises. (3 on dish machine, immediately discarded.) **Warning** 
Basic - Equipment in poor repair. (Reach in cooler for sweet potato puffs) **Admin Complaint** **Repeat Violation**
Basic - Floor area(s) covered with standing water areas of the kitchen. Large puddle behind ice machine. **Repeat Violation** **Warning**
Basic - Floor tiles cracked, broken or in disrepair with deep grout lines in kitchen. **Repeat Violation** **Warning**
Basic - Grease accumulated under cooking equipment. **Warning**
Basic - Ice buildup in reach-in freezer. (Ice cream freezer.) **Warning**
Basic - Ice buildup in walk-in freezer. **Repeat Violation** **Warning**Basic - In-use utensil used with moist food stored in running water with insufficient velocity to flush food particles away. **Warning**  
Basic - In-use wet wiping cloth/towel used under cutting board at cooks line. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
Basic - Leaking faucet at wait station hand sink. **Warning*B
Basic - Missing drain plug at dumpster.cardboard dumpster. **Warning**    
Basic - Nonfood-contact equipment in poor repair. Drain counter table has rough edge and is covered by a towel and tape.
Basic - Flooring metal to entrance if walk in freezer is in disrepair and a potential trip and/or cut hazard. **Warning**
Basic - Old labels stuck to food containers after cleaning. **Warning**
Basic - Open grease disposal lid. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
Basic - Plumbing system in disrepair. (Drain pipe is broken below hand sink by dish machine. ) **Warning**
Basic - Single-use gloves not stored in a clean, protected location. (Open box next to employee bag on shelf.) **Warning** **Corrected On-Site**
Basic - Soiled reach-in cooler gaskets. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
Basic - Walk-in cooler shelves soiled with encrusted food debris. **Warning**
Basic - Walk-in freezer gasket torn/in disrepair. **Warning**
Basic - Wood food-contact surface not properly sealed. (Liquor room shelves.) **Repeat Violation** **Warning**
Basic - Working containers of food removed from original container not identified by common name. (White granular product in large container of dry storage room.) **Warning** Violation**   

High Priority - Cooked potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within 6 hours. (50°F soup, 50°F marinara, 50°F butter blend, from overnight cooling.). All items on cart were immediately discarded. **Warning**

High Priority - Cooked/heated potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within six hours. See stop sale. ( 50°F soup, 50°F marinara, 50°F butter blend) **Warning** 

High Priority - Live, small flying insects in food preparation area and in dry storage room. (Six observed in dry storage room. Four in main kitchen.) **Repeat Violation** **Warning**

High Priority - Pesticide/insecticide labeled for household use only present in establishment. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**  

High Priority - Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. (41°F -46°F sweet potato puffs commercially made and held in cook line cooler overnight. Discarded immediately. **Admin Complaint** **Corrected On-Site** **Repeat Violation** 

High Priority - Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food. (Raw burger over bread in reach in cooler.) **Warning** **Corrected On-Site**

High Priority - Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. (One dried dropping in the storage room on the floor.). Dropping swept immediately. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**

High Priority - Stop Sale issued on potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food due to temperature abuse. ( 41°F -46°F sweet potato puffs) **Admin Complaint** **Repeat Violation** 

Intermediate - Accumulation of encrusted food debris on/around mixer head with clean bowl mounted on unit. **Warning** 

Intermediate - Hand wash sink not accessible for employee use due to items stored in the sink. (Strainer and mat at bar.) **Corrected On-Site** **Warning** 

Intermediate - Hot water and cold water not provided/shut off at employee hand wash sink at dish machine. **Warning**  

Intermediate - No paper towels or mechanical hand drying device provided at handwash sink. (At dish machine and at end of cook line) **Warning**  

Intermediate - Ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food prepared onsite and held more than 24 hours not properly date marked. (Cooked beans in walk in unit) **Warning**

Intermediate - Refrigerator not maintaining potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food at proper temperatures. Do not store potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food in this unit until the unit is capable of maintaining foods at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. (Reach in cooler across from Blodgett ovens frozen over while holding 41°F -46°F sweet potato puffs) **Repeat Violation** **Warning**

Intermediate - Slicer blade soiled with old food debris. (Door mounted vegetable slicer.) **Warning** 

Intermediate - Spray bottle containing toxic substance not labeled. (Glass cleaner.) **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**

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