Hey, there! Log in / Register

Grasshopper Restaurant in Allston ordered shut for insect infestation, other health issues

Update: Grasshopper passed a re-inspection and was allowed to re-open.

An ISD health inspector today ordered Grasshopper Restaurant, 1 N. Beacon St. in Allston, shut for "gross unsanitary conditions" after an inspection that found a fly infestation and evidence of rodent activity throughout the kitchen, produce being left in direct contact with a "filthy floor," workers not washing their hands, "built up soils" throughout the kitchen, including on walls, the ceiling and cooking utensils and in the ice machine and raw food, including shrimp, being kept too warm.

Even if workers wanted to wash their hands, the hand sink for that purpose had no soap or anything with which to dry their hands, the inspection states. Also:

Upon my arrival there is evidence that the kitchen/ware washing areas are not cleaned prior to closing at the end of the night and reopening for business the next day.

The restaurant can re-open once the owner proves all the violations have been corrected and that he is overseeing "day to day operations to ensure establishment is operating in a safe and sanitary manner in compliance with the food code."

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Raw shrimp, or raw "shrimp"?

up
Voting closed 45

Yeah not real shrimp but the inspector obviously didnt know what to call it..

up
Voting closed 11

.

up
Voting closed 43

It's a vegan restaurant, so I strongly doubt they were storing shrimp at any temperature.

up
Voting closed 12

I thought the same thing. I checked their menu, and they have several seafood dishes.

https://www.beyondmenu.com/20014/boston/grasshopper-restaurant-allston-0...

up
Voting closed 40

They call it by its counterpart but it’s all fake meat and seafood.

up
Voting closed 19

I see "Vegi-Meat or Seafood" in a bunch of places, but I think that's supposed to read as "Vegi-Meat or Vegi-Seafood". I'd be really surprised if they started carrying real seafood: it's a sanitary nightmare, nobody goes to Grasshopper looking to order it so it would mostly go to waste, and I think vegetarianism is a religious thing for the owners.

up
Voting closed 5

the menu you linked to shows only vegan seafood options

up
Voting closed 22

They call their food by the name of the food they’re making it taste like, ie “shrimp lo mein” would be a faux shrimp in some lo mein.

up
Voting closed 15

It's the "surprise" in Eggplant & Tofu Surprise. As in "Surprise...you're not a vegetarian any more!"

In all seriousness, let's cut them some slack. How are vegetarians supposed to know how to handle meat? Pretty sure infestations of flies and rats is table stakes for Allston.

up
Voting closed 5

Wow they added seafood and insects to the menu... Not so Vegan anymore I guess

Thanks for making the comment and getting the answer in the reply. When I saw the word shrimp I had to do a double take.

up
Voting closed 9

I love this place! I hope they get this fixed and re-open soon.

up
Voting closed 13

All those built up kitchen soils must add to the flavor.

up
Voting closed 25

All those built up kitchen soils must add to the flavor.

I know you jest, but actually the decades of old food flavors embedded in my "well seasoned" cast-iron fry pan add something quite nice to the flavor. (And yes I do scrub it out, but decades of old peanut oil etc. etc. don't come out of an ancient cast-iron pan, nor do they need to since it self-sterilizes every time I heat it to frying temperature.)

Still, as a vegetarian in Allston I was thinking of trying that restaurant, but now I think I'll pass.

BTW, is their name a reference to "Grasshopper" in the old Kung-Fu TV series, from whence comes the (usually obnoxious) habit of referring to people you're talking down to as "Grasshopper"? Anybody else know what I'm talking about?

up
Voting closed 11

Some bacterias create toxins when heated. While its typically safe don’t 100% trust heat to kill something that may make you ill.

up
Voting closed 4

That’s mostly true regarding foods animal-origin, much less of an issue with plants.

up
Voting closed 6

Better off walking down the street to the KFC.

up
Voting closed 10

Put up a 150 unit neiborhood clogger in its place Marty and don't let them sway you.

up
Voting closed 28

To see if I can get a clarification on whether that was shrimp or "shrimp." Now to see if I get a reply tomorrow.

But bear in mind that regardless of its provenance, the stuff was being stored too warm and exposed overnight, and that the shrimp (or "shrimp") infractions were only two items on a long list.

up
Voting closed 28

and they always get to reopen with an 'A' which is a shame. The grading system should include some indicator of past infractions.

It's too bad that they are persistently filthy because this is the only place in town that offers a full assortment of fake meats a la ChuChai on Montreal which is the creme de la creme.

I wish somebody else would take this concept and do it correctly because there are a lot of people who love this stuff, myself included. But I sure as heck won't ever go back to Grasshopper. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, uh, can't get fooled again, to paraphrase a past commander-in-chief.

up
Voting closed 29

My Thai Vegan Cafe in Chinatown offers a fairly good assortment of fake meat dishes that are similar to Grasshopper's.

up
Voting closed 17

I've been in a lot of kitchens in my life and they are all gross. The fact that this kitchen is fully veggie has me assuming its a little less gross then some.

Obviously your choices are up to you! But I doubt it's any dirtier than other Allston take out spots.Not to mention the food from grasshopper is real good and has never got us sick.

up
Voting closed 23

This comment is pretty much an origin story for inspectional services.

up
Voting closed 11

I worked in the restaurant next door five years ago. Allston is disgusting - kitchens are disgusting... this is just common knowledge. Their food is awesome and they’re a super nice family. Even if there were some issues, I will still eat there in the future.

up
Voting closed 19

Grasshopper has been shut down several times over the years for health inspection issues. They will clean up for the next inspection and then get filthy again. They have not learned, and never will. I can remember friends seeing roaches in their food, old food sitting out in the dining room, etc, etc.. from 15 years ago up to current times. The place is just not safe to eat at, no matter how much you convince yourself its "fine".

up
Voting closed 15

It is safe, though. Health code violations are serious but the real indicator of unsafe conditions is an outbreak of food-borne illness, and there's never been one connected with this restaurant.

So while this stuff is gross, comments pointing out that most establishments are like this behind the "Employees Only" doors are accurate. Let's not pretend that the Model Cafe next door doesn't have similar issues with missing hand dryers in the bathrooms and built-up soil in their ice machine.

up
Voting closed 15

Don’t know why you had to threw in the Model in your comments about grasshopper we clean our bathrooms every night and there is always hand soap and paper towels to dry your hands and we clean our ice binds and machine regularly and our employees are trained to wash there hands regular we passed our inspection so if you need to contact me feel free my name is William Anthony and my family owns the Model we have been there since 1932 and have always complied with city inspections so know what your talking about Anon why don’t you use your name in your post would like to talk to you and address any of your concerns thanks

up
Voting closed 12

unlike anon posters

up
Voting closed 9

My apologies for mentioning the Model by name. I just picked a random nearby establishment, and was not trying to suggest the Model has any particular problems. I'd edit the comment to remove the reference if it were possible to edit an anonymous comment, but this retraction will need to suffice.

up
Voting closed 4

This is the place whose slogan is (was?) "Where the animals live to tell it all..." Apparently that includes insects and rodents.

up
Voting closed 6

The "Muckraking book" by Upton Sinclair about the meat packing industry in Chicago of a century ago [1906] had a quote that is apropos if unintentional for this Vegan Place -- with its faux meats and sea food.

We all know how many regional Chinese dishes evolved into what is served in the restaurants - if you cook and chop enough --- you can disguise a lot of "semi-left overs"*1

Anyway -- here's the backstory for the quote:

in the Slaughterhouse / Meatpacking district there is a Factory making sausages -- which uses all of the meat [including bone, skin, hooves, and connective tissue, etc., from the recently slaughtered animal by throwing it all into the hopper of a heavy duty grinder]. The floors of the factory are covered in sawdust to absorb the blood and other liquids that spill onto the floors. Occasionally some of the meat going into the grinder or some of the meat coming from the grinder falls onto the floor.

The large cuts of meat, etc., waiting to be ground is stored in some side rooms. Sometimes rats get into the meat stored in the side room [stored with inadequate refrigeration at best] some of which is let's say has "gone off" [rotted]. To control the rats -- the factory puts out pieces of bread soaked in blood and poisoned.

And the quote [or there abouts]:

And into the hoppers go the meat, the rotted meat, the meat from the floor mixed with sawdust and old blood, the dead rats and the poisoned bread --- out comes the stuff that goes into the casings to make the sausages.

*1 -- Note not limited to Chinese places --- European and American places with soups and stews on the menu tend to put unconsumed stuff in to the soup or stew so as not to waste what was cooked originally and never consumed.

up
Voting closed 17