Food 4 Thought: Golden Plate Awards

Texas Branding Iron inside the Sunrise Mall in Brownsville and El Rancho Grande Restaurant in San Juan were the 2009 Golden Plate Award winners.

Joe Aguilar received the award on behalf of his food court eatery.

We asked him to read the inscription on his Golden Plate Award.

"The 2009 golden plate award...Thanks for keeping it clean... Action 4 news food patrol."

Texas Branding Iron already had two top performer stickers for perfect health inspection reports in 2009.

Now the restaurant is branded a 2009 Golden Plate Award winner by the Food Patrol.

Aguilar said the honor bestowed on his restaurant epitomizes the success of his staff.

"It's great for our restaurant... Our employees did a wonderful job," said Aguilar.

The owners of El Rancho Grande on North Nebraska brought in Mariachi TMs to celebrate their crowning achievement.

It was quite a turnaround from what happened to the restaurant last year.

It was back in 2008 when employees locked their own customers inside the restaurant to keep the food patrol from coming inside to ask questions about a dirty health inspection report.

We asked Bobby Acosta how he felt about his restaurant TMs true rags to riches story.

I feel great, he said. It was quite an embarrassment last year... I really have to thank the staff for being a top performer and cleaning things up."

The all new Chipped Plate Awards went to restaurants in a number of different categories including: Most Embarrassing, Most Uninviting, Most Photogenic and Most Entertaining. Here are the winners:

Most Embarrassing: Sun Palace Chinese Buffet on North 10th Street in McAllen.Most Uninviting: Rositas on Business 77 in San Benito and Jagz along N Cage Blvd in Pharr.Most Photogenic: Stonewall Jackson on E Stenger in San Benito.Most Entertaining: Domino TMs Pizza in San Benito, McDonald TMs in Donna, Alamo Restaurant in Alamo. The Broken Plate Award for the dirtiest restaurant of 2009 went to Mayola TMs Mexican Caf on Maxan Street in Port Isabel.

It scored 86 demerits on a health inspection report back in August.

It was a record on Food 4 Thought.

Mayola TMs was also found to be operating illegally for a nearly a year right under the city TMs nose.