MERCEDES, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Blackbeards’ Restaurant on South Padre Island is this week’s Top Performer on Food 4 Thought.

Lead investigator Derick Garcia visits this week’s Que Rico restaurant to surprise the staff with a Top Performer sticker based on their 100 score on their Dec. 1 health inspection report.

“All our hard work pays off,” said Yvonne, the shift manager.

The crew watched and earned Food 4 Thought Top Performer recognition years ago. Some staff were there and knew the sticker goes a long way with customers.

It’s a proud moment for long-term staff members, James and Billie Jean. For 25 years, James has served cocktails, margaritas, and beer behind the bar.

“I came into eat and the waiter who waited on me knew me,” James said, “He said ‘hey we need bartenders you wanna come out and work with us?’ and they hired me. The rest is history.”

History of clean kitchens and most likely a future Top Performer, that’s Que Rico!

A former Top Performer from March of 2013 has fallen from grace one decade later.

Danny’s Cafe at 246 South Texas Ave. in Mercedes failed its Nov. 4 inspection.

The Food Patrol made a surprise visit to see what could be done to get owner Marie Elena back to their former glory but she wasn’t there.

The kitchen staff had already closed when our crew showed up before 3 p.m.

Before closing time, the staff called Mercedes Police.

“All they said was you scared them and they didn’t know whether to believe you or not,” said the officer.

The Food Patrol did not return and Marie did not call our newsroom for further information. No report was filed with Mercedes Police. Danny’s passed a re-inspection.

You’re part of the Food Patrol! When you see dirty habits, please send us photos/videos and a copy of the complaint you filed to your local health department to News@KVEO.COM