Taco Truck Gourmet: The Southwest Comisaria

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The Houston Health Department requires that every taco truck must visit a commissary to dump waste, refill the tanks with potable water and sanitize the kitchen every 24 hours. Each truck has to carry receipts for these daily services and display a current Health Department inspection sticker. There are 12 of these taco truck commissaries around the city, and I always wondered what one looked like.

While I was buying some lunch at Doña Tere's Tamales, I noticed the entrance to the Southwest Commissary on Beechnut right next door. So I pulled in and took some photos. It was a Saturday afternoon, so there weren't many trucks to see. I understand that most taco trucks hit the commissary in the early-morning hours.

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There's several truck wash-bays with built-in drains, just like at a car wash -- only bigger. And there's a big plastic tank full of clean water. That's where the tanks are emptied and filled. Then there are lots of other bays with hoses for additional clean-up. When the truck is done, it pulls through a covered garage where foods, soft drinks, ice, napkins, and all kinds of other supplies are sold.

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I'll come back some morning to take photos of the full frenzy. But I'm glad I got a glimpse of how it works.


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