Taco Truck Gourmet: The Southwest Comisaria

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.

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.

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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