City councilors want to unleash a squadron of food trucks

Councilors Mike Ross and Sal Lamattina propose up to 25 new licenses for food trucks to roam the city, bringing fresh, hot, inexpensive meals to the masses.

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The difference may be food

The difference may be food trucks and food carts. In my experience food carts are pretty expensive. You're paying a premium for the convenience. These are the places that will sell you a $2.50 bottle of pepsi. My assumption would be that food trucks would be similarly expensive

Inexpensive food places often rely on beverage markup

When I go out to eat at a restaurant, even at an "inexpensive" restaurant, the tab is generally $20-$30 per person. When I go to a taqueria or a fast-food Indian place or something, it's like under $10. Food trucks are generally selling cuisine of this sort. So yes, they mark up beverages, but it's still going to be "cheap" overall.

Again, why the limits?

How about instead licensing people who meet the appropriate food safety and inspectional criteria?

Have they learned nothing about arbitrary restrictions? Or do they really want to keep creating "hand me the envelope" situations?

Sure.

"Or do they really want to keep creating "hand me the envelope" situations?"

Of course they do. This is Boston, Massachusetts after all.

Limited spaces?

I don't know what the restrictions are for actually parking the trucks, but I think that is probably a bigger issue. If there are 30 trucks but 5 of them start parking in the same area there could be a big traffic impact. I assume the biggest target location would be downtown due to the lunchtime density and there isn't a ton of street space down there. Done wrong this could bit a bit like the free newspaper boxes cluttering up the Back Bay and South End.

license limits

What is it with Boston and creating arbitrary (and artificially low) limits for licenses? If a food truck is otherwise eligible for a license and passes the necessary inspections or whatnot, give them a license, period.

This sort of moronic governance is slowly grinding away my will to live here.

MAGIC

How do they wash their hands?

Well, first they put on their robe and wizard hat, and then they cast a spell of Lvl 3 cleanliness.

Seriously, though: an intelligent individual like yourself can't figure out how one could POSSIBLY wash one's hands in a food truck? Hint: one of those big insulated water jugs, a fingernail brush, and a bar of soap.

Really? Is this what city

Really? Is this what city needs to decide on now - at this time of year? How about all the freezing homeless downtown...

Yep, no one cares...

nah - they don't wanna deal with that...

At least the trucks in LA are subject to the same regs as restaurants.

CAN'T YOU PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS THAT REALLY HELP US?

Why can't you look after the some 500 restaurants in the city that already pay taxes - meaning property taxes - and make sure they are good before you make new regulations and hurt small businesses?

Yeah, new trucks are the way to solve our problems...thanks alot.

All I see in our future is the need for more hack (read gov't) -inspectors to check all these new trucks - AND check on the current proprietors of clean establishments...awesome.

treemont

good point, newman... I

good point, newman...
I suppose the restaurants that are already in place are really thinking about the warm weather right now...
...the ones who already employ folk - cooks and wait staff....
the ones who already have taking the chance on paying a mortgage to make sure they are able to be open every day -
...good point

just so we're on the same page:
LA has a LOT of trucks --- they also have about 8 times our population!

you been to Speeds?
He's gotta truck ---
Who's gonna get hurt with 20 more trucks on the streets, brutha?

Thank You

Bingo. You nailed it. He doesn't want competition. The Financial District needs more places to eat period. If I have to chose between Sebastians, BoLoco, or Viga again I will give myself food poisoning (I know there are other options but not so many that I haven't eaten at all of them 1 million times). Food trucks like Clover or that BBQ kiosk in front of Rowes Wharf are a good solution. That said, I can understand why the City is proceeding slowly with them, if only to figure out how to properly and reliably inspect them. One of the halmarks of a good inspection program is surprise. You don't tell the restaurant when you are going to show up because they will have cleaned the 10,000 dead cockroaches out of the ceiling before you get there (true story, albeit in the 'Ville). There may be some difficulty in surprising a roving restaurant, as well as other logistical matters. We definately would benefit from more trucks but phasing them in slowly is the way to go. To those who want less competition, poo on you. If your restaurant is good and caters to its market you will always make money.

Plenty of Models

They don't need to reinvent the wheel here. Copy and paste is completely permissible.

Just another case of too many people being given too much power over too little that is any of their business so that nothing can ever happen or change.

Its all PBR hipster happiness

Its all PBR hipster happiness until somebody gets the "kill me now" case of food poisoning that we all know will happen sooner than not. Theres a very thin line between gourmet organic burritos and the ice cream man pissing in a five gallon bucket between stops. I guess food trucks could be done right but we're not even inspecting the stationary kitchens enough.

Okay, so...

So by your reasoning, we need to not only not have any food trucks, but all restaurants in the city must be closed immediately because there's the off chance that someone somewhere might get sick. Mmm...logicy!

What can I say I work in a

What can I say I work in a professional kitchen and have a better than average knowledge of health inspectors and food safety standards. I began my career at Legal Seafoods and that level of concern with standards has stuck with me. I'm very skeptical that a mobile operation will be able to keep things at the appropriate temperatures and have the plumbing required to effectively clean items. Theres a big difference between squeaking by an inspection and actually doing the right thing that is lost on most people outside the industry. The potential for cross contamination in a truck sized kitchen is very high.

However if you've got eat a sandwich made of pig brains then theres a truck for you...

"According to Grub Street Boston, Staff Meal will be opening at a site on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain very soon, bringing to the area a place to get such items as
oxtail sandwiches, a pickled veal tongue burger with bacon mayo, and chicken liver lasagna. A recent check on the food truck's site indicates that other food options will include white anchovy deviled eggs, smoked halibut chowder, and a head cheese sandwich that includes mesclun and bacon mustard."

I've also worked in a

I've also worked in a kitchen. The current regulation system is dumb. Most of the rules are ridiculous and the inspection itself is useless.

Oh no, your chicken is at 163 degrees and not 165! That will kill someone!

Fixed it for you

"What can I say I work in a professional kitchen and am scared to death of getting even more competition."

By the way, let us know where you work, so I can cross off my list the place where the help thinks head cheese has brains in it. It would be a waste to put pork brains in head cheese: you either scramble them with eggs or you chill 'em, slice 'em, dip 'em in seasoned flour and pan-fry them.

Theres no reason to think the

Theres no reason to think the hotel I work for would face any competition from a food truck, its a very different concept and market. I stand by what I wrote, just because its a fad doesn't mean its great idea from a food safety standpoint. You sound pretty trollish on this topic so I'll let it go.

This city needs to loosen its

This city needs to loosen its grip on licensing for every damned thing, period. I have never seen the like, but maybe I haven't lived in other places where I cared that much. Why should the city have its finger in every pie and continue to stifle the growth of new business at every turn? Is it really about bribes? I can't imagine it really is. I think it's just the "tyranny of policy" as Galbraith would have said. It is that way b/c it is and no one can change it becuase of the whiners and the complainers who don't want "noise" or "life" in their neighborhoods.

Whit