Mobile food units may concern local restaurants

Mobile food unit, or food truck operators may have to do things a little differently soon. The Beaumont City Council proposed amendments Tuesday afternoon to a few rules that govern how the food trucks must operate.

The proposed changes include lifting a rule that requires mobile units to set up within 200 feet of a commercial restroom, and creating a harsher sanction for wastewater tank dispensing, requiring the tanks to be emptied every 48 hours instead of every 96 hours.

Monica Cobb started her mobile banh mon sandwich shop on Calder Avenue in January, and business is good.

"Every week I come here because I think they have the best sandwiches in town," said one patron of Cobb's shop.
"I certainly would prefer this over fast food," said another.

"We have a lot of people that are counting on the freshness and the deliciousness that we provide them," Cobb said.
Cobb's food stand, like all others, operates on a temporary permit from the city, which restricts how long they are allowed to be open. Cobb's only operates Tuesday through Friday.

"We just have to move our kitchen everyday but that's kind of cool, we're on the go," Cobb said.

Cobb says because her menu is unique, she's had no problems with nearby restaurants. But Octaviano Abarca, the manager of Carmela's Mexican Restaurant just down the street, is worried about something else.

"Everybody should have the same standards, I know the mobile trucks don't have to have a grease is expensive to maintain," he said.

But Cobb says that her standards are just as high, if not higher than those of restaurants, saying, "I've worked in many restaurants and actually think that we have more restrictions, and we're actually checked every two weeks."

The Beaumont Public Health Department was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon, but it did recently awarded Cobb's shop with a superior health rating.

Cobb boasts she keeps her unit so clean that you can eat off the floors.



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