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Chicago’s First Food Truck To Cook On Board Hits The Streets

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Customers line up at The Salsa Truck, the first food truck in Chicago to get a license to cook food on board. (Credit: CBS)

Customers line up at The Salsa Truck, the first food truck in Chicago to get a license to cook food on board. (Credit: CBS)

Chris Martinez Chris Martinez
Chris Martinez is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The city’s first full-service food truck hit the streets on Tuesday for its first day of business.

Dan Salls put everything on the line to start his food truck business, “The Salsa Truck.” He quit his job, and emptied his wallet.

“The idea started almost two years ago,” he said.

On Tuesday, he started his first day in business, following months of inspections, planning, and applying for permits.

His food truck was the first ever in Chicago to get a license to serve food that had been prepared on board the vehicle, more than six months after the City Council approved an ordinance legalizing such food trucks.

Salls’ business was the first to pass rigorous health and safety inspections, getting the go-ahead just last week to move on to bigger trials.

“Today, the battle is ‘Does the food taste good? Can we get it to people fast enough?’ It’s cold out, we want to make sure everyone’s happy,” he said.

So far, it would seem his customers like what he’s dishing out.

“I think it’s delicious,” said one customer, Kelly.

The challenge ahead will be facing the competition that will eventually hit the streets with Salls’ truck.

City officials said the next few trucks should roll out soon.

The city’s ordinance for food trucks that prepare food on board require the vehicles to park at least 200 feet away from brick-and-mortar restaurants, and to be tracked by GPS devices.

Three truck owners have sued the city, calling those rules unfair.

The city’s definition of restaurants covers any fixed location that prepares and serves food to the public, meaning many coffee shops and convenience stores would also count as restaurants.

The city also has established 21 food truck stands in high-density neighborhoods, where it would otherwise be difficult to find legal parking for food trucks more than 200 feet from a restaurant. But only two trucks may park at each stand at any given time.

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