The Great Food Truck Race Week 4: The Truck’s Get Schooled in Kansas College Town

This week the five remaining teams drove out to the college town of Manhattan, Kansas, where they faced a series of challenges ultimately resulting in one team being eliminated. After dominating performances last week and weeks before that, Lime Truck was bested in the first Truck Stop challenge by Seabirds Truck. The teams were all granted a $5 debit card to come up with an original recipe and impress a Kansas City food critic. The Seabirds created a raw food cupcake with barbecue sauce, and they were awarded exclusive access to a huge restaurant/bar area, while the rest of the trucks duked it out for space on campus.

The teams were each given $400 to plan their menus for the elimination phase of the challenge. Seabirds had a huge crowd waiting for them after shopping, Roxy’s pulled away from the rest and the other three teams set up at City Park, where college students had already anticipated their arrival. Tyler Florence introduced the speed bump early this time, immediately requiring the teams to price everything on their menu under $1. Some trucks with planned expensive menus had more trouble with this than others, but many made do. Korilla introduced $1 tacos, and Roxy’s made grilled cheese sliders. The Lime Truck based its menu off $8-$10 dollar items, and the Seabirds made $1 half sandwiches but worried that they were charging too little for their premium products, and began falling behind on their orders again. Several teams headed back to reconfigure their menus, while others targeted bar crowds and prepared for the next day.

The next day the teams faced similar large crowds, but the difficulty was in filling orders quickly and dealing with low the menu prices. Hodge Podge Truck began pulling customers off Korilla’s long lines to take orders. I thought a fight was about to break out when the Korilla guys confronted them about having no food truck etiquette in front of many customers, but Hodge Podge just kept taking the customers they could get.

In the end, Korilla BBQ came out on top again, with $5,245, and Roxy’s in a close second with $5,132. The Lime Truck and Seabirds were in the bottom 2, and in the end Seabirds got eliminated selling less than Hodge Podge and Lime truck. Next week the teams head to Memphis, Tennessee to create all vegetarian menus, as the Seabirds lament that they won’t be there for what could have been a triumphant week for them.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

The Great Food Truck Race Week 3: Trucks Get Swept Away by the Windy City

Last night on The Great Food Truck Race the six remaining teams raced their way to Denver, Colorado, where they were granted even less money and more crippling speed bumps. Once again the teams had to utilize their own knowledge of the area and their local contacts to stay ahead of the competition, while making risky alliances with others.

The first truck stop challenge required the food trucks to create an original recipe based on wild mushrooms that they gathered themselves, and an assortment of vegetables provided by host Tyler Florence. Their dish would then be judged by local Denver chef, Frank Bonnano, and the winner would get some helpful publicity on Good Morning America, as well as $200 for the elimination phase of the show. After each team prepared their dishes, Bonnano gave them all praise but awarded Lime Truck the victory, leaving the vegan Seabirds Truck devastated that they lost a veggie-based challenge. All the trucks were soon devastated however; as they learned that they would receive no seed money and would have to find their own ingredients (except Lime truck).

Once again the food trucks proved their resourcefulness by gathering ingredients on their own. The Lime Truck and Hodge Podge formed an early alliance, though why Hodge Podge would ever trust these guys after what they did last week is beyond me. The trucks all loaned or struck deals with local establishments, to get ingredients. Café con Leche, Hodge Podge and Lime Truck all charged very high prices for sandwiches, and Seabirds suffered from slow service. Korilla BBQ eased along just fine in a great location, and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese noticed a significant recovery from last week’s near elimination.

The next day the trucks resumed their sales, but faced one of the show’s ‘speed bumps’ in which each truck would have to operate with only one person doing ll the work. The trucks all handled this differently, Korilla played rock, paper, scissors to decide who would operate the truck, Roxy’s called it “a nightmare”, Hodge Podge was confident, Lime took group orders over single orders, and Seabirds got even slower. As sales slowed and trucks relocated, Korilla and Roxy’s crashed Café con Leche’s location, and Seabirds lamented that this might be their last week.

When all was said and done however, Seabirds scraped a fifth place finish, while Lime and Korilla dominated the competition, each making near $7,000. Café con Leche was sent home, losing only by $87 and noting that the high bill they owed to the restaurant that lent them food probably cost them the game. Next week the five remaining trucks head to Manhattan, Illinois, a college town where no doubt they will create some delicious munchie food for their ravenous customers.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Week 2 of The Great Food Truck Race: Fear and Loathing in Salt Lake City

This week on The Great Food Truck Race the seven remaining teams head to Salt Lake City, after a tough first episode in Las Vegas where Sky’s Gourmet Taco’s was eliminated. This week the teams were handed only $100 each for ingredients, which makes preparation considerably more difficult. First off the teams were told to compete in a sausage making challenge, where they toured a local sausage establishment to come up with their own original recipes. Korilla BBQ showed their ingenuity and flexed their Columbia University degrees by bowing out of the mini competition to save their sausage for the sales part later. Host Tyler Florence noted that it was a good move, but also could have got them disqualified.

The vegan Seabirds Truck also had trouble with this competition, as sausage isn’t exactly allowed in vegan cooking. Seabirds’ Stephanie Morgan said however, “Everybody’s already assuming we’re going to lose this competition, since they think there’s no way you can make vegan sausage, but there is,” Stephanie says. “We’re going to take the garbanzo beans and mash them all up, and add lots of bold spices to mimic that sausage flavor.” Unfortunately their bean-sausage that looked nothing like sausage wasn’t enough to win this competition. The Hodge Podge Truck, the only truck which had previous experience making sausage, swept this competition and was granted an extra $100 for ingredients and avoided the later ‘speed bump’.

The Seabirds Truck thought to continue their alliance with cocky Lime Truck, and invited them to a pet adoption drive they found out about. The Lime Truck then contacted the owners of the drive and signed a contract to be the sole food truck there, putting an end to this alliance. The Seabirds Truck got lucky though, finding a café known to be frequented by young people and vegans, and attracted a sizeable crowd there. Café con Leche thought well ahead this time, partnering with a local Mexican restaurant to do catering a party. Meanwhile Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese had the same problem as last week, wondering whether they had enough food to match their customers’ demand.

This week’s Speed Bump made each team move one mile from their current location, forcing many trucks to abandon healthy lines and head to deserted areas. Some trucks managed to retain their customers, but many lost them entirely. Korilla BBQ dominated sales this week, showing that their early strategy paid off best. Roxy’s and Devilicious were only $159 apart in sales, but Devilicious was sent home. Devilicious may have sealed their own fate by offering $1 off each of their meals, focusing more on volume than cash. Next week the teams head to Denver, Colorado, where growing disputes will no doubt continue. The Lime Truck and Roxy’s continue to battle over parking spaces, and Lime Truck’s bold attitude against Roxy’s tough demeanor should make for some great television.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com