Monday, September 23, 2013

Food Truck Race: No Elimination!

The finale starting a city early and with three teams was a nice change from seasons past. It brings a lot of trickery to a table where it seemed that Aloha Plate would be a shoo-in for the win. Tikka Tikka taking a nice lead with cash AND the next city gives them quite the edge, so it may very well be them and Aloha vying for the win as Philly continues to flounder about with small yet noticeable mistakes. I am actually really looking forward to the finale, as the demographics of Annapolis and the strengths and weaknesses of the remaining competitors all come together/clash. I don't think I'm really rooting for anyone in particular, though it certainly seems that Tikka and Aloha tried harder and are more deserving than Philly at this point, as sad as that is. 

Remaining Trucks
Aloha Plate, Authentic Hawaiian Cuisine. Brothers Adam and Lanai, plus friend Shawn, are from a remote Hawaiian island and want to share their food. Adam went to culinary school, thanks to a benefactor whose life he saved.

Philly's Finest Sambonis, serving Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks, Philadelphia. Childhood BFFs Erik, Joe, and Chris have come together after Erik had a bad car accident that ruined his career as an electrician.

Tikka Tikka Taco, Indian Street Food, St. Louis. Brothers Mike and Shaun (a veteran) work with their uncle, Sam. 
©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Great Food Truck Race "A Food Truck Kind of Town, Chicago Is" (S04E06): The teams receive $500 in seed money, but the Truck Stop happens before they can shop. They are given two hours to create a deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza, which will be judged by mayor Rahm Emanuel. Tikka wins for uniqueness, and receive $1,000 toward their earnings. Then, it is announced that this IS the finale, and that a Speed Bump will be in effect requiring the trucks offer at least five different dishes at all times. [I was confused on how Philly counted fries... maybe they were loaded fries?] To make the final round even more complicated, the next part of it will be six states away! [I was amazed that Tikka and Aloha were $311 apart when Sunday started!] There's a second Truck Stop where the teams must add a special sixth item to the menu: a $7 hot beef polish sausage sandwich cooked authentically Chicago-style. [sounded good, though I've never heard of "sport peppers."] And not just any sausage, either. Mike Ditka offers up 300 sausages to each team, and the first truck to sell all of theirs will get a five-hour head-start to the next city: Annapolis, MD!. [724 miles is FAR!] The losing two teams will get stuck on kitchen duty for four hours at Ditka's restaurant. [that sucks. what a way to wear out someone before a long drive!] 

Aloha Plate goes with a three-meat, three-cheese pizza, with egg in the sauce to help it bind. [I've never heard of such an idea!] It had a great crust, but there is too much sauce. They sell to a large crowd at a Hawaiian event, and offer a teriyaki burger, chicken lettuce wrap, sesame chicken sandwich, SPAM sandwich, and chicken chopped salad. [diverse.] To make their sausage sales, they up the other prices to $25 to get the sausages moving, then drop all prices to $5 to act like everything is on sale. [that huge of a price disparity is a bit difficult to chew!] They head to Wicker Park, but they only sell 238 sausages before time runs out. [and yet they couldn't even hit 300 if they combined with Philly...]

Philly's Finest Sambonis knows that Chicago is known for pizza, hot dogs, and Mike Ditka, and they become really full of themselves regarding their pizza-making prowess. They talk about making their own sauce, but time isn't on their side. [that's the northeast for ya! love it!] Three cheeses and five meats later (including salami, cappy, prosciutto, and bacon), the pizza is a little "wet in the middle." Time continues to be against them as they hunt down specialty ingredients out-of-town, then struggle with traffic getting back into the city. [fun that they ran into someone one of the guys knew!] They partner with a tavern on Saturday, selling cheesesteak, chicken cheesesteak, a ranch wrap, a buffalo wrap, and steak fries. [I still think that it's a limited menu, which is going to result in fewer customers.] It takes them a long time to get orders out. On Sunday they start at a flea market, thinking it was a farmer's market. [ouch! huge mistake!] Then, they head to the beach, but there's no parking, so they wind up in an uncrowded area. They move again to Humboldt Park where there's a festival, but at this point there is only 30 minutes left, and they sell a measly ten sausages. [so sad. :(]

Tikka Tikka Taco
does a unique pizza with chicken tikka, garlic, ginger, black pepper, cilantro, feta, mozzarella, spinach, and yogurt. The market they hit doesn't have the yogurt they want, their crust burns, and the spinach wilts and releases water, but their creation still wins. [I'm not convinced I would like it, but that's okay.] Their big menu consists of tacos, nachos, tacquitos, a salad, and a veggie wrap. They hit up a brewery for a while, and the next day they start outside a cathedral. [interesting choice.] They don't have any quarters for the meter, and they get a parking ticket. [ha!] They go to a tavern to sell their sausages, and make the rest of their menu $5 off if you buy a sausage. [must have worked!] They make it there first, and get three Ditka-autographed footballs on top of the early departure time. [nice!]
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