Monday, September 30, 2013

Food Trucks: Three More Cities!

Overall, this was an exciting season. The Truck Stops were less thrilling than the tricky cooking challenges of the past, but the cities offered different obstacles, and the teams were very diverse. The final two trucks coming down to Indian and Hawaiian specialties was something that I would not have predicted, and I am really curious as to how and where the Aloha Plate guys will set-up their new food truck in the future. With that, The Great Food Truck Race could really use an update on the past teams... I've read about Lime Truck online, but not sure if anyone else is "living the dream" or what they're up to now.

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.

The Great Food Truck Race "Capital Gains" (S04E07): The Speed Bump from the previous episode is still in place, forcing the trucks to have at least five menu items at all times. The Truck Stop happens Sunday morning on Kent Island, where there's a crab challenge. The teams have two hours to go crabbing and cook, but they can't buy any additional ingredients! [that's rough!] The judge will be a culinary specialist for the US Navy, who feeds thousands of people per day. The winner will receive $1500 in their totals, and when Aloha Plate wins, they are able to count that immediately, as one of the teams is booted right then and there. Tikka leads with $9,129, and with the bonus, Aloha has $8,562. If Philly's Finest had won the challenge instead, they would have had enough money to keep playing, but instead their $5,685 total from Chicago and Annapolis sends them home. [figures. that close-to-home field advantage was going to play out well for them!] The two remaining teams move on to Arlington for Sunday night, and on Monday morning, Tyler moves everyone to Washington, DC. There, they have to keep their five menu items but also add a sixth to honor the other team - Tikka must serve a teriyaki burger, and Aloha a chicken tikka taco with yogurt sauce. These dishes are specially priced at $10, and if a team can sell fifty before he calls again, they earn an extra $1,000! Aloha finishes, and the total tallies are counted at the US Capitol Building.

Philly's Finest Sambonis go into Annapolis with half the money the other two teams have, but they call in friends and family to get the word out. [good thing they did!] They want to get into the historic district, but there's a city rule about not parking there, so they stick to the outskirts and have a great day of sales, even running out of food for the first time. With the Truck Stop, they would like to do crabs with gravy (red sauce), but their inventory and time forces them to do crab bruschetta. Unfortunately, there is shell in the crab meat! The Truck Stop loss sends them packing. [one big problem with their business that I haven't addressed before is that there would be no way to compete in Philly, with all of the famous cheesesteak places. they would HAVE to sell elsewhere to be profitable. So, I'm just not sure the guys would continue down this path even if they had won.]
Tikka Tikka Taco
sets up by a yacht club in Annapolis, and get a huge line. They have a phenomenal day, bringing in over $5,000. For the Truck Stop, they do a grab ceviche with pita bread, which is fresh but needs more sauce. They can't get a huge crowd in Arlington, so they move to the same festival as Aloha. In DC, they head to 6th St NW, and their final tally is $11,774. Not enough to win, but Shaun's buddy who died in the line of duty is acknowledged when the show donates $2500 to the Fallen Patriot Fund. [I don't really understand how this is a consolation, but I'm sure those who knew the soldier were grateful for the recognition.]

Aloha Plate does a stuffed crab over orzo for the Truck Stop, and it has a good flavor, albeit salty. It's enough to win the Truck Stop, though! They got lucky with their spot in Virginia, and use the intersection of K Street and 17th in DC. Their version of the tikka taco does well, and their final total of $14,850 wins them the truck and $50,000! [it would have been neat to see the two teams try the other's version of their dishes!] 
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Until next year!
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