TV Time: The Great Food Truck Race

The Great Food Truck Cast with Host Tyler Florence
image from foodnetwork.com

She Said: The Great Food Truck Race

( This post contains spoilers!)

I have been a fan of The Great Food Truck Race (airing on Sunday at 9:00pm Eastern on Food Network)  since it first aired two years ago. It’s one of the summer shows that I always look forward, too. I love learning more about food and I find food trucks really interesting so most of the time it’s a great show to watch. The first season was awesome, the second season was really good (except for the cheating scandal) and this season… well, it’s not really grabbing me yet. It’s still solid and enjoyable viewing, but it’s missing the spark of excitement the show used to have.

I think some of the problem is the hovering air of desperation. In the past the trucks that have competed are all established food truck businesses. This year the teams are comprised of people who have never had a food truck. Every few minutes someone remarks about the need to have this work, their dreams being crushed or how they don’t want to go back to their old life. It’s just stressful and hard to enjoy when I hear how much people are counting on this.

Every week they move to a different city and sell food for a predetermined amount of time. The person with the most profits wins. They do mix it up with various challenges that they throw at the contestants either through business or food related circumstances.

The teams on this season are all pretty different from each other and being a person of strong opinions I’ve already decided whom I’m going to cheer for.

Barbie Babes- No. I would never patronize a truck that called themselves Babes. Really ladies, do you think I want to eat at your truck with my husband. Class it up and make good food and don’t capitalize on being flirty.

Coast of Atlanta- No. This team stresses me out. They always seem angry and are rude and difficult with the other teams.

Momma’s Grizzly Grub- No. I don’t like the food they make it all. It mostly seems to be boring pasta salads.

Nonna’s Kitchenette- Yes! I love these girls. They make what looks like fantastic Italian food and I’m always ready to cheer on a home cook! I’ll be cheering on the Jersey girls ‘til the end of the season!

Pizza Mike’s- Yes. I love their story and think they seem like the coolest, sweetest guys. I also applaud them for trying to run a pizza business in a food truck- without a pizza oven!

Pop-a-Waffle- Maybe. Sometimes I think that their waffles are very interesting. But, their personalities (especially all the flag waving) kind of irritate me sometimes.

Seoul Sausage- Maybe. They are serving Korean food, which I love, and I think works really well in a food truck. I just wish I got to see more of the food they are serving. I feel like I don’t really know what they have on their menu.

Under the Crust- I thought that they had a great concept and I really wish they hadn’t gotten thrown off on the first episode. I would definitely try their food!

In the first episode we were introduced the teams and watched them learn how to set up a completely empty truck. I have so much respect for food trucks now because they really do have to go through a lot to set up shop! Under the Crust went home and that made me sad because they seemed cool.

In the second episode we saw the trucks have to cook using cactus and then later only serve vegan food. Some of the vegan food looked really good and I was impressed with their efforts with the preparing the cactus.  I was really mad at Momma’s Grizzly Grub for the way they behaved this week. They weren’t honorable with saving a space for Nonna’s Kitchenette even though the Nonna’s girls had been nice to them. Momma’s Grizzly also cut their prices too soon and quit way too early. I really hope that they will compete in the future as a more honest and hardworking team.

I like the show. I’m glad that it’s still on the air, but I just feel like something is missing this year. Maybe it’s because they aren’t pros at food truck management. I don’t know. Something is missing- the dynamic just isn’t right. But, I love hearing about new trends in food and I love reality food competition shows. So, I’ll stick with it!

Rating- 7

He Said Great Food Truck Race

I have loved The Great Food Truck Race since the first episode.  Even though I haven’t gotten to eat at very many, I love food trucks.  I’m really excited to eat at some DC food trucks here in the near future. I’m constantly coming up with new concepts to start my own food truck, but I can never get Kari interested in working on the truck with me. As anyone who has read us for very long can probably attest, I love watching professionals doing what they do best.  In this case selling food from a truck.  That being said, I have mixed feelings so far about this season of the Race.  They changed their format so that this time every contestant is a rookie food trucker.  None of them have ever run a food truck before.  The first episode was entertaining to watch, but we’re seeing the lowest totals we’ve ever seen on this show.  And that’s with the first episode taking place in LA, the birthplace of the current boom in food trucks.

As always, I did have some that I really enjoy watching some teams more than others.  This year my favorites to watch were Pizza Mike’s, Under the Crust, and Seoul Sausage.

I was really sad to see Under the Crust get eliminated on this first episode, but after seeing the food they were making, they weren’t delivering on the potential their truck had to offer.  Of course, not having very much time to prebake the pies probably hurt them quite a bit.  Pizza Mike’s is a truck of restaurant veterans, so their truck makes sense to me.  Seoul Sausage is going to do well in this competition.  There’s something about Korean food that makes a great fit for food trucks.

The flip side to that is there are always a couple of trucks that I don’t like either.  This year it’s Barbie Babes, Coast of Atlanta, and Momma’s Grizzly Grub.  In the first episode, the girls of the Barbie Babes truck don’t know the first thing about anything, and are clearly getting by based on others help.  I don’t respect that and hope they go home soon.  Coast of Atlanta doesn’t seem to have very good food or very nice staff.

In the first episode, I didn’t notice much about Momma’s Grizzly Grub.  They really earned my ire.  I think teaming up with other contestants is always a bad idea, and MGG proved why.  After Nonna’s Kitchenette used a local connection to secure a spot for three trucks the first day, they arrived the second day at the same spot to find that MGG had not only not reserved a spot for them, but had parked their follow car on the street as well.  This effectively blocked out the Nonna’s, who had helped find that spot in the first place!  Then, MGG slashed the prices on all their food so they could leave early.  I was unaware that there was a prize for first done.  Apparently, there is, it’s called being in the bottom two.

I was actually sad to see the Aussies go home this week.  They really did work hard this time, and were getting the hang of things, and doing things better.  MGG on the other hand, was very fortunate this week, because the margin between their sales was small, and if there were any other factors in elimination, they would have gone home for sure.

While I’m still going to watch, the new format hurts my heart for existing food trucks that could really benefit from the exposure.  I see a bunch on my way to and from work that I’d love to know more about including: Dorothy Moon Burgers, AZN Eats, Tasty Kabob, and What the Pho.  I wonder what those hard working DC food trucks could do with some extra exposure?

Rating- 7

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4 thoughts on “TV Time: The Great Food Truck Race

  1. I love to watch the show. I was really sad to see the team Under The Crust go home first.
    I am rooting now for Nonna’s Kitchenette.

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