This week’s episode of the Great Food Truck Race brought the seven remaining food truck contestants to Flagstaff, Arizona. This season is using a new format where instead of the contestants being established food truck owners, each of the eight sets of contestants are novices with absolutely no food truck experience. In fact, some of the competitors have no professional cooking experience at all. Consequently, along with a $50,000 prize, the winning team of this season will be given a brand new food truck to help them start their business.
The Coast of Atlanta team made plans perform with more consistency and with more speed this week. The Pizza Mike truck made some changes their menu due to the fact they don’t have an oven iin the truck as well as the idea to work with fewer ingredients to make it easier to compete. Momma’s Grizzly Grubs came up with the idea to team up with other trucks to create a truck event to attract more customers. They partnered up with Nonna’s Kitchen and Seoul Sausage. Staying away from the main group, Pop-A-Waffle had serious discussions about their menu pricing and choose to stick close to the Costco where they stocked their truck.
While in Flagstaff, each team must first shop for product and ingredients. To adapt to Flagstaff customers, contestants are encouraged to look at both their menu and prices. For the weekend, each truck was given $400 as seed money. Unlike last week, the competitors only had to spend this seed money on menu ingredients instead of also stocking the truck with the miscellaneous cooking tools their cuisines require.
Early on, Nonna’s Kitchen got ahead by calling a friend who lives in Flagstaff to grab a them a parking spot in the downtown area. While shopping, Pop-a-Waffle notices large crowds at the Costco they are shopping at and asks if they can park in the lot. They are given approval and thus are able to get started quickly. Coast of Atlanta chooses to park their truck at a Kite Festival. Due to license requirements, they are turned away. With no backup plan, they drive around town looking for a viable parking space. To their surprise, a woman stops their truck and invites them to park at a lot just off Route 66.
On day one in Flagstaff, Seoul Sausage created flaming sausage balls which drew plenty of customers to their service window. Pizza Mike followed their plan of creating a simple, grilled pizza out of flatbread. Only the toppings would be changed. The Barbie Babes chose to sell their Auggie burger which they priced at $8.
Early in the day, contestants were called with their first speed bump challenge of the weekend. The challenge was to incorporate cactus into a special recipe. Food Network’s Beau MacMillan was sent to each truck to evaluate the creative use of cactus in their dishes. The winner of this challenge was given immunity. Although the chef enjoyed both Seoul Sausage and Pop-a-Waffles dishes the most, he chose to award immunity to Pop-a-Waffle.
Tempers did flare up throughout this episode. First, the Coast of Atlanta jumped ahead of other teams to use a much needed water hose at the beginning of the day. Next, Momma’s Grizzly Grub who had teamed with Nonna’s Kitchen on day one reneged this partnership by not saving them a parking spot on day two, even if it was an area that Nonna’s had originally found. This left the ladies of Nonna’s Kitchen furious.
Before getting started the second day, the teams receive their next speed bump challenge. The challenge is they will have to create an all vegan menu, which meant no milk, eggs or meat products, and sell only these dishes for the day. Even though this took many teams by surprise, most of them made simple changes to their regular items and rolled with this punch. In fact, Momma’s Grizzly Grub sold out early, and rather than running back to the grocery store to reload, they packed up for the day.
At elimination, Seoul Sausage once again comes out at the top earners list. They were followed by Pizza Mike’s. In third place is Nonna’s Kitchen, and Coast of Atlanta a close fourth. Momma’s Grizzly Grub takes fifth and Barbie Babes sixth. Pop-a-Waffle desperately needed their immunity being they came in last this week. Consequently, the Barbie Babes were sent home.
Next week’s program continues to take the competitors East as the contestants head to Amarillo, Texas.