Tonight’s Food Network episode of “The Great Food Truck Race” starring Tyler Florence was titled “About-Face in Face in South Dakota.”
With three teams left to battle it out, they are vying for their ultimate food truck plus $50,000 in seed money. The teams now consist of:
- Aloha Plate represented by brothers Lanai and Adam and their close buddy Shawn are three guys from a remote island in Hawaii who grew up poor. When Adam saw a man drowning in the ocean, he swam out and saved him. For his gratitude, the man sent Adam to culinary school. He then went on to work in some of the most famous restaurants in Hawaii.
- Philly’s Finest Sambonis are Erik, Joe and Chris, childhood friends who profess the love of cheese, meat and greatness. Erik was earning a good living as an electrician, but a devastating car accident ended his career and left him with herniated disks and nerve damage in his entire body. Now these guys want to make Philadelphia proud with their Sambonis, which are sandwiches too good to call just sandwiches.
- Tikka Tikka Taco from St. Louis, Mo. are brothers Mike and Shawn and their Uncle Sam want to bring Indian food to the masses.
The teams are still at three and tonight is the grand finale. After last week’s preliminary round, Tikka Tikka Taco won a five-hour head start to Annapolis, Md. For their five-hour wait, the two remaining teams had to clean the kitchen at Mike Ditka’s restaurant.
Tikka made it to the yacht club at Annapolis and were selling lots of food. By the time the other two teams arrived, they were ready to sell. When the Philly truck arrives, their friends and family were waiting for them to arrive. The Aloha truck found a Polynesian community ready to enjoy their fare.
Tyler phoned the next day to announce their first challenge. They had to drive to Kent Island where they will be cooking crab in the middle of crab country. They are not allowed to shop, and must use whatever they have left on the trucks. The prize will most certainly be a game changer.
When they arrived on Kent Island, Tyler announced that they were not cooking anything but fresh crabs. Three boats were waiting to take them out on the Chesapeake Bay. They had just two hours to pull two crab pots, then cook a spectacular dish. The challenge is a taste test, and the winner will be rewarded handsomely, with $1,500 in their till.
The judge was Jamar L. Hargress, Sr. a culinary specialist first class in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Annapolis. He cooks for thousands of midshipmen each day. Aloha Plate won the taste test and the $1,500, narrowing the field. However, Tyler had to announce that one team would be leaving the competition. Tikka was the winner and the second-place truck was Aloha Plate, thanks to the $1,500. If Philly had won, they would have been in second place, instead of driving home.
Now the two remaining teams had to drive to the next leg in Arlington, Va. The Aloha truck was attracting a crowd, but the Tikka truck needed to find more people; so they parked near Aloha, who had an awesome welcome from the Hawaiian locals. They had the best day ever and sold out of everything. Tikka did not fare well this time and felt that any lead they had disappeared.
Finally, Tyler called. The race did not end yet, and each team had to honor their competition. Aloha had to make a Tikka Taco and Tikka had to do a teriyaki burger. The first team to sell fifty of their competitor’s fare would win $1,200. Aloha sold the fifty specials, and the call came in from Tyler to meet them at the Capitol Building.
The teams traveled over four thousand miles, and the journey has come to an end after seven weeks. Tyler counted each till and wrote it in a book. At the end of the competition the winner of the $50,000 and their own food truck was Aloha Plate with $14,850, over $3,000 more than Tikka. But Sean of the Tikka truck served his country for four years, and one of his buddies did not make it home, so they are donating $2,500 to the Fallen Patriot Fund in the name of his friend Sgt. Jeremy Summers. Although they did not win the truck, Tyler knows that soon there will be a Tikka Tikka Taco truck in St. Louis, and they agree.
The Aloha Plate guys were thrilled that they won the hardest battle one can imagine. All teams in this race were true warriors and there was no animosity displayed by any teams. They are all to be congratulated for their sportsmanship, with a big hooray for Aloha Plate.
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