Earlier in the summer, I had tried watching The Next Food Network Star. For years, I’d watched the show, but this year, found it lacking—the contestants were not up to the caliber of a food show; most would have been better suited to one of those trashy “housewives” shows or maybe an MTV reality show.
So, when I heard they were doing another Great Food Truck Race, I was a little wary.
Last year, I loved the Food Truck Race competition. The premise is simple—they start out with a bunch of trucks and drive cross country, stopping in cities along the way. The trucks are all given a set amount of money for each place, and must only spend that money (and what they then earn) on supplies and such for that particular stop. There are challenges as well—cooking challenges or otherwise.
Last year, I loved two of the trucks—the Nom Nom Food Truck and one called Grill ‘Em All, run by a bunch of metalheads, and specializing in burgers that I really, really want to try someday. Well, I lucked out in my picks for favorites—Nom Nom won all of the individual challenges at each city, and then Grill ‘Em All won the final, overall challenge. Woohoo!
I missed the premier of this year’s competition, but watched it On Demand the other night. I was hoping they wouldn’t have turned it into the cruddy dramafest that Food Network Star had become. I was pleased to find that they hadn’t! It has the same feel as last year’s. I’m not sure who I’m rooting for this time around—none of the trucks jumped out quite as much as last year’s—but there are some good competitors.
The first episode, they stopped in Las Vegas. Some of the trucks joined up, as they tend to sometimes, and formed little “selling circles” so that they did well. Other trucks were fiercely rivaling one another. In the end, the results were pretty expected.
A neat new addition to the show this year, though, was the “Speedbump Challenge.” Tyler Florence, the host, spun a wheel that determined which horrible thing the trucks had to deal with—it could be anything from getting the truck towed to popping tires to having no power. Well, they got hit with “No Propane”. All the trucks seemed to do ok and make it work—some had grills that stayed hot anyway, some had other methods of cooking, some bartered for grill space on nearby restaurants or other trucks. It was neat to see how all of them dealt with the challenge.
I’ll keep watching this one. I’m content that the quality of the show is still where it was last year, and it should be an entertaining cross-country ride with these trucks.
Anyone else watching?