Miami welcomed both teams (or rather their food) with open arms and hungry mouths. Both teams had to earn $15,000 and then race to the beach where the prize awaited.
The first surprise that show host Tyler Florence struck the teams with was to send them off without an initial truck stop like they were used to. This threw the Lime Truck off as they had not done their homework on sales places or food vendors.
But that wasn’t all. Tyler had multiple wrenches to throw in this time. On the first day, Tyler hit the teams with their first speed bump: Being towed. The cost to get their truck back was $200, which could be earned by selling on the sidewalk. Chris of Hodge Podge jumped on the team’s Jetta and started selling and slinging sashimi at customers, while The Lime Truck tried to be tricky with $14 sales on how a few Californian chefs do mussels.
The Lime Truck’s lessons didn’t pay off as quickly as Hodge Podge sold food, and Chris and his crew had their truck back before you knew it, with Lime Truck not too far behind. Night was coming up, and I turned and asked a person who had spent considerable time in Miami how late the bars stayed open.
Apparently, some go as late as 6 am. I could only imagine how many customers both teams were forced to miss.
This meant that the trucks could have been selling food all through the night. Instead, rather than risk the contestants burning themselves out cooking through the night, Tyler called with the next truck stop. His orders? Get some sleep, be at the pier bright and early in the morning for a fishing trip. But before sending them off, Tyler alerted both teams that the difference in sales was $176. Thus far, it was a very close race.
Hodge Podge pulled themselves up a large Mackerel while the Lime Truck dragged three fish from the Atlantic. The cook-off resulted in two dishes, a lighter fare by the Lime Truck, and a Mackerel steak by Hodge Podge. But Chris’ meal was too heavy on ingredients, and the award went to Lime Truck: $1,500, a full 10% of what they needed.
Both teams pounded the streets and stuffed their cash boxes until, once again, Tyler hit them with a speed bump towards the night. Only this time, it was a two part handicap. The first part? Shut down for the night. The second? In the morning, they had to be a dessert truck for two hours.
Hodge Podge opened that morning near a factory full of hungry workers and sold a basic but wide fare of berries and chocolate pies for a whopping $35 a pop. The Lime Truck stuck to their style of breakfast food, and on that morning, both teams trickled past the $15,000 mark.
Rubber was burnt, both tires and sneakers, as the two teams rushed to the beach finish line where Tyler waited. By a difference of roughly five minutes (or so Jason Quinn guessed), The Lime Truck arrived out of breath and in luck, taking home the money and victory.
Congratulations are due to the Lime Truck for an astounding job and a respectable nod to Hodge Podge for holding on as hard as they did. If my calculations are correct based on the timing, Hodge Podge actually did better in sales by a thin margin given that the Lime Truck had a 10% advantage thanks to the cooking challenge. Which meant that if the Lime Truck had not won that truck stop, or if the amount was less or the event never occurred, Hodge Podge could have been the winner.
I have to feel a little frustrated that Tyler took control of the night away from the teams. Bars that go late night mean a steady stream of hungry customers, often times with eyes bigger than their stomach, and BAC larger than their sense of budget. I guess I could understand the concern Tyler might feel for what these teams would do to themselves if they were allowed to stay up too late, but perhaps he could have forced them to wait until night in one challenge?
Check out the entry on The Great Food Truck Race’s blog for more details and vote your feelings on the matter. Personally? Although I am disappointed my team didn’t win, the Lime Truck deserved victory. They cooked hard, sold hard and worked hard. I won’t deny that they’re arrogant, but they walked the walk as well as talked the talk.
And the results speak for themselves.