Oh, man…all hell broke loose this week in Memphis. Were you as shocked by the stupidity as I was??? But let’s not jump ahead. This is Memphis, after all. One of my favorite places in the country!
For the culture, naturally
We are down to the final four and I’m not really shocked by who is left. Spoiler Alert—this would have been a hell of a week for Seabirds! All four teams are heading toward Memphis and discussing strategy. Roxy’s talks about how Memphis is more spread out and not very densely populated, so like Vegas, they’re going to have to hustle to find customers. For Korilla, going to the BBQ city simply means they’re going to introduce a different kind of BBQ to Memphis.
As for Hodge Podge, once Jacquelyn gets over her amazement at the mighty Mississippi, they decide that can’t do the same thing for which Memphis is known. They have to do something different. Meanwhile, The Lime Truck decides to hook up once again with Hodge Podge, theorizing that people will gather where there is more than one food truck, but The Lime Truck will come out on top because their food is better. Of course it is. Thanks for the reminder.
Tyler greets them and goes right into this week’s Truck Stop. The teams have to make their own BBQ sauce with the ingredients provided, but what is good BBQ sauce without meat?? (sidenote: garlic bread and BBQ sauce—mmmm…) They have to first run to the famous Rendezvous Restaurant and grab a 100lb hog. I’m going to go on record right here and say that I’ve eaten at Rendezvous a number of times. If there is a long wait, you really must get the cheese/sausage plate while you’re waiting. Second thing I’ll say about this—there are better BBQ restaurants in Memphis, but Rendezvous is pretty good. Just not the best. Okay, so there is a lot of hauling hogs and for the faint of heart (and stomach), the butchering wasn’t too pretty.
“Babe 3: After Hollywood”
The teams get a whopping 3 1/2 hours for the challenge. The Lime Truck tells us you would actually need a full 8 hours to properly cook the pork.
Six hours for tenderizing and cooking and two hours of being arrogant. The perfect recipe!
While everyone else is looking for smaller, easier dishes to cook. Hodge Podge is sticking to their massive portions rule. Korilla, since they don’t have the time to slow cook the pork to make it tender, they are using a marinade to flavor the meat. In fact, it is a 500 year old recipe.
The 499 year old recipe just sucks. Trust me.
Roxy’s is doing good old fashioned Memphis style BBQ—not a lot of heat. The teams all put together their dishes and the judge for this week is Jim Neely, owner of Interstate BBQ.
His take on the dishes:
Roxy’s–cooked well; needed more seasoning.
Lime truck–too much cumin.
Hodge Podge–The sauce is overbearing. He compares it to too much make-up on a woman.
Korilla–They did them two ways–korean and memphis style. Jim tells them the Memphis style wasn’t done the way it should have been. The piece of meat was too thick.
And the winner is…Roxy’s! They get their original seed money of $500.00 plus an additional $500.00 for ingredients.
Looks like my 5 minute marinade worked out great!
But the bigger advantage? They get to start moving right now buying, cooking and selling and the other teams have to finish breaking down the pigs. That meat will be donated to a local food banks. Awww, reality TV with a heart! Chris from Hodge Podge does most of the work as he butchers quickly.
So, Roxy’s basically gets a two hour head start. James from Roxy’s heads straight to Corky’s BBQ for their supplies. His Mom grew up with the owner’s wife and they can buy all of their supplies from them.
Hey and if anybody asks, you’re just buying meat, mkay??? Ixnay on the eedway..
They head towards Beale Street. They are prepping and their menu consists of a pulled pork sandwich and an apple and walnut cheese sandwich. Chris from Hodge Podge is calling his friend Peter over at the Majestic Grille and they’ll base their menu on what they can shop for at the restaurant. Korilla is looking for a grocer who will deliver. Once the other teams get going, Hodge Podge and The Lime Truck park outside restaurants and Korilla heads toward Beale and ultimately, near Roxy’s. Despite Roxy’s head start, Hodge Podge opens up first.
Channeling the Seabirds. Slow and steady wins loses the race.
Lime truck wants to park by another restaurant called Blue Fin and they buy their stuff from them. Okay, I’ve done my job by mentioning all of these places by name. I’ll be looking for my check. Hodge Podge is doing a variety of tacos. Ribeye, fish, chicken…
Spam, lettuce, coffee, shrimp, cracker, beef jerky…
Thanks, Hodge Gump! Korilla is at Handy Park and they immediately realize it is not the best location.
Open to terrific fanfare and palpable excitement
For the first time in the competition, they are struggling to get customers. The other teams seem to be doing much better. Roxy’s has a decent line and their just pushing out the sandwiches. So, now that things are going so well…it is time for the Speed Bump!
Well, I’m wearing orange, why?
This week’s Speed Bump: Go vegetarian! (awwww….we miss you Seabirds…kind of…in a really slow way). Roxy’s adapts quickly by taking the pork off their sandwiches and using mushrooms. And we can all hope they’re not the same ones from Denver. The Lime Truck tells us they can can do vegetarian in their sleep and have no problem switching over but Korilla and Hodge Podge need new supplies. Korilla gets Tofu delivered for their tacos. Chris from Hodge Podge swears he can do better grilled cheese than Roxy’s but he is a meat guy. The only veggies on his truck are french fries and COLD slaw.
What aisle is “cold” in exactly?
While he’s shopping, Roxy’s is turning out sandwiches faster than ever. Once Hodge Podge gets back, they check out Roxy’s prices and go a little lower. They even write on their menu board “Better Than Roxy’s”. LOL . Of course Roxy’s goes over there and says an 8 dollar grilled cheese on wonder bread and using processed cheese??? Bigger LOL. And he says it really loud in front of the crowd.
But of course this random drunk tells Hodge Podge that Roxy’s has got it going on.
I’m so drunk right now, I would eat these sunglasses. Or make love with them. Wait, where am I?
Korilla is explaining their tofu approach which is no marinade. Which sounds absolutely delightful!
Or a big slab of meat on it…Just sayin’
The next (rainy) day, Hodge Podge is selling quesadillas and fried avacado and grilled cheese next to a yogurt shop. Korilla is still pushing their Tofu right across the street. Roxy’s is selling apple walnut grilled cheese in the Arts District in Midtown. And The Lime Truck is back downtown with a red curry quesadilla and grilled asparagus. And dun! dun! dun!…the phone rings again! Screen those calls, people—it is never good news!!! But this time, it really could be! Tyler tells the teams a food critic/blogger will be coming around to each of their trucks to sample their food. His “name” is the Chubby Vegetarian. Whoever has the best dish wins…IMMUNITY! Holy (not using) cow, with only four teams left that is absolutely huge.
Mr. Destiny. For one team. And if that is chubby, I’m a house.
And here is his critique in a nutshell: He thinks Korilla went too simple. As far as Hodge Podge, he likes the slaw (because it is COLD) but the BBQ sauce is not Memphis, it is Carolina BBQ sauce. The distinction between the two is the mustard used in it. He makes it sound like a suicide bomber will go after their truck for their mustard usage, so our chubby dude can be a little dramatic. For The Lime Truck, he likes theirs and The Lime Truck reminds us they are the only ones who still care what their food tastes like. Because we’ve gone a whole 30 seconds without hearing about their mad skills. Roxy’s has a nice sandwich with melted cheese, truffle oil and butter. But for $9.00 a sandwich, it better be good.
Proud $9.00 owners.
Meanwhile, Korilla is struggling.
So, what kind of meat is Tofu exactly?
Customers are telling The Lime Truck to go to Overton Park where there is a free concert. Hodge Podge is heading there too.
Giving the park a lawn job is a great way to drum up business, nature haters!
There’s no one there and they are both doing poorly. Jacqueline from Hodge Podge decides to go to the actual concert and ask audience members for orders. Not a bad strategy as she makes 66 dollars. And now Korilla is there too. They’re all sucking and they we find out Hodge Podge has been without electricity all day and it is getting dark. Shockingly, Chris doesn’t lose his mind and start yelling at his teammates.
I’m so proud of you for not beating the women. Today.
He just pushes through. Don’t tell me this yahoo is actually growing on me. With an hour left, Hodge Podge heads back to yogurt shop. They’re offering free t-shirts and doing everything they can to drum up business. I say a lot of things about this team (mainly Chris), but I have to admit, they really never give up.
Elimination: Tyler tells the group this is going to be ugly. But first, he wants to announce the truck who won immunity, based on the critic/blogger. The Lime Truck wins! So, they are in the final three. Then Tyler gives the bad news. One of the teams cheated. After much dramatic tension-filled pausing, he announces Korilla BBQ is kicked out of the competition for putting their own money in with the truck’s profits, which is a clear violation of the rules. It was such a dumb play on their part, I was stunned. And it wasn’t like it was a couple of hundred dollars—it was $2900.00! They’ve played so intelligently this whole game and to throw away the race (and their reputation) was really just a shame.
Tyler’s “I’m disappointed in you like a father would be” face.
Korilla’s “Yeah, we’re dumbasses” face(s).
The Lime Truck’s “And I thought we were the slimy ones” face.
The pig’s “And I’m the one who gets butchered” face
So had Korilla not cheated, they would have been safe and Hodge Podge would have gone home. Roxy’s came out on top, but their long awaited win was tarnished by the cheating. Bummer.
Memphis is really a fun town (for non-Big Ass Beer drinkers too!) and I don’t think this episode did a lot for it. Granted, it was raining, but the city could have really been spotlighted better. It made Manhattan, Kansas look even more fun!
So, were you shocked? Is Korilla’s reputation permanently destroyed?
Next week, we’re in Atlanta! (I REFUSE to call it “Hotlanta”). Thanks for joining me!