It is finale time! First of all, thanks to all of you who have read and those of you who have commented. Recapping is such a more enjoyable experience with your involvement. Okay, enough of the soft stuff. We have a lot to cover! Who will win? The underdog Hodge Podge or the perceived frontrunner The Lime Truck? Let’s get rollin’!!
Get your own GD lines, woman (and your own plaid/flannel)!
First we have to revisit all the teams who have not made it to the finale.
Not really. Let’s discuss who has a chance to win this thing and the grand prize of $100,000. Tyler tells us The Lime Truck has been humbled on this journey and Chris Hodge has also learned some humility. You know…that should really be the game right there. Take anyone who is arrogant in their field, like chefs or ball players or meth dealers and set them up to fail miserably. The Great Humble Race. And the winning team gets a big ol’ pie and a side of crow. Wow, already on a tangent. Sorry. As the trucks head toward Miami, they begin to talk about strategy. Jacqueline reminds us Hodge Podge has won exactly the same amount of challenges as The Lime Truck. The difference? They’ve been in the bottom more. The Lime Truck talks about trying to serve to the nightclub crowd and Jason doesn’t think comfort food won’t cut it in Miami, so they’ve got the advantage there. The teams meet up with Tyler.
And I’ll be your cruise director today.
When I saw that cruise ship, I was doing a little happy dance thinking their Truck Stop would be: Cook for 3000 sunburned tourists using only the spices on your truck, five dollars, a pixie stick and some dryer lint. Go luck! There are just not enough riots on these competition shows. Instead of an awesome challenge that would guarantee carnage, Tyler welcomes the teams and tells them they have traveled over 3500 miles. And that they have LITERALLY traveled from sea to shining sea.
“Your in box is LITERALLY filled with penises”.
If you’re not a Parks and Recreations fan, then my apologies. But you really should be. Tyler announces there is not a Truck Stop right now but there will be one during the competition. And the competition? The first team to raise $15,000 and meets him at South Point Park in South Beach wins the race. It could take 2 days; it could take a week. He reminds them to keep their phones handy as speed bumps (notice the pural!) will also be part of the final battle. Tyler gives them their seed money, which is $500.00 and they are off!
Chris and the girls head to Red Steak House where Chris knows the owner, who just happened to have been his first boss. Hugs all around and Chris is allowed to do all his shopping at the restaurant. Has there been a city where Chris did not know somebody to help him out? Since I’ve never tasted his food, I can’t really judge him based on his cooking skills, but damn that boy can network.
Take all my food, equipment, my grandma’s secret recipes, my youngest boy…
See? He’s pretty powerful. The Lime Truck is not having the same amount of networking luck, so they are heading to a market and just picking up ingredients. They plan on spending every dime. Now we see Chris meeting up with a buddy who has a food truck and they’re heading to a car lot. There are tons of trucks parked there and Chris and his team are stoked. They are going to go for higher margin items and focusing on gourmet tacos. The Lime Truck is heading to midtown Miami and hooking up with another food truck. They believe they have an advantage here because of the type of food they make.
Jacqueline is shaving truffles and laughingly says a month ago, she never would have been doing this. Honey, a week ago you said you were never even in that kitchen, so yay for progress! The Lime Truck is starting to build up a decent crowd, using the age old method of word of mouth.
She told two friends and so on and so on…
And ring-a-ding-a-ling…Tyler is calling with the first speed bump. Anyone else notice Tyler is always eating while making these calls? He’s like the Brad Pitt character in “Oceans 11”. This speed bump is a good one too. Each truck is about to be towed. The teams have five minutes to grab whatever they need out of the truck and try to sell food with whatever they grab. They have to earn $200.00 to get their truck out of the impound. HA! Now, that’s pretty creative. Chris decides to grab all of his high end ingredients to try to sell each dish at higher price and get their truck back faster. The Lime Truck decides to do cooking demonstrations. Um, okay…Hodge Podge is running sort of an auction with their dishes and they’re yelling at the crowd and it seems like they’re doing a decent business. Jason and Daniel are also trying to rally their crowd, but seem to be struggling. Chris is standing on top of his car and he tells us that people aren’t used to getting gourmet food and he KNOWS they’ve never gotten gourmet food off the top of a Jetta.
Speak for yourself. Ford Focus Foie Gras is huge in my town.
Hodge Podge has earned their $200.00 and they are now heading to get their truck. The Lime Truck has also succeeded and they are also good to go. Hodge Podge tells us they worked so quickly on their speed bump, the food in the truck is still hot. The Lime Truck is heading to Little Havana, which is close to a bunch of bars and huge tickets start coming in for them. Hodge Podge is selling like crazy also and then BAM! Ring-a-ding-a-ling…Tyler tells them it is time for the Truck Stop. They must finish their remaining tickets and close down their trucks. He tells them to get their rest—they’ll need it and to meet him at the marina at dawn. Both teams are bummed by this as they were both making a ton of money.
And it is the final Truck Stop of the season. Tyler tells the teams they are so close—separated right now by only $176.00. Wow. But for the Truck Stop challenge, they must find their ingredients for a dish in the ocean. They will be going out 5 miles into the ocean, deep sea fishing. They have to cook whatever they catch and the judge for their dish who is a local famous chef does not want to eat minnows.
Whatsa matta wit me??
Daniel from The Lime Truck is happy about this challenge because they do so much seafood. The teams have 30 minutes to fish, one hour to return and then 30 minutes to prepare their dish. They can also use whatever ingredients are in their truck and a table full of local ingredients is also available to them. Let’s go fishing!
Anyone else hoping they pull up a bag of Dexter victims?
They all catch fish and Catie is all excited, telling us she thought it took hours to fish. So, they all come back with their monster-size fish and start to get to work on their dishes. Jason from The Lime Truck wants to do something with a very clear presentation while Jesse wants to do a wrap, so they are actually doing both. Chris from Hodge Podge wants to do king Mackerel steaks, but he is freaking out because they have to be cooked perfectly. Chris describes his plating as a sexy woman who doesn’t need a lot of make-up. The teams are finished and we meet our guest judge, Michael Schwartz owner of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Restaurant. Tyler reminds the team the winning dish could make the entire difference in who wins the race. The Lime Truck sends up Jesse to present their dish and I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard this person utter a word in 7 weeks of watching this show. So I was excited.
We were so worried his tongue was mysteriously cut out before they ever even took off from California. Nice logo.
Judge Michael says their dish is well seasoned and well executed, but the downside is it is old fashioned. It is too 80’s and it is kind of a throwback. Chris Hodge goes to describe his dish and Michael tells him his fish is cooked perfectly. The negative part of his dish? Too many ingredients. He should have scaled it back.
I like my sexy women with NO make-up, mkay???
And the winner of the Truck Stop is…The Lime Truck! The prize: $1500.00 added to their total which is a HUGE advantage. They are absolutely pumped. Jason tells us they were behind by $176.00 and now Hodge Podge is the underdog again. I didn’t hear the part where Tyler said who was actually ahead by that small amount, but maybe I just missed that part. Tyler reminds the teams to keep their phones on again and shoos them away to go sell, sell, sell! Hodge Podge hooks up with Chris’ buddy Jeff Jeremiah, who owns a food truck and once again, there is a big crowd and already a line waiting for them. They get back to business. The Lime Truck heads near a brewery called Cervezas and they tell us they’ve had good luck being by breweries and bars that don’t serve food. Daniel is working the crowd, asking “You like gourmet food trucks??? Do you like gourmet food trucks?”
Do you like movies about gladiators?
Meanwhile, Hodge Podge feels this surge of business will help close the gap caused by the Truck Stop challenge and they are optimistic. The Lime Truck is also doing a good job when…ring ring!
Why haven’t you checked the children?
Seriously, that guy is always eating! I’m so jealous…The Speed Bump this time is another fun one. The trucks must close down immediately. And then when they open in the morning, it has to be a dessert truck for the first two hours. Do what you want, he says menacingly licking his ice cream cone, but make sure it is sweet. Oooh…never has a frozen dairy product been so intimidating. Catie from Hodge Podge is as excited as I’ve ever seen her. She tells us she is the unofficial pastry chef and is excited for desserts. Hodge Podge is currently at around $12,000 and The Lime Truck is a little over $13,000, so it is a tighter race than I thought it would be. The next morning, Chris tells us he wants to do three desserts on a plate for $10.00 per plate. The Lime Truck is going to do sweet breakfast items. They head to do their shopping at a local restaurant and Hodge Podge heads to a large produce market. Chris talks his way into being able to sell to the employees of the produce market who are soon going on break. Here’s hoping there are a lot of employees and they’re all in the mood for not one, but three desserts in the morning! The Lime Truck is also in a very good spot, so it could be anyone’s game.
We get fast scenes of selling and cooking and counting money. Both teams are freaking out to be this close to the big prize. They both hit the $15,000 mark and editing shows us Hodge Podge speeding toward Tyler and South Beach.
Um, guys? You might want to hug after you win…get driving!
Oh and it is all so very tense and Amazing Race-ish. Tyler is hanging out on the beach waiting and here comes what we think is the first to arrive…and it is The Lime Truck! Tyler messes with them for what seems like forever before finally telling them they are the winners. Much happiness abounds and then Hodge Podge arrives. Jacqueline sees the other team already there and face plants herself in the sand in despair. Hugs all around and Chris asks how long The Lime Truck has been there. They tell him five minutes. I really wonder if that is true. I’d love to know if it really came that close. Because if it was only five minutes, then Hodge Podge did an excellent job closing that $1500.00 gap from the challenge and they should be really proud of themselves. Granted, pride doesn’t exactly pay the bills…but still. Nice job by both teams.
And that is it! Maybe both trucks did learn a little humility…And maybe we learned something too…HAHAHAHAHA—or not. A great way to end what started as a mediocre season. Thanks again for joining me!