For an hour-long show (has it always been an hour long?), last night's premiere of the second season of The Great Food Truck Race whizzed by like those sponsored VW pace cars. As you may already be aware, OC's born and bred luxe loncheras, Seabirds and The Lime Truck, are two of the eight teams competing for this season's $100,000 grand prize. After a pre-race introduction in Malibu, Tyler Florence announced that to be fair to everyone who isn't LA-based, the first city they'd start selling wouldn't actually be LA but Las Vegas.
And so begins the season. Here are a few highlights.
At the top of the show, The Lime Truck's Daniel Shemtob establishes himself as the showman and comedian. "The recipe for The Lime Truck is simple: One part classically trained chef," he says pointing to fellow Limer, Jesse Brockman. "Two parts unorthodox mastermind," he says pointing to Jason Quinn. "Third part," he deadpans while staring seductively into the camera, "ridiculously good looks."
On the way to Vegas, The Lime Truck's Jason Quinn calls The Slider Truck, one of the more popular Vegas food trucks, and seals a partnership. "Food Truck 101, when you partner up with other trucks," Quinn says, "you get more people there, the more people there, the more money you make." But what he does next shows that he's as much a gentleman as he is a savvy food trucker. He calls Stephanie Morgan of Seabirds and invites them to join in on the meet up. The demonstration of OC solidarity made this writer, who interviewed both chefs last year before they got all famous and stuff (read it here and here), tear up a little.
Meanwhile, other competitors are also teaming up with Las Vegas local trucks. The Korilla Truck, with its Korean/Mexican New York-bred food, partners up with Fuku Burgers and camps out in Chinatown. At the back of the pack, Sky's Gourmet Tacos end up busting a tire before they're even halfway to Vegas and are forced to use some of their precious $500 seed money to replace it. Their bit of bad luck dominoes from there. In Vegas, they show up at a park which has no people. They manage to eek by when they stumble into The Korilla Truck spot uninvited and set up shop next to them.
This was a typical occurence in this episode. And of course, things get all messy and testy when trucks begin infringing on other truck's staked-out spots. Perhaps the worst incident was when Roxy's Grilled Cheese became cheesed that The Lime Truck beat them to a food truck spot they thought was promised to them and only them. They showed their dissatisfaction by parking the Roxy pace car right in front of The Lime Truck's serving area, intentionally blocking them, sparking a verbal confrontation and establishing a bitter rivalry sure to last a few more episodes. "They're not The Lime Truck, they're The Slime Truck," one of them sneers, "A bunch of goofballs wearing slimy headbands."
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In the meantime, The Hodge Podge truck thinks they've hit the motherlode when they come upon a church gathering at the Thomas & Mack Center with potentially tens of thousands of customers...except no one coming out is much interested in eating.
A new show gimmick called The Speed Bump has host Tyler Florence introducing a wheel of misfortune with several prescribed calamaties ranging from losing a man to being towed. The needle lands on no propane. The Seabirds gals are ectastic because they've got a raw vegan chef onboard. But it's on the Hodge Podge truck that the predicament produces the funniest lines of the whole episode. Jacquelyn, who is the Hodge Podge chef's girlfriend, is shown initially celebrating. She thinks this simply means they can fry everything. She pouts when he explains "Can't use the fryer. It runs off propane!" But her best line comes soon after that. When he suggests they can do a steak tartare, she says almost bewildered, "What's a steak tartare?"
In the end, the Boston bullies of Roxy's narrowly avoid being eliminated as the 7th place finisher (it's Sky's Gourmet Tacos who goes home, mumbling that they were beaten by young people), and The Lime Truck prevails as the number one earner.