Great Food Truck Race finale recap: Winning food truck is….


From New Orleans to Savannah, only one food truck won the Battle for the South in the Great Food Truck Race finale. Braised in the South versus Mr. Po Boys is an epic battle.

It comes down to the final city, Savannah. Two food trucks were poised to win the big prize of $50,000 in the Great Food Truck Race finale. Braised in the South, with its Southern inspired food, versus Mr. Po Boys, with its versions of po boys, fought hard to achieve their goal. But, only one food truck could win.

Savannah was the final stop in the Great Food Truck Race Battle for the South. The final city should have been a great location for a food truck battle. Savannah has many well-known restaurants, like Paula Deen’s Lady and her Sons. Also, Savannah is a foodie city. The residents and vacationers look for new, exciting food choices.

Great Food Truck Race finale, photo from Food Network

Even though viewer might actually want to watch these food trucks cook food, the show needs a few twists and turns to keep everyone watching. The two day finale stop started with another twist, a pedicab challenge. The two food trucks had to sell as much as they could from a pedicab in an hour.

The pedicab challenge was amusing, but it had a real purpose. Away from the food truck, the teams had to think of a fast and convenient way to sell the most food. Braised in the South sold tacos. The pre-made tacos were fast, convenient and easy to sell. Already wrapped and ready to go, Braised in the South could sell and move quite quickly.

Great Food Truck Race recap, photo from Food Network

Unfortunately, Mr. Po Boys chose to make po boys to order. While the sandwiches would taste better, the process was more time consuming. Making each sandwich to order meant that their sales could be lower.

Since this challenge was about speed, convenience and selling, Braised in the South won the pedicab challenge. He prize for winning was an extra $500 towards their final sales total.

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The final day of the Great Food Truck Race brought another twist. Savannah is known for its fresh caught seafood. During the final day, the food trucks would have three fresh catch specials based on a secret fish ingredient. As the trucks moved locations, they would have a new “menu special” to add.

With the secret ingredient challenge, the food trucks should have been even. Mr. Po Boys had won most of the taste challenges during the season. But, their head chef is allergic to seafood. If you can’t taste your dish, the dish might not be the best. Still, Mr. Po Boys could have done well.

Great Food Truck Race finale, photo from Food Network

The three secret ingredients were shrimp, scallops and clams. The shrimp would be an even draw between the two food trucks. A shrimp po boy is a classic Southern dish. Crispy fried shrimp with a spicy remoulade on top of French bread is always a favorite.

But, Braised in the South knows how to cook, too. While I wouldn’t have chosen a shrimp taco, it was easy and quick to cook. Sometimes, the challenge is less about the sophisticated flavors and plate and more about the ability to move food out.

The second secret seafood ingredient was scallops. Hands down, Braised in the South had this challenge nailed. Their scallops served over grits with onion relish would be a winner. The scallops were beautifully caramelized. The scallops paired extremely well with the creamy grits and the onions added some brightness.

Great Food Truck Race finale, photo from Food Network

Mr. Po Boys struggled with the scallops. Again, they served a scallop po boy. While it makes sense that they continuous go back to their strong suit, the delicate scallops could have benefited from a different dish. Still, people lined up to eat these sandwiches.

The final seafood secret ingredient was clams. Clams were a definite curve ball. Not only are clams hard to open, they can be a hard ingredient to use in a dish. Braised in the South was smart with this seafood ingredient. Since each food truck only had 12 clams, Braised in the South created an appetizer. The dish maximized the limited number of clams and created a big profit margin. It was smart business.

If you didn’t guess already, Mr. Po Boys created a fried clam po boy. I’m sure that this po boy is one of the best sandwiches around. And, yes, fried clams on a po boy is a traditional choice. Still, I wanted to see something more from that food truck.

Great Food Truck Race finale, photo from Food Network

Although it wasn’t announced immediately which food truck won the secret seafood ingredient challenge, my money was on Braised in the South. They made smart decisions on the seafood specials. Plus, selling challenges all season have gone in their favor.

After two days of selling in Savannah, only one food truck would be crowned the winner. As the two food trucks stand in front of silver briefcases, only one briefcase would have the $50,000. Truthfully, the two extra money challenges would make a huge difference in the final outcome.

Braised in the South won the Great Food Truck Race Battle for the South. They won both extra money challenges, which put their sales totals $1,000 ahead. That type of lead is almost insurmountable.

Truthfully, Braised in the South should have won the Great Food Truck Race finale. Food trucks are part delicious food and part experience. The three professional chefs know how to cook food. But, their food isn’t necessarily something that you get at any food truck or restaurant. They offer a Southern inspired twist on the classic. The idea is that eating their food is a unique food experience. They are connecting with their patrons on a different level.
Great Food Truck Race recap photo from Food Network
Mr. Po Boys seems to have a great po boy with bold flavors. But, they didn’t seem to have a connection with their patrons. While I’m sure that this truck has and will have a loyal fan base, they didn’t seem to cross over to the experience level. Once Mr. Po Boys creates that connection, the food truck will be even more successful.

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The Great Food Truck Race finale is over and so is the Battle for the South. Food trucks are still as popular as ever. Just take a look around your area for all the food truck options. From festivals to food truck rallies, a food truck even might offer some of the best food around.

Do you have a favorite food truck or have a great idea for a food truck? Share your thoughts below or tag us at #FoodSided with your ideas.