The Great Food Truck Race recap: Drink inspired recipes quench a thirst


In The Great Food Truck Race recap, the food trucks find that a flavorful drink isn’t just a thirst quencher. That drink can inspire their next signature dish.

In this week’s The Great Food Truck Race recap, the remaining food trucks are trying to find an oasis in Phoenix. While the dessert heat can be oppressive, a few tricks can keep successful teams in the profit zone. But, which team was left with an unquenchable thirst in the dessert heat?

Now that the food trucks seem to understand the business side of a food truck, this week’s challenges focus on the food. Of course, sales will always determine which food truck leaves the competition. But, delicious food will drive those sales beyond just a single challenge.

In the first challenge, the teams had to do a blind taste test of popular Sonic drinks. Sometimes people don’t think that food truck operators have a great palate. Most food trucks have talented chefs behind those decadent menu items.

In any restaurant, even a mobile food truck, the chefs need a good palate. If you can’t taste the different ingredients in a dish, how can you tell if the food goes together? This particular taste test was hard because the teams were blindfolded. Without one of their senses, tasting becomes more difficult.

Interior of truck as Mobile Moo Shu team members prepare food for customers in Phoenix, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, Season 9. photo provided by Food Network

While most of the teams did ok, Mobile Moo Shu won, again. This food truck seems to have a strong hold on this season’s competition. They have been consistently in the lead.

For winning this blind taste test challenge in this The Food Truck Race Recap, Mobile Moo Shu was able to pick their Sonic drink. That drink’s flavors will be incorporated into a special savory dish. Being able to choose the drink should give Mobile Moo Shu an advantage.

The other teams had their drinks assigned. While no one really had a drink with crazy flavors (no the pickle slushie wasn’t an option), one team really struggled. Just Wing It created a wing dish that was just too sweet. Also, they completely overlooked the lemon in the strawberry lemonade. This food truck showed their inexperienced palates in this dish.

Chop’s Shop writes the menu to sell food in the streets of Phoenix, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, Season 9. photo provided by Food Network

The top two teams in the savory/drink inspired dishes were Mobile Moo Shu and Chop Shop. After being almost eliminated in previous episodes, Chop Shop has started to find their groove. In this challenge, Chop Shop’s cherry lime infused chicken tacos were smart. The brightness of the fruit complemented the chicken perfectly. In a shocking turn of events, Chop Shop beat Mobile Moo Shu.

One thing about this Sonic drink challenge, it wasn’t clear what Chop Shop won. I don’t recall Tyler saying that the food truck received extra money or an advantage. Did anyone see what Chop Shop won, other than bragging rights?

Overall, this episode was a little strange. First, Buns N Thighs has only one team member. It seems difficult, almost impossible, for one person to cook and sell on a food truck. In this competition, it is unheard of. I give this food truck a lot of credit for sticking it out. Maybe they didn’t think that the team would make it beyond the first week. Still, the scenario is a little strange.

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  • Also, this week two food trucks got stopped by the cops. Both Mobile Moo Shu and Just Wing It were parked in an illegal food truck zone. Just as they began to sell both food trucks had to close down and move. Could this wrinkle cause either truck to be sent home this week?

    It was curious that social media mentions were more prevalent this episode. While social media is extremely helpful for these food trucks to get exposure, it was funny that one team was using it to spy on another. Just Wing It was kind of trolling Mobile Moo Shu. Although it is a competition, the spying situation seems a little sketchy. Personally, it makes me dislike Just Wing It. If that food truck can’t succeed without “spying” for a better selling location, maybe they should re-think running a food truck.

    This week’s episode saw a little shake-up in the standings. It looks like the teams listened to both the food and selling advice from last week’s episode. Better menu choices, smart pricing and prime location helped to better the overall profits.

    For the first time, New England Grill placed first. This week, this team found success with their classic New England dishes. The fish and chips and lobster fritters seem to have found an audience. While I don’t understand the sausage and peppers, the fish dishes seem to be their sweet spot.

    Even with their police shut down, Mobile Moo Shu took second place. There is something about their cuisine that appeals to a large audience. Plus, this team is getting savvy with their pricing.

    Understanding how much guests are willing to pay for certain dishes is key. Also, it seems like this food truck offers half-orders. This idea can really help sales.

    In a huge surprise, Chop Shop’s delicious food propelled them into third place. This food truck really excels with flavor. Luckily, they were able to find a great selling location this week. Hopefully, this truck can continue the momentum.

    Host Tyler Florence, prepares his lines before the elimination, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, Season 9. photo provided by Food Network

    The bottom two food trucks were Just Wing It and Buns N’ Thighs. While the final till count determines who goes home, I wish that there was a different option. First, there is no way that one person can run a food truck in this competition. It’s not really a possibility.

    On the other hand, I don’t think that Just Wing It is doing a good job. Sure, the former Worst Cooks in America alumni have some cooking knowledge. But, some of their dishes (like the Sonic challenge) aren’t tasty (did you see Tyler’s face when he ate those wings?)

    Since the elimination is based just on profits, Just Wing It survived to cook another day. Personally, I would have liked Buns N’ Thighs to continue in the competition. Unfortunately, the one-man team isn’t going to be able to work effectively.

    The biggest take away from The Great Food Truck Race recap is that the food trucks were all relatively close in sales. Overall the top three teams were less than $50 apart. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues into next week. My guess is that it will.

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    Next week, the food trucks head off to Yuma, Arizona. Did your favorite food truck survive this week’s The Great Food Truck Race recap? Who do you think will win it all?