The Great Food Truck Race review: Daytona brings donuts, speed bumps and big changes


In this week’s The Great Food Truck Race, Daytona Beach didn’t have the food trucks diving in circles, but there were a few speed bumps in the road.

The food trucks revved their engines in this week’s The Great Food Truck Race. Between the iconic speedway and the world famous beach, Daytona proved to be a game changer for this Food Network competition.

Before any food truck started to cook, Sol Food Collective took a huge hit. Although they had already had a fender bender in the first episode, one of the food truck’s team members decided to leave the competition.

As seen in previous The Great Food Truck Race seasons, being down a team member can be extremely difficult. Even in this season, the food truck teams have struggled to get food out in a timely fashion. Given that Sol Food Collective has been a bottom team before, this change could have a huge impact on their position.

For the first challenge, the food trucks had to create a signature donut. While the racing reference was nice, the Daytona Beach donut shop, Donnie’s Donuts, is a must try for any foodie. The vintage, modern donuts are absolutely amazing.

The food trucks had to create a donut that was tasty and visually appealing. Points were awarded and the top food truck earned an advantage.

Looking at these donuts, it was surprising that everyone was making maple bacon donuts. It was as if no one really wanted to push the flavor component. Granted, maple bacon donuts are tasty, but there are so many more interesting flavor combinations.

Additionally surprising, how did these teams not know how to make a donut? Granted really good donuts take a while to perfect, but a basic donut recipe isn’t too difficult. It seems like these food trucks should have had a few more recipes in their back pocket.

Although not quite successful, Baby Got Mac stayed true to their brand. Their donut sandwich at least set them apart in the sea of sameness.

Winning the donut challenge was Brunch Babes. Their pineapple shaped, pina colada donut earned both the flavor and the visual contest.

By winning the challenge, the Brunch Babes were able to shut down the other food trucks for a period of time. In some ways, this advantage was huge.

Before the food trucks could start selling on the beach, Nola Creations was hit with some bad news. Health inspections are part of any restaurant business, including food trucks. If you don’t follow the rules, even just a small infraction, it can be a huge hit.

Nola Creations had a little leftover food in their truck. That violation cost them $250. At least it was just a fine, not having the food truck shut down. It is a big lesson for all teams and food businesses in general.

As the teams started to sell, the pace wasn’t brisk. Even after the Brunch Babes shut down the other trucks, the stream of customers never seemed to hit a peak level. Could Daytona Beach just have too much food competition?

In some ways, this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode looked to see how the food truck teams adapted to a less than bustling sales. For example, Rolling Indulgence hit the beach and scored a huge sale. That sale made a tremendous difference in their till.

Poor Sol Food Collective had another set back in this week’s competition. Already down a team member, a second team member got sick. With just Jaclyn on the food truck, this team was hurting.

It was encouraging to see other teams, like Baby Got Mac, helping the vegan food truck. Sometimes a competition isn’t about winning or losing, it is about the bonds between competitors. Kudos to all the food trucks who helped.

Since every episode of The Great Food Truck Race has a second twist, the food trucks had to create a dish using fresh Atlantic pink shrimp. This challenge wasn’t based on taste, it was based on the number of dishes sold.

This twist needed some strategy. The teams who understood low price, quick sales did well. Again, adapting to the challenges is key.

Sol Food Collective chose not to participate in the challenge. While it is impressive that they stick to their values, it calls into question whether this competition is the right venue for their food truck.

As Tyler tallies all the sales from the two days in Daytona, there were big shifts in the final rankings. With help from their huge gymnastics team sale, Rolling Indulgence earned their first win. Could this week’s win light a fire under this team?

Overall, most of the standings switched around a lot. But, a two teams were near the bottom, again, Baby Got Mac and Sol Food Collective.

Actually, similar to week one, Baby Got Mac received a reprieve when Nola Creations’ fine was subtracted from their total. The mac and cheese truck will roll on for another week.

With just $1 difference in total, Sol Food Collective served their last vegan dish on The Great Food Truck Race. From being down a team member to being unable to complete some challenges, this competition was proving to be too much for the team.

While Food Network deserves kudos for highlighting vegan food and a vegan food truck, the challenges would have prevented this food truck from going too far into the competition. If another vegan only food truck participates in future seasons, there needs to be some type of consideration in challenges.

light. Related Story. Sol Food Collective sparks a vegan food conversation, interview

What did you think of this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode? Has a leader or contender emerged yet?