The Great Food Truck Race review: Who abandoned the ship?

Tyler Florence, Great Food Truck Race, photo provided by Food Network
Tyler Florence, Great Food Truck Race, photo provided by Food Network /

In this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode, the remaining food trucks looked to the sea for some inspiration and someone abandoned the ship.

After leaving Los Angeles behind, the Great Food Truck Race rolled out to San Diego for this week’s challenges. Although some food truck teams found success in the first week, a few teams need to find their way. While some teams gained momentum, a few teams seemed to lose their way.

To open this Great Food Truck Race episode, the teams had to participate in a team challenge. After winning last week’s sales, the Lunch Ladies were able to pick their partners. It was clear that they would choose Mystikka Masala. In some ways, this duo is quite a formidable pair.

For the other two teams, the pairings were equally as obvious. Crystal’s Comfort Food picked Super Sope and the two “guy” teams, Bachelor Kitchen and Team Fat Kid, were combined.

While this team challenge was about impressing the yacht club, it was more about creating a dish that highlighted the best of the “team.” Working with other food trucks can be beneficial. Whether it is complimenting dishes or just strength in numbers, food trucks understand that they can help each other.

Additionally, this team competition showed that one food truck did not understand quantity. While most of the food trucks have some culinary experience, Super Sope did not grasp the amount of food needed for the plates required. Not having enough rice for a dish was a poor decision and lead to the team’s downfall.

While the Great Food Truck Race is a learning experience, there needs to be some base knowledge. Having sufficient rice should have been a no brainer.

With the yacht club guests voting on their favorite team, the outcome seemed likely from the beginning. Most likely Food Network fans predicted that the Lunch Ladies/Mystikka Masala team was going to and did win the challenge.

For their advantage, those two teams did not have to sit out a team member on the first day of selling. Additionally, they were able to “bench” one team member from the other food trucks. This advantage was huge and impacted the competition.

In the first day of selling, the teams seemed a bit lost. While most teams had sales, everyone seemed out of sorts. From Crystal’s Comfort Kitchen not finding a selling spot to Mystikka Masala’s low energy, it was just off. Maybe that team challenge took more effort than anyone imagined.

Heading into day two, the teams were faced with another challenge. This Great Food Truck Race twist was both a taste and a selling challenge. After last week’s debacle with Bachelor Kitchen staving off elimination thanks to their special sales, it was good to see a taste challenge in the mix.

The teams had to create an octopus dish. Truthfully, this challenge was brutal. With only limited time, it is extremely difficult to make a flavorful, well-executed octopus dish.

When cooked well, octopus can be amazing. Unfortunately, bad octopus can be a chewy mess that will leave you scarred for life. Having these food trucks cook octopus was definitely a hard twist.

For the most part, the food trucks fried the octopus. That idea wasn’t the best. It can leave the octopus really chewy and almost impossible to eat.

The team who was the smartest with the octopus, (although likely a fluke), was Team Fat Kid. By finely chopping the octopus and putting it into a taco, the texture wasn’t chewy. More importantly, the flavors of all the ingredients were balanced. Team Fat Kid won the flavor challenge.

As for the selling challenge, an octopus dish can be a hard sell. Even if that dish is the cheapest on the menu, some people might pass. The Super Sope made a smart selling choice. They called their dish a “seafood” dish. Given the locale, it was the best choice.

Many people would want a seafood dish. That choice clearly won them the selling challenge.

Going into elimination, a few teams were clearly struggling. It was clear that Crystal’s Comfort Kitchen was going to be near the bottom. After the dismal day one, they knew that they needed a miracle.

Even popular teams from last week did not see as robust sales. Mystikka Masala never seemed to find their audience. The Lunch Ladies struggled, too. It seemed that San Diego was not kind to these food trucks.

Before elimination started, Bachelor Kitchen announced that one of their team members were leaving. This scenario is strange. Leaving just two people on a food truck is hard, almost impossible. Given the team’s poor performance, the whole team should have left the competition. In some ways, this team is making a joke out of their time on the Great Food Truck Race.

Winning this week’s challenge was Team Fat Kid. Thanks to their octopus dish and a smart partnership with a brewery, they crushed it. Also, Super Sope benefited from their octopus dish win.

Unfortunately, the bottom two teams were Crystal’s Comfort Kitchen and Bachelor Kitchen. Given the circumstances, Bachelor Kitchen should have graciously bowed out. They did not and Crystal’s Comfort Kitchen was sent home.

Crystal’s Comfort Kitchen should have been saved, especially since it was just a $12 difference. Maybe in an upcoming season, the rules will be changed to state that all team members must participate or the team will be eliminated. For fans of the Great Food Truck Race, it might be time for some rule changes before a new season rolls out again.

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What did you think of this week’s the Great Food Truck Race? Did the wrong team get sent home?