The Great Food Truck Race review: Which food trucks survived the heat?

Tyler Florence, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, season 12. photo provided by Food Network
Tyler Florence, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, season 12. photo provided by Food Network /

While the food trucks went up the mountain, The Great Food Truck Race found the heat back in Palm Springs quite daunting. Which food truck couldn’t handle the heat?

The Great Food Truck Race has been traveling through California’s Gold Coast. While some food trucks had big sales last week, Bachelor Kitchen lost a member. As the food trucks hit the Palm Springs desert, could a team of two survive the heat or was the pressure too much to handle?

While every season of this Food Network show has its own twists and turns, the food trucks just keep rolling. From city to city and challenge to challenge, the teams need to find their groove. Whether these teams have professional cooking experience or not, this food TV competition is more than just great cooking. It is a navigating the food business.

For this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode, the food trucks had a challenge that took them to new heights, literally. The teams were asked to create an elegant salad that was on brand. The salad had to be made on tramcar while traveling up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

While the cooking aspect to this challenge shouldn’t have been scary, Super Sope did not want to compete in this challenge. With a tremendous fear of heights, this challenge was daunting because of the location. Would anyone want to prep a dish on a tramcar?

Thinking of this challenge, did anyone think back to a Top Chef challenge from some seasons ago? There was one where they cooked while going up a mountain.

As for a salad, this challenge was more difficult than it seems. A tasty, well-dressed salad takes skill. Too much dressing makes it soggy while too little makes it underdressed. Finding a way to make a salad on brand, tasty and under these elements was a tall task.

No one could have predicted the outcome of the salad challenge. Going in, Food Network fans would have probably assumed that Lunch Ladies would have done well. While Team Fat Kid was out of its element, the winner was definitely a long shot.

Bachelor Nation won the first challenge and the extra money in their till. The two guy team created a salad that was tasty and on brand. It wasn’t necessarily the best salad ever, but it was the challenge winner.

With Bachelor Nation being a two-person team, everyone has been wondering how they would or could continue to compete. Winning challenges definitely gives them an edge.

Going into the selling portion of The Great Food Truck Race, the teams all seemed to be even. Although Bachelor Nation had earned the extra money, that difference could be overcome with some smart selling.

At this point in the competition, the food trucks have found their grove. There are certain dishes that sell well. Team Fat Kid is always going to have their half and half burger. Can anyone really resist a great, juicy burger?

The same can be said for the other food trucks, too. Everyone has a signature item. Even though some dishes may be adapted for challenges, the tried and true keep coming back.

One smart choice that Bachelor Nation made (especially with them having only two team members) is that they offered a very, very limited menu. By just selling tacos, almost pre-prepped tacos, they could get orders out efficiently. Even though this food truck might seem all fun and games, they tend to make smart business decisions.

Of course, each episode has a second challenge. This menu challenge had the teams use blue agave in a “special.” While the specials were not necessarily new dishes, the food trucks are learning about the competition aspect to this show. It isn’t always the best chef who wins The Great Food Truck Race. It is often the best food truck business.

Winning the menu challenge came with another cash reward. Since it was a selling challenge, the food trucks needed to be smart. Bachelor Nation’s one dish only menu served them well, again. Remember, they chose a similar option in episode one, which kept them from being eliminated.

Overall, the food trucks had good selling days. Mystikka Masala took advantage of social media to help bring in long lines of customers. Lunch Ladies partnered with local businesses. These teams are learning that they need to seek out partnerships to help drive sales.

With this episode being the halfway point of the competition, the differences are not as dramatic. Even though last week’s difference between safe and home was just $12, the food trucks need to fight for every sale and be smart in their choices.

Probably the biggest shock from this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode was that Bachelor Kitchen won both challenges. While the selling challenge is in their wheelhouse, the salad taste challenge was a surprise. With both of these wins, the team of two was safe again this week. Could these guys make it to the finale?

Mystikka Masala found their groove and surged to the top spot in this episode. They were followed by the Lunch Ladies. Food Network fans can probably speculate that these two food trucks will make the finale. But, anything can happen.

The bottom two teams were Super Sope and Team Fat Kid. Both teams had good sales, but there were also slumps. In the end, Team Fat Kid was eliminated. Even if Bachelor Nation hadn’t won both of the challenges, Team Fat Kid would have still been on the bottom.

As the food trucks roll out of Palm Springs, they are heading to the bright lights of Las Vegas. The Great Food Truck Race in Las Vegas could be high stakes for some teams. Anyone willing to roll the dice on Bachelor Nation staying in the competition?

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What do you think of this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode? Do you have a favorite food truck team?