Sunday night on the Food Network, the third season of “The Great Food Truck Race” concluded in dramatic fashion, with the two final teams winding their way through three different cities in two states before the $50,000 winner was decided.
The finalists, Nonna’s Kitchenette from New Jersey, and Seoul Sausage from California, were also competing to be able to keep the food trucks that they used throughout the competition, as none of the teams on this season came in as owners of their own food truck.
The first city the teams travelled to was none other than Boston, where the trucks parked in designated food truck areas on Clarendon Street near Copley Square and on Newbury Street. Lines of hungry and eager Bostonians were shown snaking down the sidewalks leading up to each truck. Midway through the day, the teams were given a challenge—make a locally inspired dish using the three lobsters delivered to them, live and in a crate, from a local fisherman. The challenge was judged by local fishermen, and Nonna’s Kitchenette won with their fried lobster cake, over Seoul Sausage’s lobster roll with cole slaw. This gave them a $500 credit towards their till, and a three hour jump on the trip to Maine. While they were on the road, Seoul Sausage had to shuck 6 bushels (600 lbs.) of New England cherrystone clams for nearby restaurant Daily Catch. Attentive Bostonian viewers might have noticed that show host, Tyler Florence, referred to the area he announce the winner on as “Courthouse Pier”—when there is actually no such place in Boston. The dock he was actually on was Fan Pier, which is located right near the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse.
Seoul Sausage arrived in Portland, Maine that evening with only an hour left to sell, and decided to park right across the street from the Nonna’s truck. Nonna’s closed up soon after, as they completely ran out of food since their sales had been so strong throughout the day.
From there, the trucks moved to Lubec, Maine, the easternmost point in the contiguous United States, with a population of only around 1,600. Florence then stipulated that all items the trucks sold that day must cost no more than $2. The teams were only given about 90 minutes to sell, before they were shut down.
Florence made the winning announcement at the Quoddy Narrows Lighthouse, with Seoul Sausage winning by the narrowest of margins—only $103. Florence later said that only $5 separated the two teams prior to entering Lubec.
The Boston food scene continues to garner a bit of spotlight as the newest season of “The Great Food Truck Race” stopped through town on Friday afternoon, with the two finalist teams competing in a challenge downtown. Nonna’s Kitchenette from Parsippany, NJ and Seoul Sausage Company from Los Angeles arrived in Boston around lunch time, with Seoul grabbing a spot in front of Johnny Cupcakes at 279 Newbury Street and Nonna’s truck not too far at Copley Square. Later that evening the trucks competed in a lobster themed food challenge before departing Beantown and moving their way even further up the east coast to Portland, Maine. Ironically, the town recently banned food trucks, but the show was granted a special permit in order to allow the trucks to do business for the purposes of the show, which may have even further fueled the desire of the massive crowds that lined up to try the goods at each truck.
Seoul Sausage Co. serves up Korean-inspired street food, and is operated by brothers Yong and Ted Kim and chef Chris Oh, who all hail from Los Angeles. Nonna’s Kitchenette serves up Italian fast food and is run by Jaclyn Kolsby, Jessica Stambach and Lisa Nativo.
The third season of “The Great Food Truck Race” began filming seven weeks ago in Long Beach, California, and had the competing trucks traversing the states, with one truck being eliminated at each major city visited. The winners receive $50,000 and a specialized food truck, which is worth another $50,000.
Last season of the “The Great Food Truck Race,” Boston’s own gourmet grilled cheese chefs, Roxy’s competed on the Food Network show, making it to third place before being eliminated in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sunday night, season 2 of “The Great Food Truck Race” debuts on the Food Network, and will feature some very familiar faces from Beantown’s burgeoning meals on wheels scene. Boston boys James DiSabatino, Mike DiSabatino and Marc Melanson of Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese star on the show.
The crew took their bright yellow truck on the road earlier this summer, to be a part of the popular show hosted by Tyler Florence, after officially opening for business in the Cleveland Circle area just this past March.
The truck, which was reported “missing” on their Twitter page while the crew was out filming, has since returned to appease the rabid lunch and late night snack crowds in the Brighton area, as well as downtown near Copley Square and by Boston University.
The grill guys will be hosting a viewing party on Sunday at Tavern in the Square in Allston on 161 Brighton Avenue. The event is free but will feature a cash bar.
While the guys are staying mum on whether their adventure resulted in a win, it seems that the Boston foodies who line up around the block in order to get their hands on some of the guys’ mushroom melts, handcut truffle fries, or “Green Muenster” sandwiches already know a good thing when they see one!
Season 2 of the “The Great Food Truck Race” debuts at 10 p.m. on the Food Network on Sunday, August 14. The Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese viewing party at Tavern in the Square goes on that night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
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