This week on The Great Food Truck Race the three remaining trucks drove into Jonesborough Tennessee that has a total population of 5,000 people. Because the town is so small the teams are given an extra 24 hours to sell and a 400-dollar budget, which all teams agreed is a lot of money for a town of this size. Spencer on the Go, true to form gets on the phone with a local bistro to buy their food from. The generous chef not only gives them lots of food for cheap but a quick lesson on how to get a really nice crust on cornbread, you heat the cast iron to the point of smoking and then add the batter. This I did not know! Grill ‘Em All isn’t worried since this seems like burger country to them. Team Nom Nom is extremely worried that not only will no one have even heard of a Banh Mi, they won’t buy them.
The trucks have only one place to sell, the town square. This means they have to set up in a clump. Spencer gets open first and has adjusted their menu to cater to the crowd by serving things like sliders with a truffle emulsion and fried green tomatoes. There has been an announcement on the local news about the presence of the food trucks in town and all trucks find themselves busier than they anticipated. Then 7:45 pm rolls around and Jonesborough turns into a ghost town, seriously you could have heard a kitten yawn. All of the trucks look slightly stunned when they get a call from Tyler Florence who tells them to shut it down, go to bed and be ready early in the morning for the truck stop (challenge.)
The trucks roll up to three fire pits with spits and an actual ‘chuck wagon’ that is full of frontier era supplies, firewood, cast iron skillets, basic spices and outdoor cooking sized implements. The teams have to create a traditional 5-course frontier meal in two hours that consists of bread, beans, potatoes, meat and dessert. Team Nom Nom looks like they are going to pass out and/or cry, Neither Grill ‘Em All or Spencer on the Go look worried at all. The winner of the ‘truck stop’ gets exclusive access to a huge auto show that is going on one town over. Tyler points out that winning this ‘truck stop’ will basically guarantee that team a spot in the final show for 50,000 dollars. As Team Nom Nom are cooking they are blowing it big time and they know it. Mostly, they are having temperature issues and keep burning the bottoms of things. As I am wincing and eating a broccoli and cheddar double baked potato (not burned on the bottom,) I am relieved that I don’t have to eat whatever Team Nom Nom hands to the judges because even they look embarrassed.
The judges said that Team Nom Nom’s meat was tasty and their beans were bad. They really like Team Spencer’s dessert with lavender, but the corn muffin did bring anything to the meal, guess they should have listened more closely to their corn bread lesson, and the judges thought Grill ‘Em All’s beans had good flavor though they were a little undercooked and the dessert was nice because it wasn’t overly sweet.
Grill ‘Em all wins and drives off to the auto show where they serve a long line all night long. The two losing teams head back to Jonesborough to grab all the business they can before the town shuts down at 8:00pm.
On Sunday morning all the trucks head out ‘early’ trying to catch the church crowd when it lets out. Team Nom Nom has to stop at the store to buy supplies; they take a risk and buy twice as much as they did the day before. This also slows them down and they don’t get set up until almost 1pm which puts them behind in sales, and causes them to miss a good deal of the church crowd. Honestly, I thought that was it, and Team Nom Nom was going home. Oh, ye of little faith! Team Nom Nom is able to pick up some of the slack because the other teams start to run out of food. Team Spencer gets smart and calls their Bistro chef connection for more catfish that he delivers to them! Grill ‘Em all actually does have to shut down and drive to the market, all the while the line grows in front of Team Nom Nom’s truck.
At the end of the day the customers are dwindling and Grill ‘Em All really wants to get rid of all of their food, they have 10 burgers left. They cut their prices, find a police officer and ask him to give a shout out for anyone who wants to buy discounted burgers, and cross their fingers. Then amazingly a woman arrives at their truck and buys the last 10 burgers!
The three teams are grouped around Tyler to find out whose competing for 50,000, Team Nom Nom looks genuinely nervous, Grill ‘Em All looks like they are collectively going to barf and Team Spencer looks annoyed and uncomfortable. Tyler then announced that all teams sold the most they ever had before and that the team that came in 2nd and the Team that is going home were separated by a mere 37 dollars.
1st Place goes to Team Nom Nom with $3,117.
2nd Place goes to Grill ‘Em All with $2,763.
3rd Place goes to Spencer on the Go with 2,726
Those last 10 burgers made all the difference. Next week watch Team Nom Nom win 50,000 dollars!