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The Great Food Truck Race Recap: Simple And Delicious In Cleveland

September 23, 2012 10:34 PM by Lori Wilson

The Great Food Truck Race pulled into Cleveland, OH for week six on the The Food Network reality show. It was the semi-finals, so the stakes were high for the remaining three teams: Pop-A-Waffle, Seoul Sausage and Nonna’s Kitchenette.

The Challenge
The teams met Tyler, who gave them just $100 in seed money. The least amount of money they’ve received so far. It was enough to open, but they would have to restock after making some profit. Tyler instructed them to stop by the Westside Market, which turned 100-years-old this year. Once there, the teams had to buy three Ohio grown tomatoes for use unknown.

Truck Stop

Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, helped Tyler with this week’s truck stop cooking challenge. Tyler ordered the food trucks to turn their tomatoes into something delicious, but simple, like Outback’s Bloomin Onion. The winner was practically guaranteed a spot in the finale.

Seoul Sausage set up shop in Gordon Square, while Pop-A-Waffle opened their doors in a grocery store parking lot and Nonna’s drove to the Metroparks Zoo. Tim stopped by all the trucks to sample their appetizers. Nonna’s made a breaded and fried tomato, which Tim thought was difficult to eat. Seoul Sausage whipped up gazpacho with corn salsa and a fried onion on top. Time liked the presentation and thought it had great flavor, but he didn’t detect the Ohio tomato. Pop-A-Waffle made bruschetta with a twist on a ciabatta baguette. Tim wasn’t wowed by the presentation, but loved the dish’s flavor and deemed them the winners. As a prize, Pop-A-Waffle received $250 in profits and were allowed to stay open while the other teams had to shut down for three hours. Pop-A-Waffle moved locations by taking Seoul Sausage’s spot in Gordon Square.

Once the three hours were up, Seoul Sausage partnered with a brewery, while Nonna’s hooked up with a restaurant to feed off of. Meanwhile, Pop-A-Waffle found it more difficult than expected to sell their chicken and waffles in their location. Both Nonna’s and Seoul Sausage felt good about their sales despite their three hour delay.

Speed Bump

Day two found Nonna’s in Lincoln Park serving to a long line, while Pop-A-Waffle and Seoul Sausage both returned to the brewery. And then Tyler called with the Speed Bump. The remaining three Great Food Truck Race teams were given hot dog carts to transfer their kitchens to. Pop-A-Waffle got busy prepping all their chicken, but they couldn’t take their waffles, while Seoul Sausage and Nonna’s felt confident they could make their entire menus off their carts. Pop-A-Waffle and Seoul Sausage continued with good sales outside their trucks, while Nonna’s found their customers dwindling. The latter team decided to walk the streets with their cart, but transporting it proved difficult.

The teams were eventually allowed back on their trucks for the final push of this week’s challenge. After their crowds went away, Pop-A-Waffle learned of a concert they could set up at, but got caught in traffic, while Nonna’s and Seoul Sausage continued to sell. Pop-A-Waffle lost 45 minutes, but finally set up and tried to profit off the stragglers walking to the concert.


The teams met with Tyler to find out which of them would be going to the finals. To say they were nervous is an understatement, as they all looked to the competition to change their lives. Reclaiming their title after last week’s slip, Seoul Sausage came in first, with Nonna’s placing in second. That meant, even with their Truck Stop, which was expected to send Pop-A-Waffle to the finale, they were the team sent home.

And then there were two. Tyler told Seoul Sausage and Nonna’s the finale started right then. They were to drive to the next city and start selling immediately. In a twist, Tyler announced he would not be in the next city or the one after that. Because the final two teams would be stopping in several cities, starting with Boston, on the way to the final destination where the winner of $50,000 and their very own food truck would be named.

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Photos courtesy of The Food Network

Topics: Food Network Reality TV Shows, The Great Food Truck Race |

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