Seabirds Says Goodbye — The Great Food Truck Race

by in Shows, September 5th, 2011

seabirds food truck
The second season of The Great Food Truck Race hit the road with eight new food trucks and a grand prize of $100,000. Each truck will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the game but, ultimately, one truck must go each week. Every Monday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Food Truck contestants to get the boot.

This week, Seabirds Food Truck couldn’t keep up with the crowds and found it difficult to adjust to Tyler’s costly speed-bump.

FN Dish: In the beginning of the episode, you said that you weren’t going to market the truck as vegan due to the demographic. Do you think that hurt or helped? It seems to me that you have a great story to tell.

Seabirds: I think it was smart not to tell people up front that we were a vegan truck because it can carry a stigma, and we didn’t want to turn any one off, especially in a small town like Manhattan, Kan. We decided to promote our food as local, fresh and organic instead, as it says on the side of our truck. It was great to tell our customers after they ate that, indeed, everything was vegan and see their reaction. So many people were shocked because they loved our food and never would have guessed vegan food could be so enjoyable. It was awesome to turn people on to vegan food; it was the most rewarding part about serving in Manhattan.

FN Dish: Your advantage was supposed to be a massive crowd in Aggieville and the crowds didn’t disappoint. So what was the ultimate downfall: menu items (like serving only pancakes) or wait time?

Seabirds: The crowds were great in Aggieville, but the crowds were almost even greater when all the other trucks parked together just outside the Aggieville limits. It wasn’t quite the advantage we were hoping for. But, in addition, we picked a menu that would have been high profit and easy to serve had we not had that speed bump that made us rethink serving portions and options. Having to change our menu at the last minute to 99 cent prices was almost impossible for us because we paid such a premium for local, organic and vegan products.

FN Dish: Someone waiting in line nicknamed the truck “Slowbirds.” Without taking shortcuts that would affect the quality of the end product, were there things you could do to produce the food faster (more efficient line, menu items with fewer components)?

Seabirds: Looking back, we could have made some changes to help us be quicker. Had we have known our price point was under a dollar, we could have made a more efficient menu. Also, Raya and I have never worked as line cooks or in a fast-passed kitchen. We just try to make really great, high quality food and that has been our focus over speed in the past. But since that “slowbird” weekend, I have made a lot of operational changes on the truck, and we are much quicker now.

FN Dish: Between Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver and Manhattan, Kan, which city had the most receptive crowds to Vegan food?

Seabirds: I absolutely loved the vegan crowd in Salt Lake City. They came out by the hundreds and many stood in line multiple times during our weekend there. They would bring us home-baked goods and coffee, help us find locations, save parking spots for us and gather up crowds — it was truly inspiring.

FN Dish: What’s the most important lesson your team learned on the road that you’ll take back to everyday life?

Seabirds: We had a really hard time in the competition because we did not want to jeopardize our food quality to make higher profit margins. We were introducing a lot of new people to vegan food and we didn’t want to do it an injustice. I think Manhattan was a perfect time for us to go home because we just couldn’t bring ourselves to serve anything less than perfection and that’s not how you win this competition. We may have been too slow, but our food rocked, and we felt that changing people’s minds about their diets was more important.

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Comments (123)

  1. Suzie Cupcake says:

    Bye Bye Birdie! Okay who cheated?

    • SSOFKA says:

      korilla! they panicked because they didn't do as well so they proved how slimy they were by trying to cheat.

      • ChoCho says:

        I was actually rooting for them, too…I was very disappointed in them. My other fave team is Roxy!

        • tootiredtothink says:

          Were you dispointed by what one of them said in Korean that Tyler made them look bad? No their cheating made them look bad.

          Honestly 2700 dollars that was not counted in receipts. How do you think that would not have gone noticed?

          I did wonder how the show made sure no one was slipping extra money into the cashboxes and the keeping track of receipts makes sense.

  2. ChoCho says:

    Wow, I can't believe that Korilla tried to cheat! They would've been 3rd place, and Hodge Podge would''ve gone home…too bad, I was actually rooting for them. Too bad they lost integrity out of desparation, but then that speed bump was stupid: going veggie?? In Memphis, a town that's USED to eating meat???

    Yeah, right, evryone struggled except Roxie, grilled chesse is very flexible as they've shown here. But the look on a lot of the customers' faces was like, 'vegitarian??? Ew!' I'm from MS, got kin in Memphis, and trust me, you might as well have cussed them out telling them you're not selling meat! Most of the customers actually walked away from the Korilla truck when they said it, too!

    • Anna says:

      Oh my god, I agree with this 100%. And I was hoping Korilla would survive this round! I also felt that the Lime truck really didn't deserve the immunity.

      • notalwaysright says:

        Why? You personally did not taste the food of all the trucks. How can you dispute this. The blogger liked them better, how can you refute his personal decision, I am confused?

        As a person who used to frequent The Lime Truck (am now obsessed with Seabirds — seriously amazing), I can tell you, Jason and Jesse are amazing in the way they prepare dishes and utilize ingredients. (Plus, they're super nice. Daniel, eh, not so much.) So I was not at all surprised when they won immunity.

        But that's just my take.

    • tootiredtothink says:

      Well you know what they say about those who bend the rules. They forget that when you bend the rules you are going to break the rules sooner or later.

      Tofu fyi has no taste it takes the taste of what is around it. Tofu is actually used to replicate the taste of meat in vegetarian dishes in Asian cuisine. A lot of people if served such fare cannot tell if there was actual meat in the dish or not if properly prepared.

      • RuthAnn says:

        You are correct that Tofu does not have flavor on its own, but it does have a very nasty texture. It does not feel like meat in the mouth and that texture really turns me off. I have tried it a few times and all times I was told what you said, that I would not be able to tell the difference. But then what do I know, I am originally from Memphis.

    • JimmyO says:

      Wow! Korilla "cheats" on an episode that airs on 9/11. Way to represent NY morons!

    • Nubbkins says:

      The padding of the till was just, well…lame! Everyone was hurting except Roxy's, everyone was trying to adapt. Hodge Podge needs to buy the Korilla crew a round, I think, cuz they saved em from being sent home. I do wonder if it was a team decision, or if one person just did it on their own.

      As for immunoty…the critic seemed to gush over that corn cake creation from the Lime Truck, so I'm not surprised they won that one. Was it tasty? Who knows, except the people actualy eating the thing. One thing I will say…something about kim chee and cheese just seems SO wrong on SO many levels!

  3. Athena says:

    I am so disappointed about Korilla. What a letdown! I really hope they learn from this experience. They disappointed their fans and themselves. Sad day. :(

  4. athensfoodie says:

    Lucky break for H.P. on tonight's episode. What a dumb thing to do, Korilla. Cheating will get you nowhere, except out of the running.

  5. notafan says:

    i was sorely disappointed in korilla this week, as they were the only team on there i didn't find annoying. so this was the last episode i'm going to watch, as all the remaining teams really get on my nerves with their attitudes, issues, etc.

    • audrey says:

      i believe tyler is playing favorites with the hodge podge truck if not they would have been gone so long ago… they are so annoying!!! Korilla should have won if they didn't "supposedly" cheat.

      oh and by the way where was the car accident with the korilla truck that they showed in all the preveiws. i dont recall there been a accident with the korilla truck. thats why we watched it to see the accident!!!

  6. @berlinscrub says:

    Its too bad about Korilla tryin to line their cashbox…They would still be in the race with or without pulling that. A ray of light shined on Chef Hodge that day…Time for him to pick it up if he wants to pull this off

  7. Valerie says:

    I was so bummed the Sea Birds truck wasn't around to kick some tail in the Veggie Challenge! But the other Orange County, CA Tuck — The Lime Truck — is ALWAYS making fantastic vegetarian dishes. Way to represent boys!

  8. Kathy says:

    I am thoroughly disappointed in Korilla cheating. I thought they were a great team and would have never thought of them pulling a stunt like this. Did they have so little confidence in their ability to win? I wonder how their families feel, seeing their sons being caught cheating on national t.v.?

  9. Tuna says:

    I don't think Korilla cheated. I think there is a mistake. I am waiting for the rest of the story. I am done watching this show. The speed bumps were dumb and really unfair. The teams left are complete drama which equals not fun to watch and i don't want any of them to win.

    • tootiredtothink says:

      The speed bumps make things more competitive rather then let one truck dominate each city like what happened last season. Plus the bumps are things that happen to real food trucks all the time.

      Sorry they did cheat. Their own pose and exit makes that evident. They had bent the rules and thought they could get away with breaking them.

    • westwingpotus says:

      I also liked Korilla. But after the show, when back in New York they tweeted yesterday "we would never cheat on you New York". That's not exactly a denial. That sounds more like OK, we got caught, but still come to our truck when you're in New York because we learned our lesson.

      But I'd probably still count my change though! <g>

      • audrey says:

        yeah it sure seemed like Korilla didn't cheat. i liked them and wanted them to win from day 1. it does seem though that Tyler could have done that to get more people to watch. Tyler bugs me SOOOOO MUCH!!! he acts like he 16 and all cool which ends up making him look really stupid. My family wont watch it because of Tyler. :(

  10. Josephson says:

    So, let's presume the 'cheating' did in fact occur. It would only be fair if

    1. I await for and give Korilla a chance to completely and honestly speak for themselves exactly what occurred.
    2. Also, Korilla to provide a thorough explaination to me (and their other customers) why we should extend our trust of their 'cooking' (e.g., product content/ingredients/representations; safety/sanitation practices; etc.).

    Otherwise, it doesn't matter how 'good' they say their food (or, how 'excellent' their food is as previously attested by their loyal customers) is.

    Korilla can't expect 'common courtesy' from Hodge Podge; "INTEGRITY" is EVERYTHING in the food business, and it goes both ways. It matters NOT what others do unto you; it's what you do unto others which matter more.

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