Coast of Atlanta Says Goodbye — The Great Food Truck Race

by in Shows, September 9th, 2012

coast of atlanta and pop-a-waffle

The third season of The Great Food Truck Race took the remaining five trucks more than halfway across the country to Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark., this week. With a grand prize of $50,000 on the line and the chance to keep their truck, each team tries to pull out all their tricks to stay in the game, but ultimately one truck must go each week. Every Sunday night, FN Dish will bring you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Food Truck contestants to get the boot.

This week the teams struggled with a new challenge: dealing with a college town. Prices, menus and strategies all needed to reflect their new demographic. Between location issues, timing, the Speed Bump and the Truck Stop, Coast of Atlanta couldn’t rally from behind this week and, unfortunately, the three sous chefs, Tawanaca, Lena and Mike, had to give the keys of their truck back to Tyler.

coast of atlantaThis week, the team dealt with numerous issues: location, timing, you were out of food at one point and it never seemed like you were open. What element set the team back the most?

The element that set us back the most was timing. In this competition, timing and location are everything and in a small town like Fayetteville, those deficiencies were magnified because there was such a small area available for the food trucks to set up, shop around and maintain good foot traffic. We failed to secure a spot inside the farmers’ market downtown and that killed us. We had to leave the bar strip for more than an hour to go shopping and those were more sales we missed. We wasted a lot of time.

Out of all the Speed Bumps and Truck Stops, which one did you learn the most from? Which one did you like the least and why?

We learned a lot over the course of this journey. The Hollywood Speed Bump kept us in the game, the nopales (cactus) Truck Stop and Vegan Speed Bump in Flagstaff brought out our collective versatility and creativity, the Ballpark Truck Stop was just plain old fun and the Boot Speed Bump actually helped us out in Amarillo. The least-liked Speed Bump by far was shutting our doors early on a beautiful afternoon. Having to shut our doors for any other reason than being out of food was just a killer. We hated having to turn away a line of people at the farmers’ market and having to leave a mob of hungry people on the strip to go shopping. The biggest lesson we learned was that proper planning is everything. We played it a little too conservative with our shopping on a few occasions and it ended up hurting us in the long-run. We failed to call ahead to see if we could park at a couple of events and it really cost us.

Fill in the blank: When the cameras turned off _______________(food truck/ team member) does the best Tyler Florence impression.

Mike (from Pizza Mike’s) did a pretty good impression of Tyler, especially since he always seemed to have shades of his own on.

coast of atlantaThis week, Momma’s Grizzly Grub got lucky with a penalty of just $250 after destroying the sidewalk light, which then set the two of you apart by $24. How did you feel about their stroke of luck?

Momma’s got a big break with the help of the Mayor of Fayetteville. Even if they hadn’t had the accident, however, they would have had us by $274. With that said, we think the total cost to fix the light should have come out of their cash. If we could have sold just three more dinners, we would have moved on.

Tyler said, “There’s no doubt that you guys can cook.” Do you still plan on opening a food truck and if so, will it be the same cuisine?

We are looking at our options for opening a truck in the near future. The Atlanta metropolitan area hasn’t been very food truck-friendly although it is trying. The market has really only been open here for about four years or so. It’s nothing like L.A., Miami or New York. We plan to stick with the seafood theme — it’s the food we love to cook and we got a great reception from pretty much everyone. Seafood is such a versatile and universal option when it comes to cooking. It plays well with so many different flavor profiles and almost every culture in the world enjoys it.

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Comments (54)

  1. Wanda says:

    COAST OF ATLANTA WAS RIPPED OFF…

    It appears FN elected not to deduct the $250 from Momma's to keep them around.

    • Lesley L says:

      I totally agree – Momma's should have been given the full penalty. That was a serious accident and could have damaged property or injured someone based on their carelessness. Yes, it's a big honking truck – but that's the business. It's not like the truck will get smaller or more manageable as you go along. Best of Luck to our friends at Coast of Atlanta on their future business. Go Seoul Sauage!!!

  2. Michelle says:

    it was time for coast of atlanta to go…everything they served came out of the frozen food section…definitely not in the same league as the other trucks/chefs

    • teresa graham says:

      i hear the teams were limited to one grocery shopping store so it isnt like the particular stores had any "fresh" seafood so dot dot dot

      • Carole Kane says:

        Don't know about your dot, dot, dot. . . most of the location didn't really play in Coast of Atlanta's advantage. Really AR is not the mecca for fresh fish or fish products. The cards were stacked against CoA – it's not like Pop A Waffle needed to get anything 'fresh' they make waffles with aerosol cans of whipped cream and Momma bought roasted chicken. Really, Momma could have done more since their food really don't need specialized ingredients. I'm sure there was a chicken in the street in Fayetteville.

  3. Fran says:

    I think this whole show was just cast poorly in general. You've got a team like soul who is great and clearly knows what they are doing but its because they have been in business for years vs teams with homecooks who have never worked a day in this business attempting to now do it in a food truck driving across the county. I don't think anyone gives these teams credit for how hard this really is. It's amazing that the teams with no experience can even begin to keep up with those already routed in this industy

    • andrew says:

      SS has been doing their business for 2 years with no food truck and no restaurant. But Pizza Mike did this for even longer before his restaurant burned down so Seoul Sausage wasn't the only ones with experience.

      • MoHub says:

        But this competition is not like running a food truck in real life. In reality, one would have a home base, a consistent clientele, familiarity with the area and its venues, relationships with food vendors, and probably a "home" kitchen in which to prep—and therefore use fewer ready-made products—before hitting the road.

        Jumping around from unfamiliar town to unfamiliar town with limited shopping opportunities and places to park is not a reflection of how an actual food truck business works.

  4. Donald says:

    COA lost when they started to go shopping when it was time to start selling again at 1am. Why did you not go shopping during your off hours?

    Also, the 'peach-lemonade' or 'peach' X only really works in the south. YOU ARE IN THE SOUTHWEST …make spicy food!

    Idiots ….but that seafood basket looked good.

  5. psuemnick says:

    The girl who told Tiffany "oh you should pull forward because of this…" could SEE that the door wouldnt clear that light pole. The RIGHT answer was "you should back up a bit". If Momma had gone home, while Tiffany would have felt like a total drip for it happening I would hope the girl who said pull forward would feel worse. Those ladies were certain they were losing every single dime they made that weekend (and I think I figured about another $100 roughly). They would have had a negative balance, and I thought THAT was the big penalty. I know Tyler said it was the biggest penalty–I would argue that Korilla from Season 2 had that–they cheated when they didnt even need to and everyone who has seen Season 2 knows it. Remember how the group from Cleveland reacted? They were like "you didnt even need to cheat!).

  6. jean eaton says:

    I think that this is show a big fat joke & people of african American race should think twice before going any show on Food network!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MoHub says:

      That is one of the stupidest comments I've ever read. Coast of Atlanta was done in by a combination of bad planning and bad luck. Either circumstance could occur for anyone: black, white, or Asian; male, female, or co-ed; professionally trained or self-taught. It's a learning curve, and Coast of Atlanta fell behind.

      Furthermore, if it was a matter of race, why was Under the Crust eliminated first?

  7. joe c. says:

    Top 3 should be Seoul Sausage (contender), Nonna's (serious challenger), and Pop A Waffle (dark horse).

    IF Mama's Grizzly were to stay in this competition, they are going to need a divine intervention. Got very lucky last round. I really could care less if they or Coast of Atlanta went home because they both should've been eliminated earlier. Still not impressed with their food.
    I really can't see Pop A Waffle winning this race, but they were very impressive. They deserved to be where they are right now.
    Nonna's might be the only team that's capable of beating Seoul Sausage. They got my vote for finalist.
    IF Seoul Sausage were to be beaten, it's because they beaten themselves. I predicted top 3 finish for them, and I'm only 1 episode closer to guessing it right.

  8. DAnne says:

    Coast of Atlanta's elimination was a visit from karma for how nasty one of the women acted when Under the Crust asked to look at their health inspection card in the first show. I'm glad they're gone.

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  10. Pretty interesting read. You might also want to take note of another company that does airboat rides out of the Florida Everglades, http://www.cypressairboats.com.

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