Interview with the Latest Food Truck Team Out of the Race

by in Shows, September 1st, 2013

Food TrucksThe six remaining teams rolled into Pocatello, Idaho, on Episode 3 of The Great Food Truck Race, ready to take on any challenges that Tyler threw at them. But for many teams, completing the challenges was the least of their worries, as a few setbacks put a number of them in the red, and nearing the end of day two, the only hope for most was racing to win one of three prize tokens to offset their sales losses. At elimination time, the race came to an end for a team that was all too familiar with being among the bottom finalists.

This week the teams would see a set of challenges that had them first cooking with no starches, and then cooking exclusively with one of the most popular starches: the state’s biggest crop, the potato. Most of the teams were able to find good sales locations, but Aloha Plate and The Frankfoota Truck ended up going outside of the city limits, which led Tyler to dock their profits according to the time they spent out of Pocatello. Philly’s Finest Sambonis got into an accident with a store sign and had to pay an insurance deductible, which took them from third place to fifth place, putting them in the bottom two. The girls of The Frankfoota Truck didn’t make it in time to win any of the three tokens and also ended up in the bottom two. In the end, they made the least profit and were sent back home to Brooklyn.

FN Dish caught up with The Frankfoota Truck team to chat about their time on the show.

FrankfootasWhat do you think was the biggest challenge in operating a food truck for the first time?
The fact that none of us have ever worked together in such close quarters was definitely a struggle. We were constantly bumping heads, literally and figuratively speaking. On top of that, we had no clue what we were doing. We took a crash course in truck operation, and then were given the keys to a BEAST of a vehicle that had a mind of its own. We had trouble with everything from figuring out how to get our water heater on to lighting the pilot.

At the motocross races, you were going back and forth on pricing strategy and ended up selling at lower prices. Did your team regret that choice?
We’d be lying if we told you that we don’t think about what the outcome could have been like had we upped the prices on our dogs at PMXP. But at the end of the day, regretting the decision doesn’t change a thing. So the answer is no, The Frankfootas don’t live their lives on regrets. We keep calm and chive on.

At elimination when you found out that you and Philly’s were in the bottom two, you felt that if you got saved, it would be because of Philly’s $500 fine, which would make it an undeserved win. Is there anything you think you could have done differently to keep you from getting into the bottom two?
For one thing, we could’ve won the challenge. That would’ve helped us out BIG TIME! We were slacking when it came to scouting locations, which is a tremendous part of excelling in this competition. If you don’t know where the crowd is and they can’t find you, your business isn’t going to get very far. That was pretty evident while we were posted up at the hardware store parking lot. The whole “if you build it, they will come” mentality definitely doesn’t apply here!

FrankfootasAt elimination, Tyler said you girls were “an unforgettable team in every sense of the word. Three sassy girls decked out in red, white and blue — what could be more awesome?” In your opinion, what made your team so great?
We’re from Brooklyn, the borough that breeds awesome: Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, Mae West, Spike Lee and Mel Brooks. You get some serious street credibility just for having a 7-1-8 area code. We came into this game with a “we don’t care” attitude, and I think that’s what made it so fun for us and everyone else that we were fortunate enough to work with.

Now that you’re back in Brooklyn, are you working on getting a food truck? What are your plans?
We don’t have a truck yet, but it’s in the works. Right now we’re looking to secure financing to get one on the road. When we do get it, our first line of business is to do a military tour overseas. We want to fly The Frankfoota Truck to Iraq and Afghanistan to serve our troops the way they’ve been serving us for over 10 years now. We’ve got a lot of love and utmost respect for all the men and women that have been fighting the good fight for our country, and we want to personally let them know that we can’t wait for each and every one of them to come home. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

What advice would you give the remaining food truck teams in the competition? Who are you rooting for?
Who is going to want to listen to the losers that got thrown off the show? All we can tell them is to have fun and make the most of this entire experience. Being a part of The Great Food Truck Race was the best thing that ever happened to us. Even though we didn’t make it very far, we walked away with some of the most incredible memories and stories we’ll be telling over cocktails for years to come. Oh yeah, and try not to kill one another. As far as who we’re rooting for, that’s a no-brainer: Aloha Plate, hands down.

Watch The Great Food Truck Race on Sundays at 9pm/8c, and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.

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Comments (46)

  1. Sarah says:

    I was really offended by the Tikki Taco dude saying that he didn't learn how to unearth potatoes while he was in college getting a finance degree.
    Well, guess what, Tikki dude? No one else was either, but some of us know where our food comes from and know how to do something SIMPLE like unearthing a potato. A finance degree doesn't make you better than a farmer.
    And FYI, Tikki dude. While you were getting your finance degree, some people were getting a masters in Farm Management. I bet they know how to price something on a food truck as well as you do with your finance degree.
    Disrespecting the main industry in a city doesn't win you any friends. You should come in last place for being rude.

    • Matt says:

      Good points, Sarah. I am going to give those guys the benefit of the doubt, though. I always hear about contestants being prodded to say something worthy of a sound bite so, unless I hear a constant thread of something offensive (say, the girl that everyone is talking about on "Big Brother"), I'll just take it with a grain of salt. Editing is everything, right?

      • Sarah says:

        You are so right! It's always best to assume the best. :)
        I think I was sensitive that someone would make fun of a small town. But that was my deal and I don't know what question they were responding to.
        Thanks for the POSITIVE perspective!

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      It did sound really snobby, didn't it? But like Matt I'd take it with a grain of salt as well…not only because the producers do ask leading questions in hopes of getting something "controversial" to air, but also because I'd like to think the Tikka Taco guy was trying to be self-depreciating, albeit in an awkward way – that even though he's got all those highfalutin' high finance academics under his belt, he's still clueless about something so elemental and necessary as procuring food at its source.

      • Sarah says:

        It did sound snobby, but you're so right that some people's personality and humor don't translate well on television (or online for that matter!).
        Thanks for keeping a positive outlook. I appreciate it.

  2. Susie says:

    The only thing I am gonna say is that I'm rooting and hoping that Aloha plates win this race.My grandfather is rooting for Aloha Plates,as well,since he was born from Hawaii.

  3. Sarah says:

    Also, these road block challenges are absurd. This is why I can't stand Top Chef. Why did they waste that money on bread and potatoes and the time shopping? How does that prove they can cook, Tyler? That didn't even make sense. Putting a hot dog on a stick instead of in a bun doesn't make you a chef. Again, this road block just made things easier for Bowled and Beautiful. Boo! Boo!

    • Sammy says:

      They did not waste the bread and taters, if you watched the show you should konw they gave the food to a food bank.

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        If you read Sarah's comment you should know she did not say the bread and potatos were wasted, but rather the money and time shopping. And I agree with her about how this Road Block was a lot easier on some trucks than others.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Sure seemed that way… burger sliders, hot dogs, and cheesesteaks are all types of sandwiches which by definition – not to mention customer expectation – are served on some sort of bread (interesting coincidence that on the "Cutthroat Kitchen" episode that followed, one chef was eliminated because his "Philly Cheesesteak" did NOT have a bun). On the other hand, there are a lot of things typically served in a bowl – salads, soups, stews, chili, fruit, ice cream, pudding and other desserts … that don't necessarily need bread or starch as a major components, giving Bowled and Beautiful (as well as the other non-sandwich type trucks) less of a handicap.

  4. JJC says:

    Why is it on these shows the loudest, crudest, most self-centered teams get all the air time and the wins? Do they really think we all root for the biggest idiots to win? Because so far, that's what's happening. I have to keep muting the show when Philly and Bowled talk, it is like watching spoiled little kids. Go Sliders, Go Aloha, you folks act like adults.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Would love to see more of Sliders and Aloha. Seems like they get a little interview snippet at the start of each episode, then very little of their respective cooking and selling processes beyond the obligatory "we're going to park at ….. and be serving…. " , and you barely see them again until the tallies are announced. Maybe the FN editors are flying them 'under the radar' because they know these teams will get plenty of camera opportunity AFTER the screeching and jumping and cussing and chest-thumping has gone away?

  5. thomas says:

    So here is my thing, Aloha keeps saying that there is a big Hawaiian community and all. Everything has to do with being Hawaiian. So what if the Phila team said that there is a big white community there so they should be alright or if the Sliders said the same thing about being black. Is it just me or does the double standard of racism stand out just a bit too much?

    • KJay says:

      It's just you. Da kine, eh?

    • Mamaduck43 says:

      Hawaiian is not just a race or ethnic group – - it is a state of mind…. There are those of us, living on the mainland who mist the food, yeah, but you can see that the Aloha Plate guys spread their 'Aloha' everywhere they went…. I hope that they win, but no matter what – - – they are winners!!!!

    • Adolph says:

      Good idea , the Philly guys could look for the a-hole d bag community, the indians could set up in all flea bag motels and conveniance stores parking lots and the slider people could go to the prodjects.

    • Matt says:

      I had actually been thinking of Aloha Plate's comments as Hawaiian, as in people who had lived in Hawaii, not as a race thing. Kind of like, if Samboni's would have said, "Hey, a lot of people from Philly have relocated here and have a 'Little Philly' community. Or if the Frankfootas would have said the same thing about ex- New Yorkers…

    • AP Fan says:

      Thomas: Matt & Mamaduck hit the nail on the head with their replies. Aloha Plate means no disrespect to any ethnic group. They just know that for those of us (whatever your ethnic makeup) who lived in the islands would be missing "local food" and would more than likely be supporting them. Aloha Plate would be foolish to not try to reach out to those people to get the upper hand in this competition. I've noticed that Aloha Plate has also been winning over people who've never lived in Hawai'i just by being themselves and cooking great food. Aloha Plate No Ka Oi!

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      I don't know, I didn't read anything "racist" into Aloha Plate's enthusiasm about Pocotello having a Hawaiian community. I took it to mean that a population familiar with their food would mean good sales for the team that week. Not a lot of "Hawaiian Cuisine" in most of the US. As for calling the Hawaiian shop owner to solicit a place to park, there's nothing wrong with seeking out individuals with whom you are likely to have a sense of kinship if you need a favor. It's smart business, not racism. I'm sure the AP guys are just as delighted when non-Hawaiian folks line up for their food, regardless of the city!

    • Bibby says:

      It is not a racist comment… if you were from Hawaii you would know that we will always support anyone from Hawaii in a BIG way! When we had American Idol contestants from Hawaii we, as a state, voted so much that Simon said they'd never have tryouts here again because our support kept people on longer than they would have stayed on without all our Hawaii votes… of course Aloha Plate should play off their strengths, the fact that Hawaii supports its own and the fact that we love our food here and miss it when we move away! So lighten up, will ya?

    • Sarah says:

      I think Aloha meant it that there were people there, who knew people from home, who knew them, so they were friends of friends. You know? People who would come support them because they were from "home."
      Like if New Yorkers said the same thing in Florida. There would be a lot of people from "home" there who would support them.
      I thought it was sweet.
      Nothing unkind was meant, I'm sure. They seem like fun-loving people.

  6. Marz says:

    It was interesting to watch this episode that was filmed in my home town since I've watched the race from the very first season. The FrankFoota girls served up tasty potato salad and were just sweethearts getting the most out of an amazing adventure. Best of luck to them.

    I'm offended by the Tikka comment. It's not like they were actually digging up potatoes. It was an Easter Egg hunt with #1 Idaho Potatoes. Oh and their chicken, while it had good flavor, was bone dry.

    Having had the opportunity to interact with the teams and taste their food, Go Slide Show! A gracious team that served up delicious food. They are a class act of trained chefs.

    • Sarah says:

      That's good to know. I think that Slide Show has consistently been my favorite team, as well.
      Honestly, I liked the Tikki team, until that guys comment rubbed me the wrong way.

  7. Dina says:

    I think it's gonna come down to Aloha, and Philly's Finest!
    I love food truck wars and I hope to one day get my own for cupcakes and cannoli's HEY that sounds like a good name! CUPCAKES AND CANNOLI'S I think I found my truck! Go Aloha!

  8. guest again says:

    HAY tyler why does this seem like a set up?

  9. Unknown says:

    I think the finale its gonna go down to Aloha Plates,and Bowled and Beautiful.That's what I think.You know as I recall from last season.When Mamma's Grizzly knocked down the light post.Tyler,didn't tell them what he said to the Philly's yesterday.When Philly's by accident breaks that sign.Anyway rooting for Aloha plates.

    • RuthAnn says:

      I don't remember who the team was, but in the past a team did have to pay the insurance deductable to the City when they ran into city property.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      Yeah the Grizzly truck had to pay a $250 deductible; I think they took down a street light while parking? But if I understand what you're saying about what Tyler said to them, I agree, Tyler sure didn't lay into the Grizzlies the way he reamed out the Philly guys. I mean, it was an ACCIDENT. Nobody was hurt and it was just a misjudgement about the height of a freestanding signpole in an open drive/parking area… not like they crashed through some shop window.

  10. Perry says:

    Is it just me, or is anyone else finding it difficult to REALLY dislike a team (save the annoyance by the potato comment of the Tikka Tikka guy). They all have good back stories. They all seem like they have their eyes on the prize without trying to screw over anyone else. Just saying…

    I really do like the Aloha Plate guys, though!

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