Monday, June 11, 2012

Great Food Truck Race Hits Cleveland

What a fun weekend in Cleveland! There were so many great festivals and things to do, the weather was sunny and hot, and "R" and I had a truly fantastic weekend all around. One thing that helped? The Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race Season 3 rolled through our city this weekend. The season premier is on Sunday, August 19th at 10PM.

Spoiler Alert! I'm going to tell you how many, and who, is left by the time they hit Cleveland during the season. So stop reading if you don't want to know.

At this point in filming, they are down to the final three trucks: Seoul Sausage, Nonna's Kitchenette, and Pop-a-Waffle. The "finale" is just next week for these guys, and their competitive spirit was at an all time high. Twitter was blowing up all weekend revealing their whereabouts, and "R" and I were able to track down all three.

First up, we found the only all-girls crew left of Nonna's Kitchenette. They were slinging home-made Italian food at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday afternoon.
We had our choice of a couple of items, and I thought the presentation of the menu was so cute.
"R" and I split the Homemade Italian Riceballs with Meatsauce, and a Nonna's Homemade Meatball Madness Sandwich.
Sorry, no picture of the riceballs because "R" was a hungry boy and dug in before I could snap one. The sauce on both dishes had nice flavor, which marinara can sometimes lack in my opinion. The meat on the sandwich was also nicely seasoned, and the bun was super fresh and held the contents together for very little mess. Always appreciated with street food!

On Sunday Funday, we were bopping around town with the top off the Jeep, and through the graces of Twitter found the other two trucks parked outside Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City. Seoul Sausage and Pop-a-Waffle had just been thrown a curve ball by host Tyler, and they now had to leave their trucks and serve from a hot dog stand only.
They made do with items around them. It was really impressive, but alas slowed them down on service and limited their menu. Luckily, Seoul Sausage was still serving three tasty items and fresh lemonade. We ordered one of everything to share, but the ta-tas (tator tots) weren't holding up well in the new "kitchen", so we received an additional order of kimchee balls with the sauce intended for the tots instead. Also, we had their take on a po' boy.
The meat on the po' boy, and the sauces on the balls, all had a little kick of heat to them. It was the best food we had from the trucks all weekend, and if Cleveland is any representation of how they will do in the finale, then I think I know who will be crowned the Season Three winner. But you never know!

We couldn't leave out Pop-a-Waffle. They were parked right next to Seoul, and were literally begging for customers. They were such a fun, outgoing group of guys that you couldn't help but be drawn to their playfully decorated truck. With the challenge in place, their menu was even more limited. No waffles available, boo. So we had two pieces of their fried chicken.
The chicken was still juicy, and the fried breading had a great crunch. Overall, it was good, but not great. There was something missing in flavor.

The two all-male trucks have clearly teamed up against the girls, and want to see Nonna's gone this round. Even though Seoul had the best food overall, I'd like to see Nonna's in the finale with them and I think Cleveland may have helped make that happen. Crossing my fingers!

Did you make it out to see the food trucks this weekend? Will you tune in to see if you made a cameo? Either way, it was great fun having them here this weekend and I personally can't wait to see our city on the show this season. Best of luck to the final three contenders, and thank you for sharing your food with us this weekend.

Tune in to the Food Network on August 19th!


Unknown said...

Po' boy? Didn't they call it a "Polish boy"? I wonder if a producer told them about Polish boys. The Pop A Waffle truck had one, too. I'm certain the waffle truck called it a "Polish boy." The Seoul Sausage version took some liberties, but the inspiration was still apparent. I didn't try the waffle truck version, but judging from the description it was almost exactly like a Polish boy you'd get from your regular Polish boy source.

Bite Buff said...

Yes, you are correct- Waffle truck had a Polish Boy. The Seoul team was using both terms for the sandwich from what I observed. There was no printed menu when slinging from the hot dog cart, just verbal descriptions. Did you enjoy their food? It was fun having them here.

Alana said...

i was wondering who this Nonna person was tweeting me on Sunday! Sounds like I missed out.

Rachel said...

Ahhh! I wish we could've made it out this weekend! :(

Unknown said...

I tried all three trucks over the course of two days and I enjoyed my food from each of them.

Ben said...

We passed the Seoul Sausage truck Saturday while strolling around Gordon Square, but Tyler had shut them down and they didn't have a plan B yet. They definitely looked like the most interesting truck, and apparently they were. Sorry we missed out.

Anonymous said...

I wish these trucks would come to New York State, that being said..I was honestly rooting for Seoul Sausage and Pop a waffle. The girls definitely want this, but are to whiney. The guys trucks are fun and have great personalities !