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Food Trucks

The Lime Truck Owner on Using Corporate Irvine to His Advantage [VIDEO]

The Lime Truck, season 2 winner of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” has taken their Southern California fusion food from just one truck back in June 2010 to four roaming trucks today.

Truck owner, Daniel Shemtob, recently spoke with CNN Money in regards to his tactics in leading the bustling trend in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.

Irvine, CA is a very interesting city to build up a food truck scene in, quite different from Los Angeles and other cities, because of the city’s suburban incorporated vibe littered with corporate and chain influences.

Shemtob mentions that he utilizes the chain restaurant atmosphere permeating throughout the city, and the lack of chef-driven restaurants in the area, to his advantage. Our guess is that the stereotypically stale environment ends up making the food trucks more glamorous and sought after. Plus, all the corporate parking lots make great food truck meetups — giving blue-collar and white-collar citizens mobile, chef-driven food courts just outside their work places.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Turns Out The Great Food Truck Race Season 3 Contestants Have Never Driven Food Trucks Before—Wait, What?

I can’t say I know from experience, but I’m sure running a food truck is ridiculously hard, which is part of what makes Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race so fun. Week after week, we get to stand on the other side of the too-tall serving counter and see what makes the geniuses behind the Lime Truck, Ragin’ Cajun’ and Nom Nom tick.

The only problem this season? None of the contestants has ever run, worked in or driven a food truck before. Insert montage of piss-poor parking jobs and broken lampposts here.

Veritable virgins to the game, this year’s crop of rookie GFT Racers is said to make up for their lack of experience with innovation and skill, and can probably best be described as “dreamers”—gutsy, stupid, impossibly driven dreamers, whose hard work might just land them the $50,000 grand prize and the right to keep the keys to their glitzy new rides, so graciously provided to them for the show.

(Although, it does beg the question of what exactly FN plans to do with the trucks once the teams are eliminated. Maybe pull an Extreme Makeover: Food Truck Edition and let everyone keep them anyway? Fingers crossed!)

For seven weeks, the eight teams will travel across the country from Long Beach, Calif. to Portland, Me. dealing for the first time with dead truck batteries, smoking engines and claustrophobia, and chances are the results will be awesome. At the very least, this year’s group will be much more relatable than previous years, due to the sheer fact that none of them have any clue what the actual f*ck they’re doing. And if by the end one lucky team does manage to figure it out, we viewers might even have the chance to patron their truck in real life. Shall we consider this the opposite of food television blue balls?

Here’s a quick look at this year’s teams:

West Coast:

Momma’s Grizzly Grub

Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Cuisine: Homestyle Pasta
Pictured: Corkscrew Pasta Topped with Tomato Sauce and Nutty Cheese

Barbie Babes

Location: Los Angeles, California
Cuisine: Australian Barbecue
Pictures: Burger Topped with Egg, a Pickle Spear, and Fresh Peppers, and Fries

Pop-A-Waffle

Location: Los Angeles, California
Cuisine: Sweet and Savory Waffle Creations
Pictured: Chicken Fajita Waffle

Seoul Sausage

Location: Los Angeles, California
Cuisine: Korean-Style Sausages
Pictured: Charred Kalbi Burger

Under the Crust

Location: San Diego, California
Cuisine: Gourmet Handheld Pies
Pictured: Mini-Pies with Creamy Dipping Sauce

Midwest:

Pizza Mike’s

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Cuisine: Italian Street Food
Pictured: Beef Sandwich with Sweet Tomato Spread

South:

Coast of Atlanta

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Cuisine: Gourmet Seafood
Pictured: Seafood Taco with Peach Pico de Gallo and Jalapeno Hush Puppies

East Coast:

Nonna’s Kitchenette

Location: Parsippany/West Caldwell, N.J.
Cuisine: Italian Meatballs
Pictured: Sausage Sandwich Topped with Red and Yellow Peppers

The Great Food Truck Race season 3 premieres this Sunday, August 19, at 10 p.m./9c.

[Photos via Food Network]

Categories
Food Trucks

Grill ‘Em All Truck’s Latest Burger Features a Deep Fried Lasagna, Because This is Americaitaly

Heavy metal-inspired food truck Grill ‘Em All looks to literally shred people’s arteries this summer with the launch of an Italian bombshell of a burger — The Manowar.

The burger features a Funyun coated deep fried lasagna, ricotta cheese spread, marinara and spinach all sitting on a cheesy 7oz burger patty. For those unfamiliar with Grill ‘Em All‘s history, they skyrocketed to serious food truck fame when they took home the coveted championship on the first season of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.

As long as they keep encrusting lasagnsa with Funyuns and putting the resulting item ontop of a juicy burger patty, I’ll continue to be a fan.

Matt, the truck’s co-owner reports that the burger will run customers around $15 and should be available into next week.

If you’re in California, it might be in your arteries’ best interest to avoid tracking down the Grill ‘Em All truck’s location.

Categories
Adventures

The Playground — A Look at the New Eatery From Ex-Lime Truck Chef

Just a few months ago, Jason Quinn led the way as Lime Truck‘s lead chef, not only making a name for the truck in its hometown of Orange County, but branding the Southern California-based mobile food kitchen as one of the hottest trucks in the country.

After snatching $100,000 and the title of best food truck on the second season of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, it looks like part of those winnings went to fulfill his dream of opening up his own brick-and-mortar restaurant concept — The Playground.

The downtown Santa Ana location is flanked by a hodgepodge of art, music, fashion and eating/drinking destinations, an almost perfect compliment to the vibe Quinn hopes to achieve with his location —

I dreamed of taking what I started on the The Lime Truck and expanding it into a restaurant…I envisioned a big, beautiful building filled with character and style, an open kitchen and stunning bar, shiny new equipment and a team of passionate foodies to help me change how food and drink is prepared, served and appreciated. — Jason Quinn

No longer a part of The Lime Truck, Jason is hoping his charisma, passion and skill-set will port over to a brick-and-mortar concept. Early reports from our friends and colleagues spoke highly of the atmosphere and even higher about the food, some calling their staple ‘Playground Burger,’ one of the best burgers they’ve ever tasted. Those are huge claims, and you best believe we took a night out to test the waters.

Here’s what what we found:

[Exterior Photo Thx: FoodieInDisguise / All Other Photos: Phil Gorgeous]

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Rachael vs. Guy — Food Network’s New Celebrity Cook-Off Show

In one of the best new concepts to hit the Food Network since The Great Food Truck Race, two of the Food Network’s biggest icons, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, will square off against each for culinary bragging rights in their new celebrity cook-off show. Rachel vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off will premiere Sunday, January 1st at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The show’s concept falls into a six-episode competition series where Emmy-winning talk show host Rachael Ray and offbeat cookbook author and restaurateur Guy Fieri will act as coaches to eight celebrities. Teams will be split into groups of four off the bat, divided into ‘Team Rachel’ and ‘Team Guy’, with each episode ending a blind tasting elimination challenge. The last contestant standing will be crowned king or queen and win $50,000 for the charity they are playing to support.

Who will you be rooting for!?

The Contestants

Did we mention the eight celebrities battling it out on the show? Here they are, and it’s a conglomerate of relevant-last-decade heroes. Here’s who they are and why you should care (or not):

Aaron Carter

  • Aaron Carter is a triple-platinum recording artist who achieved an enormous amount of success before he was a teenager. He also spent a month in rehab earlier this year for his addictions, along with making an appearance on the E! reality show Celebrity Rehab 2 and was treated for substance abuse.

Alyssa Campanella

  • 2011 MISS USA, recently featured on the movie poster for “Get Him to the Greek.” In her newfound post as Miss USA, she will serve as the spokeswoman for breast and ovarian cancer education, research and legislation.

Cheech Marin

  • Cheech Marin is best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent, satirical, duo of Cheech and Chong. He will appear next in an untitled sitcom for CBS starring Rob Schneider.

Coolio

  • A multi-platinum rap star whose album Gangsta’s Paradise, released back in 1995, was certified double platinum and the song of the same name was one of the most successful rap songs of all-time. Coolio also has a few TV acting credits, but in our opinion, none of them chalk up to his intro song work for the Nickelodeon series Kenan & Kel.

Joey Fatone

  • Former member of multi-platinum mega boy band *NSYNC and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, Joey Fatone is currently racking up acting credits. Our favorite role is his ethnic variety in the 2002 sleeper hit film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Lou Diamond Phillips

  • Lou Diamond Phillips maintains a professional career that spans theater, television, and feature film as well as directing, writing and producing. His Hollywood film debut occurred in the critically acclaimed box office hit “La Bamba.”

Summer Sanders

  • Summer Sanders was the most decorated U.S. swimmer in the 1992 Olympic Games, winning four medals — two gold, a silver, and a bronze. Following her retirement from swimming, Sanders pursued a career in television. She co-hosted several television programs and is correspondent on several more, including “Good Morning America”, “The Rachael Ray Show” and spent eight years co-hosting “NBA Inside Stuff” on NBC.

Taylor Dayne

  • Taylor Dayne is a musician that has netted several best-selling gold and platinum albums over the span of her career. In fact, she’s sold more than 75 million albums and singles worldwide, garnered three GRAMMY nominations and appeared in several film, television, and stage roles.

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Episode Guide

Premiering Sunday, January 1st at 9pm ET/PT – SEASON PREMIERE!
“Celebrity Food Festival”
  • Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri welcome eight celebrity contestants to the first ever Celebrity Cook-Off! The competition begins immediately as Rachael and Guy pick their teams, and after teams are picked it’s time to get the party started as the teams must throw a food festival and each celebrity must cook one dish that serves 150 people. At the end of the festival the bottom two celebrities  compete in a sudden death challenge,  and one  celeb isn’t cut out for the culinary world and is eliminated from the competition.
Premiering Sunday, January 8th at 9pm ET/PT
“Let Them Eat Cake”
  • This week, Rachael and Guy sweeten things up when they challenge the seven remaining celebrity contestants to a dessert-making contest.  Each team must create four desserts, including one with a secret savory ingredient. The treats will be judged by 13 pastry students and  instructors from a professional culinary institute. A surprising evaluation from the pastry chefs puts Rachael and Guy in a tough position, but they must  decide which celebrities performed the weakest. Finally, the bottom two competitors are chosen to go head-to-head in the elimination challenge.
Premiering Sunday, January 15th at 9pm ET/PT
“Chopping Block”
  • Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, and Scott Conant are stepping into the Cook-Off kitchen to judge the remaining six celebrities as they go head-to-head  in one-on-one battles. Each team is put on the chopping block when the celebrities are challenged to cook their version of a judge’s signature dish. In the end, the judges pick the winners of each challenge leaving two surprising front runners to compete in the elimination challenge. One celeb doesn’t make the cut and is “chopped” from the competition.
Premiering Sunday, January 22nd at 9pm ET/PT
“Lunch Cart Showdown”
  • With five celebrity contestants remaining, it is time for Rachael and Guy to wheel out the next challenge. The celebs discover that each team will operate their own curb-side lunch cart to serve more than one hundred New York City pedestrians. The customer is always right, and in this challenge the patrons will decide which lunch cart was able to serve up the more delectable lunch to determine the winner. Then, the bottom two celebrities battle it out in a sudden death elimination challenge to decide who remains in the competition.
Premiering Sunday, January 29th at 9pm ET/PT
“Friends and Family Favorites”
  • Things get personal this week when Rachael and Guy invite their closest friends and family over for an intimate supper club catered by the four remaining celebrity contestants. Each contestant prepares a family-style meal for the table to be judged by the hosts nearest and dearest.  The winners are picked to go onto the finale and compete for the coveted prize of $50,000 for their charity. Two celebrities  are eliminated in this round, but the bottom two will have a chance compete in the “last chance challenge” to earn some last minute money for their charities before they get sent home for good.
Premiering Sunday, January 29th at 10pm ET/PT
“Restaurant Battle”
  • In the final round of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the two remaining celebrity contestants face the toughest challenge yet. Each will open up their very own restaurant where they will design everything from the menu to the theme and décor in one day. With the help of surprise partners, each restaurant serves a packed house full of hungry guests including Tim and Nina Zagat, founders of the Zagat Restaurant Guide. The Zagat’s reveal the winner with one celebrity contestant earning the $50,000 grand prize for charity.

 

Categories
Video

The Great Food Truck Race Season Finale [VIDEO]

Just a short week after the announcement of The Lime Truck‘s $100,000 win on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, our friends over at IM King have made available the entire final episode for our viewing pleasure. For those that haven’t seen the episode yet, The Lime Truck went head-to-head against The Hodge Podge Truck out of Cleveland, Ohio. The episode was filled with twists, turns and a killer speed bump that had both savory trucks forcibly become dessert trucks for the last leg of the race.

Enjoy the stream of the final episode before it gets inevitably pulled by the powers that be:

 

Also, don’t miss our additional food truck coverage:

The Hodge Podge Truck: (Cleveland, OH) / Facebook / Twitter / Website

The Lime Truck: (Orange County, CA) / Facebook / Twitter / Website

 

Categories
Adventures

Adventure: The Lime Truck

Ever since they won Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race and hearing all the buzz surrounding The Lime Truck, I knew it was time to have a proper food adventure into the heart of Orange County to grab some delicious “California fusion” food.

After a cursory glance at the menu, me and my fellow FOODBEASTS decide to get the most out of our experience and order up a number of choice dishes.

We even got to sit down and have lunch with one of the food truck’s founders Daniel Shemtob and talk a little about the Food Truck Race and the finer points of running one of OC’s premiere food truck. But back to the food…

We started off with some succulent Crab Ceviche. The citrus tangy flavor coupled the natural sweetness of the shrimp and crab definitely made this dish a great way to start off our FOODBEAST meal.

We also had some roasted corn topped with spicy remoulade sauce and cotija cheese. Because FOODBEASTs need veggies too!

The Lime Truck’s Ahi Poke Tuna Nachos really was a sight to behold. The edemame hummus really brought a splash of color and flavor to some delicious raw Ahi Tuna chunks. It was almost a shame to eat such a beautiful thing… almost. A nice way to head into some heartier dishes.

Now this had to be one of my favorites of the entire meal. The Carnitas Fries. Sour cream, guacamole and chipotle cole slaw nestled on a bed of pulled pork–What more can anyone ask for? Some fries to eat them all with, that’s what. This proved to be the messiest and therefore delicious things eaten on this venture.

Daniel concedes it’s definitely one of his favorites they serve on the menu.

Nothing finishes a meal quite like a Slammin Lambin Sangwich. I say that because after all that food and this mountain of marinated lamb, veggies and tzatziki sauce and sriracha atop a flat bread bun, your meal is definitely finished. Good thing I had my fellow FOODBEASTs to help chow down on all this delectable grub.

Categories
Food Trucks

Great Food Truck Race’s ‘Lime Truck’ To Open New Truck in LA

The FOODBEAST Crew headed to the OC Foodie Fest this past weekend and we all wished we had brought an additional stomach. Between judging 30+ savory food items AND the individual appointments we set up for interviews, we thought we would never eat again (that changed in 1.5 hours).

We had the pleasure of hanging out and chatting with Daniel and Jason from The Lime Truck, who are currently featured on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. We talked about the origins of their truck, some of their cuisine and then Rudy entered their Chile Eating Contest with #HotterThanGhost Chiles (/yikes!).

In an exclusive interview with FOODBEAST, Daniel announced his plans to launch a Los Angeles based Lime Truck in the next month. The truck currently gears its focus on Orange County, but this new move looks to expand upon the brand’s growing operation. So Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice and LA will be able to taste the California fusion cuisine in their own neighborhood. Check out the footage from the Chile Eating Contest, and the full interview with Daniel and Jason below: