Live Blog: The Great Food Truck Race UPDATED
Cleveland's Hodge Podge gets ready for a weekend in Miami.
The finale of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race is being filmed all over the streets of Miami. Two trucks are competing to win the title and take home $100,000. Hodge Podge, from Cleveland Ohio is taking on The Lime Truck from Irvine, California. Their goal is to drive around our city and serve food to our fair citizens. The team that sells the most meals at the end of the weekend wins!
Since the trucks are not allowed to communicate via Twitter and Facebook, Short Order is bringing you updates as we receive them. Follow this live blog all weekend to find out menu items, info on the chefs, get pictures and to find out the locations of the trucks. When you eat at one of the trucks, please post a comment - we'd love to hear your thoughts on who you think is going to win and how they stack up against our home town truckers.
12:45: We found both trucks in South Pointe park. Nobody's around. They are probably counting the cash.
12:14: Lime Truck was spotted heading north on Collins or Washington near Fifth Street. A source says it's a race to the finish line.
12:11: Turns out Hodge Podge, too, met the $15,000 goal. Both trucks are headed to an undisclosed location on the Beach. Not sure exactly of the rules. One will be declared a winner very shortly.
12:04 p.m.:Video of the Lime Truck's final sale.
11:49: The Hodge Podge truck is not parked at the Miami Herald as the owner and a PR agency told us. In fact, no one's there. The truck isn't supposed to start selling until 12:30. Is Lime the winner? Is Hodge Podge parked somewhere else? Who knows? We may not have a winner until August, when the show airs.
11:35: Parked in Brickell, the Lime Truck just reached the $15,000 goal. The owner of Baru Urbano forked out the last $146. They may still be selling, but they won't let Short Order follow. They are headed to Miami Beach.
Still don't know about Hodge Podge. This is more tense than last night's Heat game.
10:30 a.m. This is it folks....If you've been following our live blog, you've probably been to one or both of these food trucks and have a dog in the fight, so to speak. But if not, here's the rundown....The Lime Truck, from Irvine California and Hodge Podge from Cleveland, OH are filming the finale of The Great Food Truck Race. They've been at it all weekend and we've been following the action.
Both truckers have a goal of selling $15,000 worth of food. Both are close (really, really close) to that goal. Both trucks are starting their service in the next few minutes (no matter what we post, assume they'll both start as soon as they get to a location - we'd be surprised if they didn't try to get a "leg up" on the competition by serving earlier than planned).
Both trucks have to serve dessert (see posts below for menus).
The Lime Truck is at Baru Urbano at 1001 South Miami Avenue, Miami
Hodge Podge is at The Miami Herald at One Herald Plaza, Miami
Our prediction if we have to make it? Miami Herald reporters and staff, in an attempt to get the "scoop" of a win (hey - isn't that making news instead of reporting it?) will attempt to "buy" the win for Hodge Podge. (For the record, The Miami New Times spent about $30 at The Lime Truck and $20 at Hodge Podge Truck - call us biased, but we maxed out our budget)....Unless people go and bombard The Lime Truck with orders upon orders for breakfast and dessert.
In a nutshell? Go out right now and support your truck. Because now is the time to take sides.....are you Team Lime or Team Hodge Podge?????
10:15 a.m. Breaking News - The Lime Truck has announced the breakfast and dessert menu:
Banana Caramel Tart
White Chocolate French Toast
OMG! The competition is hot and fierce. This thing is going down fast. We predict a winner by 1:00 p.m. the latest. Go out and eat at your favorite truck before its too late.
10:00 a.m. New Location announced for Hodge Podge Truck - They will be The Miami Herald, One Herald Plaza, Miami from 12:30 - ?????. Word has it they are very close to their goal, so get out early for lunch because this might do down fast.
9:48 a.m. Yes, my friends, Chef Chris from Hodge Podge announced his dessert options, which include a crepe, a tart and....puppy chow!
That's what we said. Apparently this puppy chow is NOT for the dogs, but a delicious treat for bipeds. Here's the dessert menu:
Black Truffle & Berry Crepe
Bananas Not-So-Foster Tart (Nutella, burnt marshmallows, brown sugared bananas in a tart)
Puppy Chow (Chex Mix with peanut butter, chocolate and brown sugar)
Along with dessert, the HodgePodge lunch menu will include short rib tater tots and shaved steak tacos.
There are also some twists that Chef Chris is not willing to divulge yet - so stay tuned to this blog for frequent updates.
8:20 a.m. Though the show was originally set to film only Saturday and Sunday, taping continues today. Neither truck has sold its $15,000 quota, though they're getting close and one of the finalists may hit the magic number today (so if you've been waiting to experience these trucks, you might want to catch them for lunch).
Usually the show's producers throw in challenges or roadblocks, and today's twist is dessert. Each truck must serve dessert with their lunch service. No word on what the menu will be, but here are the locations:
The Lime Truck - Baru Urbano at 1001 South Miami Avenue, Miami (Times TBA)
HodgePodge Truck - Bayfront Park with Latin Burger and The Fish Box (Times TBA)
8:00 p.m. With the truckers spending much of the day meeting challenges for the show producers, there wasn't much to report, but here's what's going on:
HodgePodge, spending time at Kendall Car Wash, did very well and is close to the $15,000 goal. They shut down for the night and have stopped serving.
The Lime Truck, over at Cervezas in South Miami, has also been shut down for the night and also is close to the goal of $15,000.
One of these trucks mught reach the goal tomorrow.
Tomorrow? They have to serve desserts during lunch, likely at Bayfront Park for HodgePodge, but locations are yet to be confirmed.
10:15 a.m. Here's an update on what happened last night:
The evening started well, as both trucks were positioned to enjoy a brisk business for a Saturday evening dinner service. The Lime Truck was in Coconut Grove in front of St. Stephen's Church and HodgePodge was scheduled to be at Tobacco Road all night, where a food truck rally was happening. Of course, things don't always go as planned and a roadblock was put into place - the trucks had to move to Little Havana and stay there for the night.
Both trucks scrambled to find a place as close to Versailles Restaurant as possible. The Lime Truck negotiated a deal with the owner of a strip mall across the street from Versailles where they could park until 11pm. HodgePodge parked at a taxi stand across the street from Versailles. It was the first time since arriving in Miami that the trucks would be engaged in head-to-head combat, if you will - vying for the same customer base.
The Lime Truck was doing really well - they had a built-in fan base of 20 people that flew in from California - complete with Lime T-Shirts and cash in hand.
Since lunch was at HodgePodge, it was time for dinner at Lime. We ordered the grilled asparagus, bar snacks (fried chickpeas with feta cheese), grilled shishito peppers, shaved ribeye quesadilla and mango limeade. The shishito peppers were wonderful, as was everything, but the simple grilled asparagus, topped with a little parmesan cheese, was magnificent - crisp, hot, just the right amount of sea salt. It's always great when something so simple can be elevated to heavenly.
There are some people Tweeting that the Miami food truck owners are giving an unfair advantage to HodgePodge and playing favorites. Well, there was certainly no tension to be seen when David Garcia (The Fish Box) and Richard Hales (Sakaya Kitchen) bought one of each item from The Lime Truck. In fact, there was a lot of hand shaking, laughing and good feelings between both Lime and HodgePodge crews and the Miami truck owners.
The Hodge Podge Truck was doing a steady amount of business, as well....until the police arrived. An officer and a sergeant approached Chef Chris from HodgePodge and told him he would have to move the truck out of the Taxi Zone. The police were nice and the sergeant turned out to not only agree to be on camera, but to provide a police escort for HodgePodge as they looked for a legal spot.
Since it was close to 11pm, The Lime Truck moved across the street out of the lot, HodgePodge moved to SW 8th Street and 14th Avenue, but both trucks packed it in for the night shortly after moving to their new locations - mainly because the show producers threw another wrench in the works - a cooking challenge for both teams first thing in the morning.
We're not sure what the challenge is (which they are performing right now), but it might involve a boat (we're thinking catch what's on today's menu) and The Epic Hotel in Downtown Miami.
Meantime, HodgePodge will be out for lunch starting at 3:00 pm at Kendall Car Wash at 9750 SW 88th Street. Joining them will be Latin Burger, The Fish Box, Sugar Rush and Sakaya Kitchen.
The Lime Truck has not yet announced a time or location.
We'll keep you posted.
The Lime Truck's Shishito Peppers
The Lime Truck's Bar Snacks
The Lime Truck's Shaved Ribeye Quesadilla
The Lime truck's Chef Jason checking out HodgePodge's menu - he wanted to try the sweet potato tots
Miami Police and film crew discussing where to put the HodgePodge truck - anyplace but here...
The Lime Truck's menu - nom nom
6:46 p.m. Update on truck whereabouts for tonight:
Hodge Podge will be at Tobacco Road until 2am (unless they get roadblocked by the show's producers or something).
Still waiting on exact location, but The Lime Truck will be in Coconut Grove tonight for dinner.
Will update with dinner menus and exact location for The Lime Truck as we get info.
6:00 p.m. Spent the afternoon at Tobacco Road, having lunch at Hodge Podge Truck. Chef Chris makes amazing tuna wontons. What made it for me? the slivers of peach mixed with the incredibly fresh tuna was a refreshing and light lunch option on a very warm day. Sweet potato tots with truffle oil were good, but very filling and rich.
Met some fans wearing Lime Truck t-shirts, Rose Sisto and Lola Cruz. They had come back from Lime Truck, where they had the red curry mussels, crab and scallop ceviche, fried chickpeas and philly cheesesteak fries (basically everything on the menu). They said everything was fantastic (and I agree, having tried Lime's food yesterday) and reported that 20 Lime Truck fans actually flew in from California to support the guys. That's dedication (and love).
Rose and Lola then took photos with Chef Chris next to the Hodge Podge truck, while wearing their Lime Truck shirts. Chef Chris is a sport! They had the steak tartare with foie gras and tuna wontons from Hodge Podge. The verdict? Lola said that although both dishes were good, she likes a little more spice in her food. Chef Chris said he didn't want to compete with the foie gras - agreed. (Laine Doss)
Chef Chris prepares tuna wontons
Chef Chris, Jim Heins and David Garcia talking trucks
It's a Lime Hodgepodge - LolaCruz and Rose Sisto pose with Chris Hodgson
Tuna Wontons - the peach made the dish outstanding
Sweet Potato Tots with Truffle Oil
Chris Hodgson and girlfriend Jacquelyn Romanin - steal a kiss on the truck
1:00 p.m. Here's the lunch menu for Hodge Podge Truck (currently at Tobacco Road):
Sweet Potato Tater Tots
King Crab Dip
Steak Tartare with Foie Gras
Passion Fruit Lemonade
Heading out there now to try some lunch. Will share photos of the food. (Laine Doss)
12:20 p.m. The Lime Truck is actually staying by The Melting Pot on 157th and Biscayne. Guess they checked out the Haulover locale and it wasn't to their liking. The menu for lunch is same as yesterday's dinner - crab and scallop ceviche, res curry mussels, philly cheesesteak fries and fried chickpeas with mint, feta cheese and olive oil. This is really good light fare for a hot Miami afternoon (plus some indulgent fry action). (Laine Doss)
11:40 a.m. The Lime Truck is on the move. They're going to The Haulover Beach Marina Food Truck Rally for lunch. This is a great time to enjoy the beach and try The Lime Truck's food. We had the crab and scallop ceviche and red curry mussels yesterday and they were really fabulous. (Laine Doss)
10:45 a.m. In an amazing show of solidarity, Miami Food Truck moguls David Garcia (The Fish Box), Jim Heins (Latin Burger), Richard Hales (Dim Ssam a Gogo) and Jeremiah Bullfrog (gastroPod) have teamed up to help Chris Hodgson's Hodge Podge win the competition. For every $20 you spend at The Hodge Podge Truck today at Tobacco Road, you'll get one free menu item at your choice of: The Fish Box, gastroPod, Latin Burger and Sakaya Kitchen Truck. (Laine Doss)
(from left) Jim Heins, Richard Hales, Chris Hodgson, Jeremiah Bullfrog and David Garcia
10:30 a.m. Chef Jason and The Lime Truck have announced their lunch location - in front of The Melting Pot at 157th and Biscayne Boulevard. This is great news for the North Miami/Aventura crowd. (Laine Doss)
10:15 a.m.: Good morning everyone - hope you're getting ready for lunch. Chef Chris and the Hodge Podge Truck will be serving ALL DAY at Tobacco Road (and we mean all day and night - from noon - 2:00 a.m.).
We're still waiting to hear the location of The Lime Truck - stay tuned. (Laine Doss)
8:21 p.m.: Just got word that Hodge Podge's next location will be at Electric Pickle at 11:30. The Lime Truck will be making their way to Blue Piano Bar as soon as they get their wheels back. (Alexandra Leon)
8:09 p.m.: Hodge Podge has now been towed as well. They've already raised their $200, so they're on the way to pick up their truck. Meanwhile, The Lime Truck has now enlisted a girl in short shorts and high heeled boots to market shellfish to the masses. (Alexandra Leon)
8:04 p.m.: BREAKING NEWS: The Lime Truck is being towed and needs your help to get rolling again! It's all part of the show, but the boys are stuck at their location outside Sakaya Kitchen, with only a propane stove and a picnic table, until they raise $200. So, stop by and help them get back on the road! (Alexandra Leon)
7:11 p.m.: Menu items from The Lime Truck are in:
Bread Curry Mussels Steamed in White Wine, $14
Blue Crab and Scallop Ceviche, $10
Philly Cheesesteak Fries (shaved ribeye, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cheese on top of french fries), $10
Bar snacks, $6
Fried Chick Peas (with mint, lemon, pepper, olive oil, and feta cheese), $6
Mango Limeade, $4 with free refills
All prices are as suggested, but you can pay more to help them win the race. If you order one of each item, you get a free Lime Truck T-Shirt, but even more tempting is the chance to win a date with one of the California hotties running the show. By spending $100 or more, you can get one of these boys all to yourself. We hear they're all single, straight, and willing to whore themselves out for the love of food.
Look out for another location later tonight. Ahi Tuna is rumored to be on the menu for tomorrow. (Alexandra Leon)
5:33 p.m.: Richard Hales from Sakaya Kitchen just sent us an email. Dim Ssam a Gogo will also be outside Sakaya Kitchen tonight with The Lime Truck, serving up two doses of food truck goodness. Come on out to Sakaya Kitchen in Midtown Miami (near Target). We're on our way. (Laine Doss)
5:11 p.m.: Just received info from a reliable source that Chef Chris from Hodge Podge raided the fridge of one of South Beach's finest steakhouses. Menu selections at Hodge Podge for tonight will be:
Foie Gras Tater Tots
.....and more. We don't have prices confirmed, but we're certain that it's going to be a fraction of cost of the steakhouse. Enjoy! (Laine Doss)
4:30 p.m.: Just got word from Daniel Shimtob, co-owner of The Lime Truck, that they will start serving at 6:00pm tonight in front of Sakaya Kitchen in midtown! They'll stay for a while and might go bar-hopping or clubbing afterward. Go forth and eat; and stay tuned for more updates and info. (Laine Doss)
4:13 p.m: The trucks are rolling out tonight! So far, Hodge Podge Truck will be rolling to the Miami Lakes Street Food Fiesta so be sure to say hi and try a new truck!
We're waiting to hear from The Lime Truck so stay tuned as we post updates as we receive them!
The truckers are looking for suggestions for locations throughout the weekend. They can't communicate via twitter - but we can call them with your suggestions.
To get these meals on wheels to a street near you, post your suggested location in the comments of this post, or tweet it to @Short_Order. Anywhere in Miami-Dade County is fair-game, except for South Beach. Keep checking Short Order to help America's favorite truck win $100,000.
The Lime Truck waiting for the race to start.
Chef Chris Hodgson of Hodge Podge
Daniel Shemtob, co-owner of Lime Truck
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