"The time has come to let saucy balls go," says Joey -- and so begins another episode of America's Next Great Restaurant. In a few weeks the show will be over and a new fast, casual restaurant will be open in L.A., Minneapolis, and New York.
This week's episode focused on: food trucks!
Each contestant created a mobile restaurant and served up a new dish. They worked with graphic designers to create the visuals for trucks that would be parked on Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. during lunch. Somewhat craftily, the judges thought the challenge would be the ideal way to test how the contestants understood finance. Would the contestants know how much their food cost was, pricing out each serving to know how much they were making on each sell?
Apparently not! Hardly anyone thought about this. The exception seemed to be Sudhir of Spice Coast, but most others appeared to be guessing. The judges also looked at what the contestants decided to serve and how they packaged it. Sinners and Saints' mac n' cheese didn't go over well, but the Grill 'Billies grilled chicken sandwich and corn on the cob was a hit. Spice Coast offered up Indian food in a portable taco which even Curtis Stone liked. The judges were not impressed with Joey's example lunch display (meatballs that had been sitting around awhile) or the little packages of red pepper flakes he served with his lunches. Bobby Flay said those choices cheapened Joey's food. Similarly, judges had concerns over Soul Daddy's canned green beans and about Harvest Sol's use of canned chickpeas. (Horror of horrors for a company professing to be based on fresh ingredients!).
In the end, Soul Daddy sold the most and was kept in the running as was Grill 'Billies and Spice Coast. Sinners and Saints, Harvest Sol, and Saucy Balls -- now The Brooklyn Meatball Company -- went to the "investors' suite" to face the judges. Ultimately, Sinners and Saints was cut from the competition. Even though Sandy had fired her chef and gotten a replacement, the food was still not cutting it for the judges. If only she had served dishes where the contrast was clear without a lot of explanation -- perhaps devil's food cake and angel food cake as Bobby mentioned during the episode. Kind of a bust for Sandy to go feeling bulldozed over by her new chef, Lance. But, the competition must go on...
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Who do you think should win the competition? Let us know! If you're behind on the show, check out last week's recap here.