NYC franks go for 'Race' glory
This Sunday, go on the road with a trio of Brooklyn hot dog hawkers as their Frankfootas food truck competes in Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race.”
The series, now entering its fourth season, follows eight teams going cross-country on a road trip that will determine which is the next great food truck. This season features the series’ longest route yet, spanning 4,181 miles, a guest appearance from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a hefty $50,000 cash prize for the winning truck.
The ladies of Frankfootas (made up of New Yorkers Dana Raja, Mirlinda Kukaj and Victoria Fiorenza) will be paying tribute to the Big Apple’s favorite street food with their innovative hot dog creations. With menu items ranging from a hummus and chopped tomato veggie dog to a bacon-wrapped pulled pork hot dog, their concept is a mix of invention and tradition.
“We’re three girls from Brooklyn trying to bring the original New York City hot dog back to New York,” Kukaj says, adding that they kept their hometown close to their hearts while touring the country. Raja described their style as “Hooters on Wheels.”
When “The Great Food Truck Race” first aired five years ago, the mobile meal phenomenon was still in its infancy.
The series has played an important role in helping the movement build momentum, host Tyler Florence says.
“We didn’t create the industry, but we’ve gassed it,” Florence says. “Now we’ve got this whole subgenre of restaurants that are untethered to a physical address.”
The challenges that the teams face reflect the real-world obstacles confronting food truck owners, Florence notes, citing parking tickets and weather conditions as opportunities for contestants to think on their feet.
But while food trucks constantly change locations within cities, their local feel creates a sense of community. It is this scope that makes the competition worthwhile, the Frankfootas team says.
“It’s so rewarding just to see people’s reactions to our food,” Fiorenza explains.
“The Great Food Truck Race” will premiere on Food Network on Sunday at 9 p.m.