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'The Great Food Truck Race' recap: Grill 'Em All stops Nom Nom in its tracks

September 20, 2010 | 10:27 am

Let the conspiracy theories begin.

On the face of it, "The Great Food Truck Race" had a pretty straightforward premise: The gourmet food truck that sells the most, wins. And when the L.A.-based Nom Nom Truck -- and its Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches -- rolled to five straight wins, it seemed like this finale was a foregone conclusion.

But when the apropo L.A. vs. L.A. showdown arrived in New York -- Nom Nom was up against the L.A.-based Grill 'Em All Truck and their monster burgers and fresh fries -- the Nommers hit a rough patch and fell behind. Way behind. Like, a borough behind. Giving the scrappy Grill 'Em All guys the opening they needed to ride their way to a stunning upset victory and a $50,000 pay day.

Cue the heavy metal guitar, boys!  

But was this finale a problem for the show's producers? At least one person thinks that the last Truck Stop challenge was just one more convenient twist to manage the competition instead of just letting the trucks duke it out. Nom Nom Truck's fate was about to be sealed when Ty called a halt to all sales and announced that the trucks would have to swap menus, meaning the burger guys would have to make a banh mi sandwich and the Nommers would have to make a burger. The best dish -- as decided by New York Chef Nate Appleman -- would put Nom Nom back in the game ... and I'm not sure I know what it would have done for the Grill 'Em All guys. But Nom Nom won ... and yet still could not catch up to those decadent burgers.

What do you think? Was this a convenient way to give Nom Nom a much-needed win to get them back into the game? If that's true, is this too much manipulation for your taste? Or do you think that, hey, this is a game and it's up to the producers to make it as suspenseful as possible? (You have to admit that it all made for a much more exciting finale. As much as I loved watching the guys make those heart-attack burgers, it would have been boring to see them just cruise to victory on their way to the Flatiron Building.)

Here's the question I still have: How in the world did Nom Nom fall so far behind? It's not like New Yorkers aren't hip to banh mi sandwiches.

Are you looking forward to a Season 2?

-- Rene Lynch

Photo: The Grill 'Em All Truck guys savor sweet victory -- and the view -- atop Manhattan's Flatiron Building. Credit: Food Network