The top three teams have made it to Cleveland, but Tyler warns that the next two days of competition will be some of the most difficult yet. "This weekend is going to push you and test you," he tells them. He distributes just $100 to each team and sends them to Cleveland's West Side Market to "pick up three homegrown, ripe Ohio tomatoes" for later use.
Before the teams start selling, Tyler calls to explain this week's Truck Stop: They must use a tomato to create "something simple but delicious, just like the Bloomin' Onion" on the menu at Outback Steakhouse. Tim Gannon, senior vice president and founding chef of Outback Steakhouse, will taste each team's appetizer and decide the best tomato dish of the day.
In the end, it's the guys of Pop-A-Waffle who cook up a win with their ciabatta bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and pesto goat cheese. Tim says that their appetizer is "absolutely a fabulous dish," and Tyler rewards them with $250 and the right to keep selling while the other teams must close their trucks for three hours.
Taking advantage of their Truck Stop prize, Pop-A-Waffle continues to sell and even caters to Cleveland's large Polish population by offering a "Polish Boy," which includes "kielbasa, French fries, coleslaw and hot sauce." Of course, their menu still features tried-and-true classics, like a plate of chicken and waffles and a sweet strawberry-topped waffle.
Chris explains that it takes more than just four wheels and a tasty product to successfully run a food truck. He puts the contestants to work on team-building exercises, basic food preparation and down-and-dirty kitchen cleanup. "This is not a seminar," Jessica remarks as she washes a pan at Hodge's.
After his team's disappointing third-place finish last week, Seoul Sausage's Chris vowed that "this will never, ever happen again." Sure enough, Tyler announces on elimination day that the guys have brought in first-place earnings of $5,202, their highest weekend sales of the competition. "You said you'd be back with a vengeance this week," Tyler tells the team, "and you lived up to your word."
In the end, Tyler reports that Nonna's Kitchenette is the other team to advance to next week's finale, which means that it's the end of the road for Pop-A-Waffle. Despite the guys' Truck Stop advantage, they do not make enough money to stay in the race, and are forced to turn in their keys. "The future of Pop-A-Waffle," Bobaloo ponders after the race, "I only see big things. I want to start this food truck for real."
Before Nonna's Kitchenette and Seoul Sausage can take off on what they think is their final road trip, Tyler makes an unexpected announcement: "The finale starts right now." He dishes out $500 in seed money to each team and explains that their "multi-city race to the finish" begins in Boston, where the teams must open for business as soon as they arrive.