Season 3, Episode 6

Mistake by the Lake?

The final three teams roll into Cleveland. In the spirit of Outback Steakhouse's famous Bloomin' Onion, the remaining teams are challenged to take an everyday vegetable, a ripe Ohio tomato, and create a delectable appetizer. Outback Co-Founder and Executive Chef Tim Gannon visits the trucks to sample the food and determines the winner ... and the losers suffer through a "punishment" at a restaurant owned by a previous Great Food Truck Race contestant! Tyler also mixes things up with a hilarious Speed Bump: the teams must transfer their entire operation to a hot dog cart and continue to make sales on foot.
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Heart of the Midwest

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.

Mr. Outback

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.

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Celebrating Tomatoes

Nonna's Kitchenette is happy that this week's challenge ingredient — tomatoes — is one that they're very familiar with. The ladies decide to serve an Italian-style fried tomato that Tim says has "great flavor."

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Winning Bruschetta

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.

Know Your Audience

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.

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

"Food Truck 101"

Seoul Sausage and Nonna's Kitchenette meet with season two competitor Chris Hodges at his restaurant, Hodge's, for a three-hour seminar on the basics of running a food truck. "Tyler called me up. He's asked me to give you a couple lessons," Chris tells the teams.

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Manual Labor

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.

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Streetside Selling

On day two of selling, Tyler delivers a Speed Bump that takes the teams out of their trucks. Until 6 p.m., they will be confined to selling from miniature mobile hot dog carts.

Curbside Cart

Seoul Sausage sets up their hot dog cart just outside of their truck. Given that the cart is so small and they are offering an array of menu items, Ted, Chris and Yong are forced to get creative with areas for food storage and preparation.

Drop in Business

Nonna's Kitchenette at first finds success in a local park, but business slows as they struggle to track down customers with their hot dog cart.

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Back in the Game

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."

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Farewell to Waffles

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."

Photo By: Roger Mastroianni / Getty ImagesCommissioned Photographer ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ready, Set, Go

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.

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