Food Court Wars: Empanadas vs. Tacos

Tyler and Tirados
Food Court Wars

On Food Network's new show, Food Court Wars , two teams of aspiring restaurant owners battle it out to win their very own food court restaurant worth $100,000. Through a set of challenges that tests their menu offerings and marketability, the team that makes the most sales on grand-opening day wins.

On tonight's episode at the West Gate Mall in Spartanburg, S.C., the current owner of two taco restaurants, V.J., and his employee and store manager, Michael, opened The Taco Spot. And the team of Trish and her daughter Jenn, who previously quit her job to work at her mom’s food cart, opened Tirado's Empanadas & More. In the end, the empanadas came out on top of the tacos, securing the Tirado women their very first restaurant business.

The first challenge had the teams try out their foods on mall kiosk owners. The ladies had a difficult time explaining what their empanadas were. In the end the guys won with their fish tacos, but just by one vote. The advantage got them prime advertisement on the mall's entrance marquee. But would it put them in the lead? They would have to wait and see.

Taco Spot

The next day gave the teams an opportunity to market their businesses at town events. The Taco Spot handed out their Southern-inspired tacos at the MS Walk. The Tirados attended the Denim Fest and showcased two of their Puerto Rican specialty dishes — shrimp-filled plantain cups and papas rellenas (stuffed potato balls).


On grand-opening day, prepping for service proved to be tough for both teams, but luckily each was allowed a helper. During service, The Taco Spot had a bit of trouble expediting, so Michael stepped in to get things back on track. Over at Tirado's, the team couldn't get food out fast enough at first, but soon found a steady pace. Either team could have easily won the battle, but ultimately Trish and Jenn's Puerto Rican flavors brought something unique and exotic to the mall that shoppers were eager to try.

Watch Food Court Wars on Sundays at 8pm/7c.

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