Korilla BBQ on ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ – Week 4

Photo via Hagin Photography

by David “Rek” Lee

New Yorkers are notorious for being all about their city and oblivious to anything beyond it. This was best exemplified by Steve’s reaction to this week’s location: “You’re headed to Manhattan” (CUT TO Steve: “We’re just going to destroy the competition there…”)

“I wasn’t talking about that Manhattan, I’m sending you to the Little Apple, Manhattan, Kansas.” (CUT TO Steve’s nervous laughter. “Where’s that?”).

Not one to back down, Korilla BBQ took on the unfamiliar and saw it for what it was, another opportunity to spread the Korean-grilled gospel. Check out this week’s discussion to find out about serving a small town and the real story behind Hodge Podge stealing Korilla BBQ’s customers.

Eddie Song: Manhattan or as it known as Manhappiness to the people in the know is a small college town. They showed us so much love that we didn’t want to leave.
Paul: The people are so friendly and they loved us. We loved them too.

This week the trucks are given $5 debit cards each to prepare a meal for food critic Charles Ferruzza.

Paul: Our debit card got denied. But nobody cared, they told us to take it.
KoreAm: What did you guys buy exactly?
Eddie: 80/20 ground beef, one potato roll, one egg, 2 slices of American cheese, 1 kirby pickle and we helped ourselves to free ketchup, mustard and mayo packets.
KoreAm: Yeah, you guys went in on those condiments.
Paul: Five dollars is plenty for one meal.

The guys offer the judge what is essentially a bulgogi burger, but not before Eddie tells a story about King Sejong.

Eddie: I wanted to eat our burger so bad.
Paul: Word up, that sh-t looked delicious.
KoreAm: Whose idea was that?
Eddie: We heard the other trucks were doing burgers and we thought we should show them how it’s done, Korean tradition. So Chef Paul chef’ed it up once again.
KoreAm: Do you make those at home?
Paul: Yeah, come over.
KoreAm: Sounds good, you guys had a great history lesson to go along with that burger. Tell us about that.
Paul: What they cut from the other episodes is that every time Eddie went up, he felt it was necessary to have some sort of story. So we would sit there and come up with ridiculous stories. It’s all somewhat true.
Eddie: It’s gotta be if it’s on TV!

For winning the Truck stop challenge, Seabirds receive the only spot in Aggieville, prime real estate in the town of Manhattan. Turns out it isn’t the actual prize that was announced.

Eddie: You’ll notice there were practically zero college kids. That’s because we filmed this on Graduation Day when most kids were already home.
Paul: Originally, the winners were supposed to get a spot at graduation but somebody f–ked up.
Eddie: Right, so when the Seabirds won they told us they would get a spot at the Graudation, so our plan to park in Aggieville with Bluestem was still in play.
Paul: So after we filmed everything, they switched it up so when Tyler says what the winner gets no one’s actually around.

The guys find another Korean establishment in this small town willing to help in any way they can.

Eddie: They’re great people. When we told them what Korilla was about and how we were trying to represent the culture on this reality show they were down for the cause. Also, Mr. Yi was so helpful. We lost our VW Passat because of an accident we had in Denver, he whipped us around town all 10 blocks of it and showed us the lay of the land.
KoreAm: You guys spent considerably less than everyone else. How were you able to budget like that?
Paul: Basically, we played smarter than the other trucks and we were more connected.
Eddie: Too smart for our own good.
KoreAm: Sounds like some foreshadowing going on there.

The trucks are told to pump their brakes and sell everything for under a dollar. This presents a huge obstacle.

Eddie: It was a perfect way to get the people of Kansas to try Korean food. So we were happy about that.
KoreAm: Yeah, it didn’t deter you guys in terms of food prep and making profits.
Eddie: It played to our strengths: we can pump out food faster than anyone.
Paul: People waited 5+ hours for our food so the average order was 10 or 20 tacos.
Eddie: Towards the end we were hustling tacos with just kimchi because we ran out of food.
Paul: And just meat at another point with nothing else.
KoreAm: I think I saw you guys feeding each other, that was hilarious.
Paul: Yo, when you have gloves on you can’t grab your food.

This is a restaurant that helps Korilla BBQ go the extra mile. Except it doesn’t make the final cut of the episode.

Eddie: Kevin’s (of Bluestem) team supported us with t-shirts, homemade whoopee pies and helped us by delivering food to us so we never ran out.
Paul: We had some sort of partnership in every town. Unfortunately, Food Network G’d most of them and gave them no airtime.
KoreAm: That’s incredible, how did you partner up?
Eddie: We found Bluestem online and thought they had everything we needed.

Jackie from the Hodge Podge Truck notices the long line in front of Korilla BBQ and decides to take orders from the tail end of it. Steve has some words for her.

The Hodge Podge Food Truck team

Paul: What they don’t show on camera was that Steve was hitting that. That girl Jackie. So him and Hodge had some beef.
KoreAm: Ah, I see. So, basically she thought it was cool to pull a move like that.
Paul: Yeah, that’s the only reason she came to our line. Hodge was a bit sour ’cause Steve was pounding his girlfriend.
KoreAm: Is this okay to share with the world?
Eddie: Yes.
Paul: Yeah, it’s perfectly fine.
KoreAm: God bless ya’ll.

Twitter/Facebook questions answered!

Next week, include @korillaBBQ and @KoreAm during the episode and get your questions answered. Also ask questions on Korilla’s Facebook here.

@RunSteve_Run: Go @KorillaBBQ ! You guys are killing it on the #foodtruck race. When are you guys going to expand to the west coast?!
Korilla BBQ: West coast expansion is definitely in the works.

@lovingviolence: @KorillaBBQ where can I find the korilla burger? This is in my interested
Korilla BBQ: Korilla Burger coming soon to a Korilla store near you

@beyondesp: U guys should’ve showed what happens in nyc when food trucks fight for a spot. Some tires amazingly are slashed the next day…
Korilla BBQ: GFTR is a family show.