What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Raleigh food truck hoping for 'Pho Nomenal' finish on Food Network

Posted September 16, 2015

Pho Nomenal Dumpling (Facebook)

— When Pho Nomenal Dumpling's truck suffered engine trouble during the first leg of the "Great Food Truck Race," the trio had a split second of panic before going immediately into problem-solving mode.

It wasn't the first time the Raleigh-based food truck had problems on the road (it's all part of running a food truck), but it was the worst possible time.

After their bumpy start on the Food Truck reality competition, the dumpling truck's owners seemed to have finally found its stride last week after finishing a 72 oz. steak in "The Big Texan Steak Ranch" challenge in Amarillo. While audiences also saw team Pho Nomenal claim victory in a cooking competition with their kimichi steak tacos, what they didn't know was that the team was feeling the effects of the competition.

"We were exhausted. It was non-stop," Pho Nomenal's Sophia Woo said during an interview Monday. "I lost weight during the show. Anytime we had the ability to eat, we did. We were dehydrated."

Though the trucks were battling to make the most money each week, the competition didn't always feel like it was with one another.

"It sort of felt like us against the game, instead of us against the other trucks," Woo said.
The teams bonded through the unusual set of circumstances they had to face, including always having cameras and microphones on.

Team Pho Nomenal bonded with the family-run Postcards, a truck out of Los Angeles which was eliminated on last week's episode.

Losing a team was an emotional experience for all competitors.

In fact, starting in Lake Havasu, following elimination, teams would go out, eat and spend the rest of the day together.

"We wanted to take advantage of the time we had left together," Pho Nomenal's Becca Plumleee said.

And hanging out together, meant they needed to sample other truck's cuisine.

Pho Nomenal's Sunny Lin said she good hooked on some of the cuisine from Waffle Love, a waffle truck out of Provo, Utah.

"I dream about their whipped cream. We've been trying to get their (waffle) recipe this whole time," Lin said.

Pho Nomenal is facing off against Waffle Love and GD Bro, a burger truck out of Santa Ana, Calif., in Sunday's episode.

The episode, which was filmed in Tulsa, will have teams making their own roadside attraction.

The finale will air on Sept. 27 - the same day Pho Nomenal will be teaming up with Blackjack Brewing and The Chef's Academy in Morrisville for a North Carolina version of the "Great Food Truck Race." Chirba Chirba, AmigoSan and Sol Tacos (which will operate out of the Pho Nomenal truck) will be competing. The event will include hijinks, celeb judges and more. It is all a fundraiser for Stop Hunger Now. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. And if you stick around, Blackjack will be airing the "Great Food Truck Race" finale following the event. It isn't an official "viewing party" but I'm sure the Pho Nomenal Dumplings crew will stick around to watch.

The winner of the Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race" will take home $50,000.

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