Coming from the aina, we are potato pickers and pineapple pickers, and we call ourselves farm boys. Pocatello, Idaho is the capital of potatoes and has been very good to our family and our people. We come from a farming background- our grandfather had a half-acre garden behind our house- and we liked to think we knew our way around the farm as youngsters.
Getting our hands dirty in a potato field was nothing foreign to us, especially since we had sweet potatoes in the yard all the time back home. Food Network didn’t really promote this, but we tore up that field in less than five minutes This gave us a nice jump on the other trucks since some of them were digging out of bounds, some even in the trenches. Adam knew we needed exactly twenty potatoes. There was no need to fill a bag beyond this number, no reason to overdo it.
This small town was good for us, and definitely helped with our confidence. Growing up on the island of Lanai with a population of 2,500 people has taught me that making friends with the locals is the only way to do well in small towns. As soon as we arrived, Adam saw a big Samoan walking by a gas station, so of course we pulled over to get the 411 on the small town of Pocatello. Talk about a small world! His wife ended up being the daughter of a good friend of mine, Junior Ahyou.
The Samoan’s wife told me, “Lanai don’t worry. Once we tell a few people you guys are here, everyone will come and visit your truck.” Her father Junior Ahyou was a famous football player from Arizona State and made a big name for himself on the north shore of Oahu. He and his family have a high regard for community, and give back to theirs often to help feed everyone. I felt very comfortable after speaking with Junior’s daughter, because her family was exactly what we needed. Local support.
This same day, Adam’s friend from high school called to say she lives in Pocatello and has a bank parking lot for us, located on a very busy street corner. Things seemed to fall into place quickly for us, but as soon as we started thinking this way, the violation came.
We ended up parking roughly 60 yards out of the Pocatello zip code, and this mistake cost us $150. But this spot was banging for us! And the line formed at our truck was already 100 people deep. I was irate to say the least, because packing up and moving the truck is not the easiest thing to do when you’re in the midst of serving this many customers.
Our challenge in Pocatello was to use potatoes as our main dish, and I think we could have banged these out a little quicker. We had a nice line and I think we took that for granted. When we reached our goal, we packed up and headed for the hills to collect our $500 prize to go to the till.
The lovely ladies of Bold and the Beautiful were definitely on our minds, since in Portland they beat us by only a few minutes. And they really didn’t beat us either. We beat ourselves by getting lost and wasting valuable minutes. So this time, we thought we had it. But we ended up being only minutes behind them again! So much for an early start.
Overall we took 2nd place, but only because they got the $500 token and we penalized ourselves by parking out of bounds. However we were not far behind in the money race. This episode really goes to show how crucial every dollar is. Not to mention the importance of parking and location.
Things are starting to pick up. It’s getting really exciting and nerve racking at the same time. There is obviously a lot you don’t see as viewers, as far as the behind-the-scenes goes (Like the actual work of getting food out as quickly as possible!). You don’t see all the arguments and disagreements that go on between adults in confined spaces either. And maybe that’s a good thing.
I look at the last set of teams as a heard of zebras walking the African plains. The hungry lion, (Tyler) is looking for the next zebra (truck) in the pack to eliminate. The zebra are running out of spaces to hide, yet hanging around the middle of the pack won’t work either because of the exposure. It’s time to stay in the front and let the lion get the easy meal. That was our motto.
I‘m looking forward to next week because this show is really starting to get exciting!
Also, I want to wish the Frankfootas a warm aloha! Those girls are good people and I’m glad we have some new friends for life. Dana, Merlina and Victoria: Aloha oe‘ and a hui hou! Until we meet again.