At last, an order of meatballs, apple fritters, and hot cider is in hand. Lines were long, but excitement was high on Tuesday, Feb. 19, as crowds materialized within hours of notice on social media to enjoy the "Great Food Truck" offerings in Wolfeboro. (Photo by Elissa Paquette) (click for larger version)
February 27, 2019WOLFEBORO — Five colorful food trucks rolled into Wolfeboro on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and parked around town in what they hoped were the best spots to attract customers. Hours before the contestants participating in The Great Food Truck Race, hosted by Tyler Florence of the Food Network, opened their windows to take orders, customers lined up in the 20 degree weather for their chance to catch the attention of the film crews and sample food, from creole to meatballs to the latest take on Fluffernutter sandwiches.
The production team decided to take the competition to Wolfeboro at the last minute. Everyone was housed and stationed in Portsmouth, but something was missing for the filming of their 2019 Christmas show. The missing ingredient was snow, something Wolfeboro just happened to have in abundance this week.
Wolfeboro Highway Department trucks were in evidence clearing snow, opening up parking spaces to accommodate the visitors and curiosity seekers. As cameramen and production assistants busily set up and moved around on the sidewalks and in the streets, it felt like summer again, as people decked out in Santa hats and holiday attire clustered near the trucks, seemingly oblivious to cars making their way cautiously through the area.
The chefs and their teams were given a budget to purchase food in the local stores with the challenge being to produce and sell the most plates of food. The objective was to stay in the race. The team with the lowest sales would be eliminated.
Shopkeepers reported intermittent business, which slowed when people were waiting in line, and sped up when a truck would temporarily run of food. The seemingly hundreds of people, some in the area with their families (Massachusetts vacation week), others who snowmobiled into town to enjoy the lake or drove in to ice fish, appeared to be a cheerful, excited lot, enjoying the phenomenon of being part of an outdoor television set.
Tyler Florence reportedly visited local restaurants, choosing to dine at LaBoca, as evidenced by happy Facebook postings. We all will have to wait until the Nov/Dec show to be aired on the Food Channel to see who and what actually made the cut.
On Wednesday afternoon, production centered in the Railroad Station lot, cleared by the town for unfettered filming. One truck was eliminated during the final gathering and four others were able to move on to the next (unannounced in advance) location.
The Great Food Truck Race was here and gone in a flash, leaving behind a wealth of stories and bragging rights for the picturesque little town of Wolfeboro on Lake Winnipesaukee.