The Great Food Truck Race, Food Network's contribution to/exploitation of the food-truck trend, is as much a travel show as a food-competition series. But it's also sort of a real-estate show, because one of the most important elements in this contest is location, location, location.
For instance, during a Fort Worth stop in the first season, one team learned that if you are going to set up shop in the Stockyards, it's best not to do it on a side street with little foot traffic. The teams are judged based on the amount of money they earn during each leg of the race, so it's important to be in a place where you can at least buttonhole customers.
Season 2, which began Aug. 14, makes no Texas stops as the eight teams make their way from Los Angeles to Miami. (There are no Texas teams, either, but Kevin Rathbun, brother of Dallas chef Kent Rathbun, appears in the Atlanta episode.)
The show has a Wacky Races element to it, as each of the eight teams wears a sort of "uniform," the most garish of which is The Lime Truck's choice of lime-green headbands that call to mind 1981-era Loverboy.
Another team, Seabirds, runs a vegan truck, which would seem to set the odds against them in a show whose previews included some pig butchering. But nobody ever said that reality-competition shows are about doing what you do best.
Clichés abound throughout this show (one contestant muses about how much she could do with the $100,000 grand prize; never seen that one, huh?), but at least it tends to avoid geographical clichés. The Vegas episode features no casinos (turns out the Strip is not a good place for a food truck), and viewers get to see sides of cities not ordinarily featured on TV.
So the show isn't exactly mentally taxing, but it is an enjoyable slice of Americana and a pleasant enough time-killer on a Sunday night. On its website, Food Network is holding a vote for "America's Favorite" food truck with a Sept. 12 deadline. Many Texas cities -- including smaller ones such as Abilene, Alpine and Bryan -- are represented, but DFW hasn't made a showing yet. Time to nominate some of our local trucks, people! And then vote at foodtrucks.teamdigital.com.