As you know, we’re big fans of all things Food Network. Even though the temperatures are dropping, things have been heating up on this season’s Great Food Truck Race. We recently caught up with Dana Raja of the memorable Frankfoota Truck to learn about her experience on the show… and yes, to hear about those pants!
FP: Tell us about your experience on the Great Food Truck Race.
DR: The Great Food Truck Race was hands down, the best experience of our lives thus far. I’ve said it time and time again, yet it never gets old. The competition was so intense. It initially took the other teams quite some time to take us seriously, and I can’t say I blame them for that; our outfits weren’t so easy on the eyes!
FP: We thought your outfits were… creative!
What was it like to compete with the other food trucks? Looking back would have you done anything differently?
DR: After we made it through a couple of cities though, the rest of the gang really started warming up and we eventually all became this one giant Great Food Truck Family! Quite frankly, meeting all these incredible people, both in front and behind the camera, is something we’ll never forget. I guess you can say that the only thing I wish we could’ve done differently was make better strategic decisions to keep us in the race longer.
FP: What are some of your favorite meals to prepare for yourself and friends?
DR: I can whip up a mean sauce on the fly so I’d have to say a nice dish of pasta with a side of meatballs. I like to start by throwing a few strips of bacon in a large pot and cook them until they’re extra crispy. I’ll eat one or two before crumbling the rest into a small bowl to add to the sauce at the end. Then I brown my 3 meat (veal, pork, beef) meatballs in the bacon grease before hand squeezing whole peeled tomatoes into the pot. I add a can of paste to thicken it up and throw in just about every spice on the rack. 45 minutes later the kitchen is a disaster but mark my words, the sauce is anything but!
FP: Mmm…that sounds good! We’d love to try it one day.
If you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places in Brooklyn or other parts of NYC.
DR: This is a toughie! There are so many amazing places to eat in the Tri-State so I’m going to have to limit it to my TOP 3.
Roberta’s in Bushwick has phenomenal pizza, I’m obsessed with ‘The Bee Sting’. It’s topped with tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, chili & honey. It isn’t always on the menu, but if you ask nice enough, they’ll make it for you.
Buttermilk Channel in Carrol Gardens offers the best brunch in the neighborhood. The Fried Pork Chop and Cheddar Waffles paired with their rosemary infused vodka Bloody Mary is pure perfection!
Finally, Ed’s Lobster Bar on Lafayette serves the #1 lobster roll in NYC! Some people will tell you otherwise but I’m setting the record straight right now!
FP: Mmm… we still think about the Chicken & Waffles from Buttermilk we had at Smorgasburg! Roberta’s is on our list of places to check out; we’ll have to add Ed’s!
What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 🙂
DR: I’m a sucker for ice cream, and I don’t discriminate either! There isn’t a single flavor that has yet to touch these lips. I love them all; green tea, tiramisu, coffee. I have to give props to my all time favorite, the 25 cent ice cream sandwiches you get from the corner bodega! I’m 28 years old and I still run outside for Mr. Softie when I hear the truck coming down the block.
FP: Hearing Mr. Softie coming to your neighborhood never gets old!
Will the people of Brooklyn (or another city) see a Frankfoota truck cruising the streets in the near future?
DR: I’ll tell you one thing, somebody is going to see us somewhere! Whether it be the original Frankfoota Truck, or some other retrofitted vehicle, we have BIG PLANS to get our dogs in the hands of everyone looking to chow down on some serious grub. We’ve even been looking in to hitting the street festival circuit as a pop-up shop to raise some capital in the mean time. You guys haven’t seen the last of The Frankfootas and I hope you all stick around for the ride!
FP: Thank you so much for your time. We hope to see the Frankfoota team on the streets soon, preferably in NYC of course! 😉