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Payday bonus: Andrew Zimmern rewards mobile eateries in new series

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Andrew Zimmern hosts "Big Food Truck Tip"

Andrew Zimmern hosts "Big Food Truck Tip"

Love it or hate it, we live in a culture of tipping. In restaurants especially, leaving some extra moolah at the end of a meal is the norm, and even less-traditional eateries usually have a tip jar or the like.

"Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern's new show takes tipping to the next level for restaurants, where every penny earned can help make ends meet: food trucks. "Big Food Truck Tip" premieres with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, Sept. 19, on Food Network, with Zimmern swinging by two far-flung cities where he checks out some of their hottest mobile eateries -- and leaves some whopping tips for his favorites.

Each episode takes the host to a new food truck hot spot, where the host meets with three food truck operators. He doesn't just try their food -- he also gets to know them, learning the stories behind their dishes and getting a feel for what makes them tick.

Running a food truck is no walk in the park, and in each city, Zimmern chooses one of the three businesses he visits to receive a supersized tip -- one worth a whopping $10,000. That's enough to transform any small business, and the host is clearly overjoyed that he gets to be the bearer of such an incredible windfall.

"Our modern-day food world is blessed to have the extreme ambition, fun attitude, and glorious culinary output of today's truckers," he said in a statement. "Micro businesses on wheels, serving up love by the sandwichful, makes looking at this community and telling these stories a real privilege."

The premiere sees the host visiting Birmingham, Alabama, where he encounters a food truck serving up classic Southern comfort foods to everyone -- even the needy who don't have the means to pay. In the night's second episode, Zimmern heads to Memphis, Tennessee, where the foodie scene has blown up in recent years. There, he hits up a food truck rally for a fill-up before finding a place serving tacos with a Tennessee twist. 

That's three food trucks visited in each city, but only one gets an incredible $10,000 tip. They're all deserving, though, and they're all featured in "Big Food Truck Tip," premiering Wednesday, Sept. 19, on Food Network.