ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular social media personality is bringing her passion for food challenges to New Mexico, highlighting some local restaurants. Raina Huang is known to her half a million Youtube subscribers for traveling and completing food challenges. This time, she showed them some challenges in Albuquerque. “I just thought it was a very interesting place and Albuquerque isn’t really known for any food challenges,” she said.
During her three-day stop in late July, one of her challenges was at the Tikka Spice food truck. “We weren’t sure what exactly we were going to do. We just came up with that family challenge for her,” said Basit Gauba, owner of Tikka Spice.
The food truck challenged her to eat their family meal that feeds four in under thirty minutes. It includes 32 ounces of ghost-pepper curry chicken, 32 ounces of rice, salad, and four pieces of naan. Huang completed the challenge in about 21 minutes. “I was surprised and then I was like why am I surprised cause I’ve seen her do much worse,” said Gauba.
Huang also did the “no jokey Poki Poki’ challenge at Poki Poki. It included eating eight bowls of poki and four tacos. Huang said she likes being a woman in this field and highlighting Asian And Pacific Islander businesses, while also bringing attention to local spots. “I just wanted to showcase to my followers so anyone passing through the area knows that Albuquerque New Mexico has some good food to eat,” said Huang.
For Gauba, he hopes the social media attention adds to the momentum his business is now seeing after a tough 2020. “It’s been a tough year 2020… 2021 we came strong. We’re breaking sales records, things we’ve never done before, going to different places, different breweries. things like that,” he said. “The attention is overwhelming but it’s also really good. we’ve been able to hire more people. Just being able to staff 11 or 12 people is pretty crazy. I never thought I would get that big.”
Gauba said Tikka Spice is working to have another food truck by the end of the year. It also said it created this challenge for Huang but is also working on another one. Huang said she won a free meal at each restaurant for completing the challenge. She said she did not try green chile while in town.