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What to Eat at RodeoHouston This Year

Yesterday about three dozen media members, mostly affiliated with Houston radio stations, braved the Arctic air in a pavilion on the Reliant Park campus to judge the RodeoHouston Fifth Annual Gold Buckle Foodie Awards. In between complaining about how cold it was and demanding more coffee, the group assessed vendor entries in eight categories: Best Breakfast, Best Value, Best Food-on-a-Stick, Classic Fair Food, Best Fried, Most Creative, Best New Flavor and Best Dessert.

The food offerings ranged from the expected, such as corn dogs and funnel cake, to oddities such as chicken fried devil eggs. According to Press critic Katharine Shilcutt, the unofficial theme of this year's event was weaponized bacon. Vendors utilized the pork product in such items as chocolate covered bacon, a bacon-topped cinnamon roll and, strangest of all, bacon cotton candy. While food writer and radio host John Demers wonders about the merits of the size of some of the offerings, the almost two-pound Big Rib did take third in Food-on-a-Stick, so someone liked it.

The first 50 people to finish all eight first place finishers will get a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo cookbook. Happy eating.

Best Breakfast Food:
1st: Stubby's Cinnamon Rolls - Big Stone Breakfast Sandwich
2nd: Texas Skillet - Breakfast Cowboy
3rd: Burton Sausage Company - Breakfast Taco

Best Value Food:
1st: Saltgrass Steakhouse - Ribs & Chicken Platter
2nd: Swain's Pizza on a Stick - Pizza on a Stick
3rd: Harlon's BBQ - Harlon's Super Baked Potato w/ Beef, Sausage & Turkey

Best Food-on-a-Stick:
1st: Berryhill Baja Grill - Shrimp Diablo
2nd: Swain's Pizza on a Stick - Pizza on a Stick
3rd: Biggy's - RCS Carnival - The Big Rib

Classic Fair Food:
1st: Saltgrass Steak House - Pulled Pork Loaded Baked Potato
2nd: Fletcher's Corny Dogs & Funnel Cakes - Original Corny Dog (*New Vendor)
3rd: Ranch House Meats - Turkey Leg

Best Fried Food:
1st: Fletchers Corny Dogs & Funnel Cakes - Original Corny Dog
2nd: Custom Confections - Fried Brownie Ball with Ice Cream
3rd: Sill's Funnel Cakes - Fried Oreos

Most Creative Food:
1st: Custom Confection's - Red Velvet Frosty Bite
2nd: Texas Sized Pizza - Donut Double Bacon Cheeseburger
3rd: Fried What! - Do-E-Oreo

Best New Flavor:
1st: WITH A PERFECT SCORE! Aunt Edmoe's - Cookie Dough Parfait
2nd: Bum's Blue Ribbon Grill - Grilled Pork Ribee's with Dirty Rice
3rd: Fried What! - Do-E-Oreo

Best Dessert:
1st: Go Nuts and More - Cinnamon Glazed Pecans
2nd: Carmelot - RCS Carnival - Apple slices with caramel
3rd: Holmes Smokehouse - Award Winning Apple Pie & Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla

· Delectable Foods Win at Fifth Annual Gold Buckle Foodie Awards [RodeoHouston]
· Weaponized Bacon Unofficial Theme at Rodeo's 2013 Gold Buckle Foodie Awards [Eating Our Words]
· Munching Along the Midway [Delicious Mischief]

The Big Rib, totally worth the $20. Skip the sausage. [Photo by Cleverley Stone via Houston Foodie Friends/Facebook]

Reliant Park

1 Reliant Park, Houston, TX