Rodeo's Best Bites Competition Crowns the Winners
"I have a fun fact for those of you in the judging room tonight," came the voice over the loudspeaker. The three dozen or so people judging the Best Bites portion of the Rodeo Uncorked!® Roundup competition stopped talking in anticipation.
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg Eatsie Boys brought its famous donut ice cream to the event.
"If you eat all 81 food samples and all the wine samples we're presenting tonight, you'll have consumed eight pounds of food and two gallons of wine."
We all groaned. Though I'd been pacing myself through the first 12 dishes at my tasting table, I was still full by the time I was called over to the Super Panel to determine the finalists, and I imagine other judges were as well.
Nearly 5,000 people turned up last night to help kick off the Rodeo season with great eats and a lot of wine. Most of Houston's favorite restaurants were in attendance, passing out everything from barbecue to raw oysters to mac and cheese to chocolate galore.
The Popular Choice award, given by the crowd, went to Chocolate Pizazz, who brought a wide variety of decorative chocolate-covered pretzels and pretzel sticks. And, as usual, Royer's Round Top Café, always a crowd favorite, took home second place for Bud "The Pieman" Royer's delicious pies. The Pieman is a staple at every Rodeo, and his pies are always a favorite.
Mario's Seawall Italian Restaurant produced an impressive meatball.
Desserts were big winners this year, as Mister French's Gourmet Bakery's sugar cookies got second place in the Showmanship category. The delightful cookies were beat by Catering to Your Taste Buds's crawfish shooters. Catering to Your Taste Buds also won the Showmanship Award last year.
This story continues on the next page.