Monday, March 12, 2012

Houston Rodeo 2012

This weekend, in spite of the rain, we visited the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. As you all may or may not remember I wrote on eating at the Rodeo two years ago. As to be expected we visited some of the same places and then some.  This year's quest belongs to The Lovely Spouse: the two pound beef rib. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The HLSR is held every March in Houston at the Reliant Center.  It emcompasses the Arena, the convention center next door and the surrounding parking lots.  In years past it has also taken up the Astrodome, but the Dome is no longer safe for visitors so the Rodeo takes place around it.

There is A LOT to eat at the Rodeo.  Fare ranges from funnel cakes and basic carnival food on up to fine dining for specific groups of attendees.  The Lovely Spouse and I tend to eat somewhere between that. 

My favorite lunch at the Rodeo is the boudain from Triple J's, pictured on the previous post.  Here's a pict of the actual boudain - that's a sausage made with rice.  The filling doesn't hold together the way most people think of sausage and a lot of people scoop it out onto crackers in the South.  At the Rodeo you just carry it around and eat it as is. Triple J's is seasoned with fresh herbs and served piping hot. 

There was also a Freebirds onsight. And a friend of ours had his first taste of a Freebirds burrito.

Notice the perfect unwrapping technique.

Another friend of ours went to a different burrito vendor and got a freshly made one.

And The Lovely Spouse set out on his find the 2 lb rib.  After much searching it was finally found in the midst of the carnival at an unassuming grill.

And check this out, that's one heckuva grill back there.

That, of course is nothing compared to what comes off the grill....
That's a big hunk o' meat.

 The Lovely Spouse was nice enough to share some of this slab of beef with us.  Turns out it's beef that's added to a rib then grilled together.  The meat is moist and quite delicious and flavorful.  If you get one be careful because it very easily comes off from the bone.  I imagine a lot of people lost theirs while trying to walk and eat at the same time.  TLS ate his while sitting here.

There are, of course, other novelties you'll only find at the Rodeo.  Chocolate covered jalapenos, for instance.  No I didn't try them, but it sounded interesting.

And another thing that looked awesome but just wouldn't fit in my tummy was deep fried nutter butters.  As you can see they also had deep fried cupcakes.  Dang, all that deep fried yumminess and me with just a teeny little stomach.  Perhaps some of you all can check them out and let me know how they are.

Not everything is deep fried or grilled at the Rodeo. I did find one vendor selling salads inside the convention center next to the retail area. Of course it was next to a Papa Johns.  LOL!

 There were also vendors for beer and wine.  The Rodeo includes a wine competition, in addition to the gazillion or so other things going on. You can get wines by the glass at the wine garden in sculpture garden by the Astrodome.

And there are beer vendors throughout.  Here's a pro-tip for visiting the Rodeo.  There is one beer vendor along the walls near the retail area in the convention center that has a great selection of beers for a lower price.  The key to finding it is to ask where to find Shiner.  If you find Shiner you find the best selection.  The other places throughout have Bud, Bud Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, Blue Moon Seasonal and Leinenkugel.  And while I like the last three, there's a better selection at a lower price everywhere you find Shiner.  And if you want the best deal on beer there, wait until you enter the Arena for the rodeo competition and concert.  Again look for the places selling Shiner and you'll get a larger serving for lower cost per ounce, and a better selection of beer and wine. The other vendors all have very limited selections and smaller servings. 

Speaking of shopping...
No, I didn't buy it.  Doesn't mean I wasn't tempted.

The final novelty of the night was a revisit to my favorite fried thing place.

If you compare the current picture to the one on the previous post, you'll see they've added some new stuff.  Fried KoolAid.  Interesting.... On closer inspection I saw something called a Cherry Bomb.  It's a deep fried oreo with KoolAid.  Perfect! I can try something I know is awesome with someone new.

The results were actually quite tasty. The powdered KoolAid adds a nice cherry to the nomtastic cookie.  As you can see it was fried to golden brown and delicious.  I must also add the women at the booth were very nice. 

Next year I'll try the fried nutter butters. Unless something else distracts me. :-)

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo continues all of this week, rain or shine, until close of show Sunday, March 18.  The carnival only closes for lightning, which happened for part of the day yesterday.

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