Feb. 28 to March 18
One Reliant Park
Houston, Texas 77054
Hours: Mon to Fri – 4 p.m. to midnight; Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to midnight.
Spring Break Stampede March 12 to March 18 hours: Mon to Fri – 1 p.m. to midnight; Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to midnight
Houstonian’s round up their families every year and head to Rodeo Houston for more than just the action in the arena. Concerts attract big crowds, carnival rides are big pleasers, but anticipation of the new food concoctions available in Reliant Park booths draw in multitudes waiting to get a taste. This year’s offerings will not disappoint. Everything from the traditional turkey legs to monkey tails is on the menu. Here are the top five booths to visit at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2012.
Prices: $3 to $7
Fried What! has gone where no other frying king has gone before. This year it’s introducing its two newest fried originals: fried Kool-Aid balls and funny bones. The balls look like hush puppies and when you bite in, out comes a gush of cherry flavor. Funny Bones is a devil’s food cake in the shape of a Twinkie with peanut butter filling and fried to golden brown. The cherry bomb is an Oreo cookie dipped in a Kool-Aid batter and fried up and covered with powdered sugar. The old fried favorites including Snickers, Oreos and pickles will be available as well.
Prices: treats less than $6
Granny’s is a three-year winner of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Foodie Awards. In 2009, its chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick was awarded best dessert. It took home a favorite food award for the same treat in 2011. Its chocolate covered bananas and strawberries were winners in both 2010 and last year. Stop by and check out these rodeo favorites as well as its caramel and nut covered apples topped with whipped cream. The Monkey Tails are a delicious banana treat, or try marshmallows rolled in chocolate and dipped them in Rice Krispies or peanuts.
Blue Ribbon Grill
Prices: $13 and less for adult full meal combos/$5 kids/$8 and less for treats
Blue Ribbon Grill is one of the kings of meat at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. With foodie awards for the last three rodeo season’s for best burger, favorite food with its pork and venison sausage, and barbecue pulled pork sundae, it is returning to contend in 2012. Try the fried meatballs on a stick, hot dogs and fries.
Sills Funnel Cakes
Prices: treats less than $10
Sills took the funnel cake to a new level with its banana split funnel cake and received a 2011 best dessert foodie award for its imagination. The second place winner of favorite food in 2011 was the traditional funnel cake with a variety of toppings. The fried Snickers, winner of the 2011 most creative food, shouldn’t be missed.
Yoakum Packing Company
Prices: treats less than $15
Yoakum’s Bacon Blast was honored in 2011 with a best breakfast foodie award. If you are looking for something filling and tasty, order the sliced beef sandwich, second place winner of the best barbecue award in 2009. Tacos are also on the menu along with huge loaded baked potatoes, which won the best baked potato award as well. If chicken is more your speed try the chicken on a stick.
Nicole Sonnier is a freelance writer living in Houston and covers Nightlife & Music. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.