Beginning February 28, Houstonians will return to NRG Park for the first full rodeo season to happen since 2019, and that means lots of new food to try.
Of course, all that time away from the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo grounds means people will likely gravitate to old favorites like turkey legs, corn dogs, and funnel cakes. Still, the new options are pretty tempting.
The most exciting addition is The Ranch Saloon & Steakhouse. Operated by Berg Hospitality, the pop-up restaurant will occupy an almost 16,000-square-foot, climate-controlled tent near the southeast corner of the Astrodome. The Ranch will be divided into the Saloon, a casual restaurant that's open to walk-ins, and the Steakhouse, a more upscale concept that takes reservations and serves a mix of dishes from Berg restaurants B&B Butchers and The Annie Café.
Another new restaurant that should draw plenty of attention will be Trill Burgers, Houston hip-hop legend Bun B's smash burger concept. First introduced at the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, diners will find Trill Burgers at the Rodeo Plaza.
Some of the rodeo's other new dining options include Darlin's Fried Chicken, Southern Fried Saloon by Gourmet Royale, Red Barn Biscuits, and Joe's Crab Shack. Attendees will also find second locations of Tad’s Bodacious Burritos and Fredericksburg Mini Donuts. Boba tea fans will find refreshment at The Teahouse Tapioca and Tea.
No visit to the rodeo would be complete without feasting on creative, over-the-top dishes. Consider the Southern Fried Chicken Alfredo Ball, a tempting snack filled with fettuccine alfredo, Southern fried chicken bites, and fresh mozzarella cheese that's topped with alfredo sauce and served with garlic bread. Similarly, the Deep Fried Jambalaya Roll combines Cajun-spiced chicken, sausage, and rice in a crispy wrapper.
Island Noodles has a slightly healthier option with its Island Slaw, a cole slaw variation studded with mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, and snap peas that's topped with teriyaki chicken.
As always, media members will select their favorite bites at the Gold Buckle Foodie Awards. Look for a full list of winners in the coming weeks.