HTX Let's Go Rodeo 2013
Culinary throwdown

A foodie Rodeo: Restaurants kick it up a notch to prove who's the best

A foodie Rodeo: Restaurants kick it up a notch to prove who's the best

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Cacao and Cardamom
Cacao & Cardamom's Annie Rupani won the Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert Award as well as the Rookie Award for her Mango Caramel dish.  Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Best Bites, RodeoHouston, Killen's Steakhouse, short ribs, February 2013
The Trailblazing Appetizer/Entree Award, first place, went to Killen's Steakhouse for its barbecued short ribs, shown here cooking at the event Killen's Steakhouse/Facebook
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Molina's Cantina
Mini Pork Crispy Tacos from Molina's Cantina took second place in the Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée Award. Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Exterior of Kenny Goss home
Popular Choice Award, first place, Royers Round Top Cafe Photo courtesy of David Nichols
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Killens BBB
First place for the Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée Award went to Killen's BBB's Barbecue Short Ribs.  Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Royers
Royer's Round Top Café received the most votes for the Popular Choice Award. Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Jonathan's Rub
 Jonathan's The Rub came in as runner up for the Popular Choice Award.  Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Frank's Americana Revival
The Short Rib Sliders with Shaved Ham and Debris offered up by Frank's Americana Revival took third place in the Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée category.  Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Cacao and Cardamom
Best Bites, RodeoHouston, Killen's Steakhouse, short ribs, February 2013
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Molina's Cantina
Exterior of Kenny Goss home
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Killens BBB
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Royers
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Jonathan's Rub
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo_Best Bites_Frank's Americana Revival

Forget the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest (at least until this weekend). The Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition, held at Reliant Center on Sunday, served as the culinary kickoff to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

While 4,000 guests grazed through a field food entries from 68 restaurants and caterers, they sipped on vino from the 2013 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, held in November.

 Though the wine evaluating was left to the pros, guests served as judges for the foodie part. 

The Sunday night cowboys and cowgirls served as judges for the Popular Choice Award, selecting Royer's Round Top Cafe  as top winner and Jonathan's The Rub as runner up. 

Stand-out dishes were the Mango Caramel from locally-based exotic chocolatier Cacao & Cardamom, which snagged first place in the Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert Award as well as the Rookie Award,. The Bread Pudding from Joyce's Seafood and Steaks claimed second place in the dessert competition and was a shoe-in for the Tasty Traditions Award. 

As for the meat of the matter, the top Trailblazing Appetizer/Entree Award went to the Barbecue Short Ribs from Killen's BBB, followed by the Mini Pork Crispy Tacos from Molina's Cantina and the Short Rib Sliders with Shaved Ham and Debris offered up by Frank's Americana Revival.