Local on-air personalities served as celebrity judges for the 10th Annual Foodie Awards at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Judges had a hard time deciding which plates were the best out of the following categories: Best Specialty Food, Best Classic Fair Food, Best Value Food, Best Food-on-a- Stick, Best Fried Food, Most Creative Food, Best New Flavor and Best Dessert.
Making their debut at the Rodeo with a bang, The Original Minneapple Pie won three awards during Monday's Gold Buckle Foodie Competition: first place for Best Fried Food, third place for Best Dessert and third place for Best New Flavor.
"We are so honored that our food has been perceived well and that the people of Texas love our food that comes all the way from Minneapolis!" said George Atsidakos, owner of The Original Minneapple Pie.
"We have been doing fairs since 2009, but this show [Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo] seems bigger and more important," Atsidakos said. "Like they say, 'everything is bigger in Texas,' and we are just so incredibly honored to be here."
The final award of the afternoon, Best New Flavor, was given to Harlon's BBQ for their famous Turkey Leg. Harlon's BBQ has been a longtime vendor, and has won several Gold Buckle Awards over the course of their 29 years as Rodeo vendors.
"I am just so happy to be a part of the Rodeo," said Candice Brooks, co-owner of Harlon's BBQ. "The Rodeo is one of the best things we have in Houston - it's what all of us look forward to every year for the past 80-plus years."
Although this is not their first Rodeo, this is the first time they have won an award in the Best New Flavor category. "Last year we submitted for this category, but this is the first time that we have won in this category and we are just so honored!" Brooks said.
The 2018 Gold Buckle Foodie Award winners are:
- Best Dessert
Fried What! (J302) - Buckeye Sundae
- Classic Fair Food
Biggy's (RCS Carnival) - Spicy Turkey Leg
- Best Value
Yoakum Packing (L0256) - Bacon Blast Croissant ($9.00)
- Most Creative Food
Fried What! (J302) - "Fried Bacon-Wrapped Cinnamon Rolls or Fried Cinnamon Rolls"
- Best New Flavor
Harlon's BBQ (J508) - Harlon's Stuffed Turkey Leg
- Best Food-on-a-Stick
Sudie's Catfish House (RP95) - Fried Bread Pudding On a Stick
- Best Fried Food
The Original Minneapple Pie (CD202) - "Minnepumpkin Pie"
- Best Specialty Food
All of Us (E12107) - Chocolate Cobbler
Taste all eight winning dishes to become a Gold Buckle Foodie! Visit the Social Station in Hall D of NRG Center for more details, and to learn how you could win a free T-shirt and koozie.