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The “outlaws” from Del Frisco’s

Rodeo Uncorked, the unlikely-seeming marriage of livestock show and good life expressed in food and wine, produced another year of big winners last night. And in terms of food, this was the first time an assemblage of local restaurant critics and food writers threw their two-cents at the competition colorfully known as Best Bites.

In years past, the crazy-popular rodeo event relied solely on a people’s choice approach, with wandering hordes of hungry tasters giving Mardi Gras-style beads to their preferred restaurants on the floor of the Reliant Center. That “tradition” continued last night, with some eateries courting the beads more aggressively (and creatively) than others.

Still, tables full of food experts from local newspapers, TV and radio stations gathered before the public entered, each table tasting its way through a different category and giving the entries number grades (1-10) on official scoring sheets. Each table tasted 10-13 items, with the initial scoring sheets being turned over to a “super-panel” for resolution of any tie scores and the like.

Here are this year’s winners:

1st Best Bites Popular Choice Award:  Hasta La Pasta

2nd Best Bites Popular Choice Award: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House 

1st Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée Award:  Sage 400 Japanese Cuisine:   Miso Chilean Sea Bass

2nd Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée Award:  Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House:  Sliced Tenderloins

3rd Trailblazing Appetizer/Entrée Award: Valentino Vin Bar:  Baby Back Ribs with Pork  and Ravioli with BBQ Tuscan Sauce 

1st Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert Award:  Killen’s Steakhouse:  Crème Brulee Bread Pudding

2nd Two-Stepping Bread/Cheese/Dessert Award:  Veldhuizen Cheese:  Hand Crafted Cheese


About John DeMers

I've been a journalist and author forever. My favorite single word in the English language is "foodandwine." This spirit drives my 45 published books and my weekly radio show heard in Houston, Dallas and Austin.

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