Fried delicacies abound at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, so what better place to do a little food fighting? To locate the stands we visited, click here.
Battle Corndogs (Yoakum Packing Co. vs. Cajun Unlimited)
What rodeo trip would be complete without scarfing down a corndog--or two? I first hit the Cajun Unlimited stand for a $3.50 smallish dog, and by smallish, I mean regular size. The breading was slightly sweet, golden brown, and encompassed a juicy hot dog. It was delicious, and although I should have taken only two or three bites, I consumed the entire dog.
Yoakum Packing Co. offered a $5.50 foot-long corndog--much longer that Cajun's, but thinner, and far less tasty. It wasn't greasy, but the fried batter was lacking a bit in the sweetness department. The wiener inside was barely cooked through, but overall, Yoakum's corndog was a solid product at a good value.
Winner: Cajun Unlimited
Battle Fries (Texas Pride vs. Ranch House)
Think of both versions as somewhere between a regular French fry and a potato chip. The Texas Pride stand served up a $6 plate called Texas Taters. Most pieces were crispy, yet very greasy. Unfortunately, many of the chip fries were just too crumby, thus becoming a little difficult to eat.
Ranch House's ($6) Space Fries were close to perfection--an outstanding fry job that was both visually appealing and absolutely delicious. Some pieces were large, some were small, some were chewy, and some were crispy, but all were addictive.
Winner: Ranch House
Battle Oreos (Fried What! vs. Piche's Beignets)
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I've done a lot of dumb-shit things over the last year in the name of food journalism. Consuming fried Oreo cookies from two different stands in a ten-minute span ranks as my darkest moment to date. And to top it off, I waited in line more than 30 minutes at the Fried What! stand. They had never placed my order, but lucky me, I was compensated with an extra fried Oreo!
I then headed over to folks at Piche's and was served up a bag of piping hot fried cookies in seconds. Piche's tasted a little better, but that's like saying cat shit agrees with me just a smidgen more than dog shit. I'm sure both places do many fried products well. Heck, they both did a good job frying the Oreo cookies -- I just never want to try them again. The frying process transformed the crispy Oreo into a warm, almost molten, cake-like consistency wrapped in a blanket of greasy funnel cake batter and topped with a dusting of powder sugar. But it was gross.
Winner: Piche's Beignets