Landowner's Challenge at West Alabama Ice House

The West Alabama Ice House recently hosted the final round of the "Win Texas Land" promotion sponsored by Lone Star Beer. The premise is simple: Pass various tests which prove your true Texan-ness and win some Texas land. Three finalists participated: Corey Lossing of Ingleside, Laurence Dodd III of Leander and Paul Ortiz of San Antonio.

The competition included the following activities: a washers toss (similar to horseshoes), a cooler-filling contest (a race to pack a cooler with beer and ice), a barbecue challenge (a piece of Texas beef must be grilled to order), and a Texas trivia/geography challenge.

I was particularly interested in the barbecue challenge, as I was one of the judges.

Judging criteria included taste, presentation and grill marks. One-inch-thick bone-in rib eyes were provided to each contestant for grilling. The steaks were to be grilled medium rare. But it turns out that all the contestants were a bit too quick on the trigger -- they all pulled the steaks off the grill too early, so they all came out very rare.

I ended up voting for the steak with the most aggressive seasoning. After judging, the contestants went on to the trivia contest, and my fellow judge and I tossed the steaks back on the barbie and grilled them to a perfect medium rare. We shared the leftover steaks with the hungry audience.

In the end, Corey Lossing was the winner, with a strong performance in the washer toss. He and his wife Vanessa won 1.9 acres of land in Independence, Texas (near Brenham).

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