Sure, I love all the cowboy junk inside the exhibit halls and the wicked-ass carnival rides at the carnival. I don't even mind teenaged FFA members screaming at me to buy a program. But by far, the best thing at our Houston rodeo is the food.
All the heaping, awful, death-defying foodstuffs that hit Reliant Park are proof God loves us all. The food there is a testament to millions of years of evolutionary prowess. Where else can you go to have almost every kind of meat known to man battered, barbecued, deep-fried, roasted, seared or possibly dusted with powdered sugar?
Nowhere except the Rodeo.
Last night I reached out for a Wurst Kabob and a bag of deep-fried Oreos. Which I guess is tantamount to saying that I didn't need a pesky extra five years at the end of my life. I mean really, unless we have hover boards like the ones from "Back To The Future II" by then, I may try to cut out a little earlier anyway.
A Wurst Kabob is five unique pieces of sausage put on a wooden stick with a buttered roll at the end as a sort of completion bonus. Each cut is different, ranging from jalapeno-infused to your textbook bratwurst. My mouth started to get all gummy by sausage three, leading me to waddle to the sauce stand and pound down a shot of barbecue sauce for some lubrication. What drew me to the Wurst Kabob wasn't just my life-long love affair with encased meat products, it was also the presentation. The kabob looks offensive, yet I couldn't look away.
Never one to not tempt my bodily and spiritual boundaries I hobbled on over to the midway for deep-friend Oreos. Duh, dessert!
Deep-fried Oreos are the Megan Fox of deep-fried products at the Rodeo. At once decadent and comely, they are in the end filthy and shameful. I visited a trailer with an actual Oreo sign on top. I figured I couldn't go wrong with a sanctioned dealer. I wasn't going to screw around with some amateur putting store-brand cookies in a vat of pancake batter.
The folks at my booth dip their Oreos in funnel-cake batter, then flash cook them in a fryer. After they are cooked, the creations are heavily dusted in powdered sugar. They said to wait a few minutes before eating, but screw that. I'm a man, dammit.
I wondered as I plowed through this bag of powdered dough and cream if this is what a deadly sin tastes like. The cream in the cookie does this weird liquid thing inside the casing and disperses inside. My guys put enough powdered sugar in my bag to make me feel like George Jung or something.
After I finished all eight of my Oreos, I felt remorseful. I looked at my hands in shame, as if they had conspired to with the funeral industry in some sort of weird plot. I had a nervous sweat going and I felt like I had just done a whippet. Even at this painful moment, I wished they had had cream cheese dipping sauce.
I'm not sure if I will survive March.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.