The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Fried Bites

Inspired by the Food Network, I'm looking into the "best things I ever ate" around the grand city of Houston. Recently, I shared the best vegetables I ever ate. Now it's time to move on to the big guns - fried foods. In Texas, there is definitely no shortage of deep-fried delights to choose from. This task was a bit harder (and about a hundred times greasier), but here are my Deep Fried Thoughts.

So I won't be here all day and gain 10 pounds just contemplating the top contenders, I'm taking full fried meals like chicken-fried steak and fried shrimp po-boys out of the mix and focusing in on appetizers - or, as I like to call them, fried bites. But with loaded-to-the-brim options like Beaver's sausage stuffed and bacon creole smothered Fried Green Tomato, BRC's crispy fried, cheddar packed Louisiana Boudin Ball, and Flor-de-Cuba's Tostones Rellenos de Camarones (shrimp stuffed fried plantains), the choice can still be overwhelming. (Don't try to mention REEF's gargantuan block of Fried Mac & Cheese; with high hopes, I left overly under-whelmed by this flavorless mass of cream and texture).

I just know all the cheese, shrimp, and sausage stuffed inside of crispy fried breading are trying to trick me; that's why I am zeroing in on a winner with truly simple, yet still full blown delicious, fried flavor. Which leads me to the fried bite's winner (drum roll please): BB's Cajun Café's flavor-packed Fried Pickle Chips.

I can't lie. I might have shown up at BB's a bit intoxicated, but I swear these pickles are insanely good. They're sliced razor-thin and battered in what I can only describe as heaven, and at first I couldn't tell they were even pickles. They are fried so flawlessly crisp I thought I was munching on potato chips. But then, like a miracle sent from above, the bold flavors attacked my taste buds and went in for the kill. There wass the peppery punch from the intensely seasoned, perfectly salted cornmeal batter, and then, the sweet and sour tang of the pickle itself powered through like a champ. Knockout punch. Pickle chips for the win...and the crowd goes wild!! I know I'm focusing on the fried flavor, but it does not hurt at all that these savory bites are served with a super delicious creamy bacon ranch sauce. Seriously, not at all.

What are your deep-fried thoughts?

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