Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

At the Entrance











Judging Room

Ted & Sue...Bring on the Chicken

Ed & Marilyn


Chicken stacked and ready for the judges









The Bean Pot



Hector and his Mom


















Well, maybe we don't know all there is to know about chicken, but let me explain how the title of this journal came to be....

Today we looked forward to spending time with Ted & Sue, attending a Rib Fest at the Fairgrounds in Mercedes.

The 8th Annual “Smokin’ on the Rio” Texas State Championship BBQ Cook-Off. $10,000.00 in prize money was to be awarded, and one team would be awarded the title of “The Best in Texas”

Ted & Sue drove over to pick us up at 11:00 and we were off!

Even though this event has been held at the Fairgrounds in Mercedes each of the last eight years, including the five years that we have been here in the Valley, this was the first time that we attended it, simply because we had not heard of it before.

The sweet, smoky aroma of BBQ assailed our senses as soon as we parked and opened the car doors.

It only cost $5.00 to get in and you had to purchase tokens for $2.00 each for drinks. Water, Soda, or Beer were all the same price. One token per drink.

After entering, we immediately were offered samples of the food from many of the more than 135 Vendors.

The Brisket we sampled was probably the best I have ever tasted and we regretted that we couldn’t locate this team again after roaming the entire area sampling the tasty BBQ.

We also sampled a cup of Charro Beans with jalapenos and brown sugar I think. They were awesome! Spicy and sweet at the same time. Really good!

It just so happened that they use volunteers as judges and all four of us sat at the same judges table, for the BBQ chicken.

Judging is quite a process and we tasted 18 different BBQ chickens, rating each on 5 different criteria, from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.

You had to use a different fork and knife for each sample, and were required to eat a bit of pickle, carrot, cheese, or a cracker, and take a drink of water between each sample.

It was fun!

After we waddled away from the judging area, we wandered around tasting the ribs, brisket, chicken, beans, sausage, and various other tidbits being offered.

Ted met a nice young man named Hector, at the gym where he works out in the mornings. It was Hector who told Ted about this event. Hector and members of his family had one of the cooking teams, called “The Killer Vees”.

He gave us all a sample of their delicious charro beans, and Ted even ate a fish taco because they were frying up some fish in the back of the tent.

We decided to rest up from all the eating so we headed to the stock barn and arena where the “Calf Roping” was taking place. They had some skilled cowboys getting times in the 5 to 6 second range. Excellent Fun!

A large stage had live country bands playing all afternoon. The Mariachi bands were to play at 5:00 PM and then the awards would begin at 6:00.

We didn’t stay for that but we had a wonderful time. We look forward to doing this again next year.

We all smelled like wood smoke when we left, but Marilyn and Sue have already decided that they are going to put on jeans, boots, cowboy hats, and head out to ride a bucking horse…………….At Walmart. LOL

I do have some pictures to post for you tonight.

Wish you could all have been with us today. The 83 degree weather with a brisk breeze was very comfortable, the food was tasty, and when you combine BBQ, Beer, Country Music, The wafting aroma of wood smoke, and the laughter of people having a good time……………..Well dear friends, all I can say about that is……

Life is Good!

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |