Celebrating the Spirit of the Rodeo in Houston

By Brooke Drake, March 4, 2014, Events & Fun

Celebrating the Spirit of the Rodeo in Houston

Even with the infamous Bar-B-Que cook-off and the Rodeo Parade, in my personal opinion, nothing kicks off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo more than seeing horses walking down the streets of Houston. When you start seeing actual horses around town, you know it’s rodeo time. With the carnival, live concerts, livestock shows, and many other events, it’s no wonder why the Houston Rodeo is one of the best in the world. However, you don’t just have to be at the Houston Rodeo to enjoy the “Go Texan” spirit. There are three major ways to embrace the Texan spirit all year ’round. Let’s call it the Texas Triple B – Bar-B-Que, Boots, and Beer. Here’s how to do it in Houston:

One thing’s for sure, Texans take their BBQ serious. We hold BBQ competitions held all year long – even the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest is held in Houston (this past weekend). If you missed the big contest, don’t fret, as there are plenty of mouthwatering BBQ restaurants around the city. Here are a few that top my chart:

  • Pizzitola’s. At Pizzitola’s you’ll find warm, “down home” service paired with amazing BBQ. While they offer delicious brisket, chicken, and sausage, I recommend ordering the spareribs – you won’t be disappointed!
  • Luling City Market. This casual counter service BBQ spot is a relaxed country oasis among the busy cosmopolitan Galleria area. They grill fresh meat 7 days a week, ranging from brisket and chicken to pork ribs, but my personal favorite is their homemade beef sausage (so good!). The icing on the cake is their renowned special Luling City Market Bar-B-Que sauce – it’s so good you can literally put it on anything!
  • Killen’s Barbecue. Located in Pearland, Killen’s Barbecue, from the chef of Killen’s Steakhouse, is new to the scene but quickly gaining a major following. So much so that their hours of operation are from 11:00 am till they run out, which means there have been times the place is only open a few hours. It’s definitely worth the small trek out from “Inner Loop” Houston.

Just like the Garth Brooks song says “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots…,” this is the motto for many Texans. So, to truly grasp being Texan, a pair of boots is a must. Don’t own a pair or want a new or unique pair? Here are a few shops that should have what you are looking for:

  • Cavender’s. Whether you’re a newbie needing some schooling or just looking for a wide selection, Cavender’s offers a large selection with a full range of styles and prices. It also helps that they have very knowledgeable sales associates. You can also purchase western wear and accessories for the whole family – even down to infant sizes.
  • Texas Junk Company. This a vintage boot store, among other things, that’s all about timing, since the shop is only open for a few hours on weekends. While there are hundreds of restored boots to choose from, the size, color, and type are always changing. It’s a great store if you are on a budget or looking for vintage boots that are no longer made. In addition to boots, this place is also great for old frames and other “junk” (hence the name) One tip is to call before you go because the owner is known to change up his hours of operation from time to time.

Beer can be an essential part to the Texan lifestyle. Whether you are drinking an ice-cold Shiner with a great plate of BBQ or enjoying one while listening to some live music at a local “honky tonk,” Texas and beer just seem to go hand in hand (no pun intended). Here are my top beer joints (provided you’re of legal drinking age and drink responsibly):

  • Firehouse Saloon. It’s one of the oldest honky tonks in Houston and is the perfect place to grab a beer and watch some live music weekly. Owned and operated by retired firemen, this place is both unique and rustic as it embraces the Texas spirit.
  • Saint Arnold Brewing Company. It’s “Texas’ oldest craft brewery” and everything is done right there at the brewery. You can take a tour of the brewery or skip it and go straight for the tasting in the beer hall.
  • West Alabama Ice House. This is a certified, real deal honky tonk that has been around since 1928! It’s super laid back, has an outdoor bar, and is one of the best places in Houston to grab a beer and enjoy some live music, play horseshoes, or just hang with friends.

How do you celebrate the Texas Rodeo spirit in Houston? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Boot in Stirrup image courtesy of franky242 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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