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Go Texan Food Truck Competition: judge's eye-view

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Posted 9:03am on Sunday, Jul. 22, 2012

Friday, I had the honor of being one of the judges of the Go Texan Food Truck Competition, sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture. The competition was held at the Cowtown Chow Down in Fort Worth, with six trucks participating and showing how they used Texas grown produce to create fresh, tasty food.

Each dish was ranked on a scale of 1-5 in the areas of: use of Texas products; appearance; and taste. Judges were Ryan of the blog Funkytown Foods, Steve Wilson, DFW.com's The Weekend Chef, Francie Cooper from Tarrant Area Food Bank, me, the DFW Food Truck Foodie, Meghan Scott of dfw.com and former NBC-5 anchor Jane McGarry.

The first dish we tasted was from Chile Pepper Grill.

The Aqua Frescas was cool, sweet and refreshing. The corn tortilla filled with yellow potatoes and carrots and mixed greens was extremely tasty. The side soup of chicken and avocado was a wonderful soup. This meal set the tone for the day and showed that food trucks do gourmet food well!

Next up was an assortment of items from Holy Frijole.

For the main course, crab cake, asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, veggie flatbread and stuffed eggplant. For dessert, tiramisu. Oh my! Every single item was delicious! We only had five minutes to taste each plate, which was a blessing and a curse ... I wanted more time to savor it all but was grateful that the time constraints meant that I did not actually have to finish each plate.

Next up -- Good Karma Kitchen's Sandwich and Peach with Vodka Sauce

I could dedicate an entire post to the bread that this sandwich was on -- gluten-free pretzel bread. Seriously, amazing! Almost as amazing at the Tito's Vodka sauce for the peaches. I hope none of the other other judges noticed me licking the plate to get every drop of sauce. The sandwich, with fresh Texas vegetables was very tasty and it was at this point that I realized that these full-size servings were too much. No one could eat this entire sandwich but especially after having other dishes before it. Can someone pass me a to-go box?

Next up, World Tour Truck's Greek Wrap.

I give World Traveler props for even being in the contest, as it was their very first day on the road, ever. This wrap had grilled pork with peppers, orzo and a side of tzatziki sauce was very flavorful.

Next up, Sassy Hot Dog's Shrimp and Melon Salad.

This was the winner of the Public Vote for best food. The sauce in this dish was one I would love to drink with or without the shrimp. The red and yellow watermelons and cucumbers mixed well and the Gulf shrimp add up for a real treat with this dish. Well done from what started as a hot dog truck and has expanded to many other items.

Our next to last dish was the Natural Strawberry Snowball from Snoball Corral.

Given that it was 106 degrees on Friday, the cold, delicious snowcone was a welcome treat and being all natural, with Texas strawberries made it outstanding!

And last, but certainly not least, Auntie Am's Sweet Shop Peach Cobbler Cupcake.

With peach chunks in the cupcake and the crumble like topping, this was more muffin-like to me and absolutely fabulous. I wish I had several more for breakfast this week. Loved these cupcakes!

Since the dishes were not to be compared to each other in voting, the results were close. Very, very close, with the Snowcone Corral and Chile Pepper Grill tying for first place. After calls to The Department of Agriculture and much discussion, Snoball Corral was declared the winner, with Chile Pepper Grill taking second and Sassy Hot Dogs taking third.

The next step was the public voting, where samples were given out, and each attendee was given a ticket for voting for their favorite dish. For this portion, Sassy Hot Dog was declared the winner. But this was one of those events where everyone was a winner, especially me, who got to taste all this amazing Texas food. For next week, these trucks will be showcasing all of these items, so visit them, and Go Texan!

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