I had the pleasure of judging the 3rd Annual Texas Food Truck Showdown in Waco where I got to sample 40 dishes from competing foods trucks. Talk about a dream come true for me right?
Since the Texas Food Truck Showdown takes place in Waco, I decided to make a weekend of it and brought a friend along for the ride. We’d head to Waco and Austin for the weekend. Early Friday, we made the short 2 hour drive to Waco and decided to explore the city before the big event Saturday morning.
I’ve seen photos from this super cute place called Magnolia Market and wanted to check it out. Looked like a super instagrammable spot and it was! Ha. You’d never guess such an adorable place would exist in Waco. Sorry, outside of Baylor University, I don’t remember there being much more.
After checking into the hotel (we stayed at the Hilton), it was a 10 minute walk to the market. There are also trolleys that’ll take you there from the hotel, but figured that one out too late.
There’s a bakery, a marketplace where you can purchase some of the cutest items for home and kitchen, and turf garden/patio area. Food trucks line the perimeter. After our drive, we decided to get these juicy watermelon drinks and some crepes and people watch.
Magnolia Market is definitely a cool pit stop if you’re on the way to Austin or Dallas. Stop by, grab some food, catch some sun and head out. My friend and I spent the rest of the evening, hanging out in our hotel and doing what girls love to do on a Friday night: TV, facials, paint our nails, and catch up!
So, I had the superrrr difficult job of taste testing 40 different dishes. There were 7 judges and I couldn’t feel more honored and excited! I pretty much had 40 whole dishes all to myself. Muahahaha.
I did my best to take only one (big) bite per dish. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. However, halfway through, I was already hitting a wall.
We judged best of international, best between bread, most unique/creative, and best desserts. We didn’t know which food truck the dish came from and rated each on a scale of 1 to 10 for taste, execution, presentation and more. Pretty much, we had food coming at us every 4 minutes.
Here’s just a sample of what we got to try:
And in between there was a lot of this:
Here are the winners:
- Grand Champion: Gourdough’s Public House from Austin (Gourmet Big Fat Donut)
- Best Dessert: Savery Grilled Cheese from Austin (Cookie Dough Eggrolls with Homemade Fudge & Ice Cream)
- Most Unique: That’s Amore from Saginaw, TX (Pot Roast Stromboli with Gravy)
- Best Between Buns: May the Cheese Be With You from Belton, TX (Grilled Cheese Trilogy)
- Best International: Club Sandwich from Waco (Deep Fried Tamale Balls)
- People’s Choice: Bite My Biscuit from Watauga, TX (The Cluck’n Ranch)
The fried tamale ball and the big fat donut were my absolute favorites.
After judging, we had some time to kill and decided to check out the rest of the festival. With food trucks sprawled all over, people were in line to get some good stuff. There was also a petting zoo, cool vendors and even a live show of a squirrel water skiing.
Soon after, we packed up and headed to Austin!
One Day in Austin
Of course after all that food, we had to do something active. Once we arrived in Austin, we headed straight to the new boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake.
Loved getting to experience a day outside amidst this concrete jungle. I loved how the trail went under the highway.
We even met a guy who played the saxophone. He played a few songs and it was fun hearing the music reverberate underneath the bridge. Cliche, but it was pretty cool.
Since we arrived in Austin early, we checked into our hotel after our walk on the Boardwalk. I will advise that the Sheraton in downtown Austin isn’t great and I wouldn’t recommend it. The lobby and restaurants are nice and renovated, but the rooms are really dated and they don’t plan to renovate the rooms. So it looks misleading AF. Imagine walking into a swanky lobby, only to end up in a room that looks like it hasn’t changed in 20 years. I used my Hotel Tonight app to book it, but can’t say I would ever stay there again.
The next morning, I got my workout in at Crush Fitness and met long time IG friend Sydney aka @spinsyddy! Crush Fitness was a hybrid of treadmill work and weight lifting. Think Orangetheory! Super fun and definitely needed that sweat after all the fooding the day before.
Then we grabbed some lunch at Juice Society and chatted about some really cool upcoming stuff for Austin. Juice Society is SO cute. The toast was on point!
This was the perfect end to a weekend getaway before heading back to Dallas. The Texas Food Truck Showdown takes place every year in Waco, so definitely keep it on your radar for next year! Worth grabbing tickets and making a weekend of it in Waco and Austin or Dallas.