The coveted awards at Houstonia's Gumbo Smackdown

Image: Art Giraldo

It was a little chilly last Saturday at Sugar Land Town Square, but that meant it was perfect weather to enjoy warm, heaping bowls of gumbo.

Houstonia's sixth annual Gumbo Smackdown brought out more than 500 attendees, who sampled a wide array of interpretations of the classic Gulf Coast dish from 15 Houston-area restaurants and food vendors. The event raised $1,225 for the Fort Bend Rainbow Room, a resource space that gives necessary items to families enduring crises.

In the end, the attendees felt the best gumbo came from the crew at Bayou Boys PoBoys, which won the coveted people's choice award. Willie G's Seafood took home judge's choice honors. Luby's was crowned tops in booth décor.

While guests chowed down while wearing Mardi Gras beads, playing beanbag toss, and sipping on bespoke cocktails and beer from Saint Arnold's Brewing Co., the Platinum Players brought plenty of zydeco heat on stage.

By the end of the afternoon, as bellies were satisfyingly filled with gumbo (and desserts from Tiff's Treats and Lushes Pies) the cold was merely an afterthought.

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Willie G's

Seafood 2100 Harborside