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Nashville Street Food Awards – Judging “Best Drink”

So I was really nervous Saturday judging the Nashville Street Food Awards.  What would I be judging?  Who would I be judging with?  What if every truck entered every category that I was judging?  I realize that I’m a total worry wart.  I’m pathalogical.  Seriously, just ask Jim.  He’ll be the first to tell you I’m an “Anxious Annie”.

I was in the first group of judges.  With 9 categories and over 30 food trucks who could enter each category, it would be a near impossibility to ask the same set of people to judge every category.  So there were 3 groups of food lovers judging 3 categories each.  I arrived at Centennial Park around 10:30.  We were supposed to start judging around 10:45.  I was really excited to find that I was judging alongside a few of my favorite bloggers and social media gurus, Lesley from Lesley Eats and Tabitha from A La Mode Media.  I also discovered that the 3 categories we would be judging were Best Drink, Best Vegetarian, and Best Taco.  Best Vegetarian was the category I originally had hoped I wouldn’t get.  I’m the farthest thing from a vegetarian.  So how would I be a good judge?  When I saw Lesley, I knew that I was in the Best Vegetarian judging group.  I was really surprised with the vegetarian entrants.  With a few exceptions, the entrants into Best Vegetarian were actually full of foods that I would order on a regular basis!  But more on that later!

Our first category was “Best Drink”.  I was kind of excited about this category.  And shortly after we sat down, we got our first container of drinks.  I don’t know who entered every drink, but there are quite a few that I figured out who they were or found out after the judging in talking with the trucks.  It was a lot more difficult than I thought to judge.  From the first drink, how do you rate that?  I was afraid to rate it too high because I had no idea what was to come, but I didn’t want to judge it low.  So it was a very interesting process.

Here we go!  Ready for some pictures????  I hope so, because there are quite entrants in the “Best Drink”.  The containers were coming at us at quite a pace, so there are at least 5 drinks that I missed taking pictures of.  To see full size views of the drink, just click on any picture in the gallery.  It will bring up the slideshow!

Apparently, they saved the best for last.  The final entrant we judged ended up being the winner.  Hit and Miss Ice Cream’s “White Trash” – As you can see, I forgot to take the picture until it was too late!

 I was really excited to see how some trucks really put some thought into the presentation.  Retro Sno’s Chai Tea was served in little glass shot glasses with a straw.  To me, that was probably the BEST presentation of all the entrants.  I can’t believe that I didn’t realize at the time that it was Retro Sno’s Chai, because I’m addicted to their Chai Sno Cones!!!  Silly Julie!!!

My top 3 drinks almost mirrored the final top 3.  My favorite was Hit & Miss Ice Cream’s “White Trash” float.  Retro Sno’s Chai Tea nearly even because I really loved their presentation plus it was SUPER tasty.  My 3rd favorite was the very first drink we got which was a mocha milkshake.  Followed very closely by Delta Bound’s Basil Lemonade which was the ultimate 2nd runner up in Best Drink.  I do not know who made that mocha milkshake, but I would love to know!  So if you know, let me know!!!!!

I tried to be good and not drink the full serving they brought.  I needed to make sure that I didn’t fill my belly with liquid.  There were still 2 more categories to judge!  So I did not want to make that rookie mistake of partaking of the full serving I was brought.  There were a few that I just couldn’t help myself.  And I had to drink them up!

We were barely complete with Best Drink when the containers for Best Vegetarian.  But, I’ll save that for Wednesday’s blog!

-FTJ Julie

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