Inaugural FPH Sammy Awards

Written by Peter Cortez

Sept 29 — Free Press Houston is a great organization that puts together some unique Houston events and they have truly become a legitimate cultural bastion of Houston.

So it was pretty cool when we learned that FPH was behind the Sammy Awards, which was a ‘Best Of’ event that featured only Houstonian nominees.  Categories included Best of Houston music, art, culture and food.  Winners of the Sammy Award were democratically voted by the public via web poll.  The event wasn’t just an awards show, however; there were performances by Houston artists such as Bun B (who was also the Event Host), Paul Wall, Annika Chambers,  BLSHS, and more.

There was complimentary alcohol (included in ticket) from local breweries such as 8th Wonder, Karbach, and Saint Arnold.  Also, there was a bar tending competition that featured various bartenders from different bars throughout Houston.  Every attendee got a chance to try each cocktail and vote on their favorite drink.  Everyone that attended the Sammy Awards left with something free.

The free giveaways included concert tickets, festival passes, posters, t-shirts, and gift certificates.  Overall the show was fun and eventful; but in lieu of good live performances and delicious, creative cocktails, this show definitely had it’s flaws (and the great thing about that is that that leaves room for improvements).

For starters, the overall organization of the event seemed very poor due to the fact that more than half of the seats were never occupied at once. It was kind of a sad sight: a sea of empty white chairs, with just the first  dozen rows or so filled up.  Attendees, instead, seemed to flock towards the free supply of alcohol all night and never really paid attention to the awards that were given.  Also,  there were so many categories (almost 60+)  that any sense of prestige or value was taken away from the award itself (I mean, there’s seriously a category called “Best Ass”. C’mon, now!)

Perhaps it would have been better to condense certain categories in order to make the award more exclusive and therefore more prestigious (we’re not saying these things need to be plated in gold or anything, but the old maxim that “scarcity adds value” could be implemented here).

A vast majority of the nominees and winners weren’t even present to accept their award (although, in all honesty, it probably would have been a waste of their time since over half of the “audience” was out drinking free cocktails). A quick solution to that problem would be to have the drinks and bartending competition  after the awards are all given out. Just a suggestion…

Overall, the concept of the Sammys was excellent: it was all for Houston and by Houston.  Everyone had a great time but hopefully next year it will be much improved and organized.

Here’s a full list of Sammy winners (courtesy of Free Press Houston)

FOOD/ BOOZE

BEST NEW…

Tiger Den

BEST DESSERT

Shipley’s

BEST MOM & POP

Lankford Grocery

BEST RESTROOM

Boheme

BEST BURGER

Bernie’s Burger Bus

BEST TACO

Tacos A Go-Go

BEST SUSHI

Uchi

BEST PIZZA

Star Pizza

BEST STEAK NIGHT

MKT Bar

BEST SANDWICH

Eatsie Boys

BEST PHO

Van Loc

BEST RAMEN

Jenni’s Noodle House

BEST VEGETARIAN

Radical Eats

BEST HUMMUS

Phoenicia

BEST MAC & CHEESE

Jus’ Mac

BEST CURRY

Red Lion

BEST COFFEE

Black Hole

BEST BAHN-MI

Les Givral’s

HALL OF GAME FOOD

Ninfa’s on Navigation

BEST FOOD WRITER

Allison Cook

BARTENDER

Lindsay Burleson of Poison Girl

MEAN BARTENDER

Travis Tobey of Fitzgerald’s

NEW LOCAL BEER

Karbach- Love Street

BEST BREWERY

Saint Arnold

HALL OF GAME BOOZE

West Alabama Ice House

BEST NEW BAR

Little Dipper

MUSIC

BEST NEW ARTIST

The New Mercies

RECORD OF THE YEAR

The Tontons- Make-Out King & Other Stories of Love

LIVE SHOW

The Suffers

BEST AMERICANA

Buxton

DJ

Fistful of Soul

HALL OF GAME

Little Joe Washington

BEST JAZZ

Free Radicals

BEST HIP HOP

Fat Tony

BEST COUNTRY

Robert Ellis

BEST METAL

Venemous Maximus

BEST BLUES

Little Joe Washington

BEST INDIE ROCK

The Tontons

BEST PUNK

The Secret Prostitutes

BEST EXPERIMENTAL

B L A C K I E

BAND THAT JUMPS

American Fangs

BEST SOUND PERSON

Ryan Chavez

ART

CURATOR

Juan Pablo from El Rincon Social

AEROSOL

GONZO247

STREET ART

Eyesore

NEW GALLERY

The Brandon

BEST POSTER ARTIST

Shelby Hohl

PHOTOGRAPHER

Ben DeSoto

HALL OF GAME

Jermaine Rogers

CULTURE

TATTOO SHOP

713 Tattoo

BEST COMEDIAN

Ashton Womack

BEST MAYOR

Annise Parker

NON PROFIT

OKRA Charity Saloon

ECCENTRIC PERSON

Juan Carlos

BLOG

Swamplot

BEST ASS

Omar Afra (Runner up: Mills-McCoin)

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