Hoffman's Houston
5 big thoughts (kinda)

Ken Hoffman on why we love Whataburger and the Houston restaurant with a 6-week wait list

Hoffman on why we love Whataburger and Houston spot with a 6-week wait

Whataburger burger menu palette
There's a simple reason we love Whataburger over, say, Hooters. Whataburger/Facebook

Last month, Houstonians nearly had a collective conniption (awesome word) when they heard that Whataburger, a Texas treasure, had been bought out by BDT Capital Partners, an investment bank in — you can’t be serious — Chicago.

What does Chicago know about taquitos and honey butter chicken biscuits?

But, last week, there was hardly a peep when word broke that Hooters had been purchased by Chanticleer Holdings, a business development company based in North Carolina.

The difference in reaction? We go to Whataburger for the food. We go to Hooter for the scenery, the food is incidental. But confession, I like the wings at Hooters. I get them naked. (I mean the wings have no breading. ... I am fully clothed.)

Rodeo lassos in a favorite 
This is great news on the food front. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has signed a contract that keeps Ray Cammack Shows running the carnival for several more years.

I love everything about the carnival – the games, the rides, and especially the food. One of my favorite nights of every year is when RCS’s “Midway Gourmet” Dominic Palmieri takes a bunch of my friends and me on a lap around every food booth. The way he describes how each new food item was created, it’s like listening to Mick and Keith describe how they wrote “Satisfaction.”

“Well, it’s official, you need to put up with me for another decade!” Palmieri told me. “Being invited back to the Rodeo for several more years, adding to the 25 years we’ve been there already, makes us more appreciative that Houston loves the RCS brand. Know that we’re coming back encourages us to push the envelope to develop new foods and raise the bar for quality and consistency."

Houston's radio royalty 
The Texas Radio Hall of Fame has announced its 2019 class of inductees. There are 20 names on the list. Here are the new HOF’ers with Houston ties:

  • Linda Austin Ware, KIKK, KTRH, and KILT.
  • Johnny Goyen: KFMK, KRBE, and KPRC.
  • John Mittin: KIKK.
  • Scott Sparks: KRBE, KLUE, and KGLK.

The induction ceremony will be held November 2 at the Texas Broadcast Museum in Kilgore. Visit the site for tickets, discount hotel rates, and more information.

Ken Hoffman: Matchmaker
Headline: “California man posed as woman to lure men on dating apps, robbed them, prosecutors say.”
What kind of sick, perverted world is this when you can’t trust how people describe themselves on dating sites?

True story, I have a friend who was having trouble luring women on a certain popular dating site. I looked at his bio: Of course, he wasn’t attracting women. It was simple. He described himself honestly.

I said, “What did you expect? You’re horrible. Let me write your bio.” Among his favorite activities, I included walking along the beach at night, long romantic dinners, working as a volunteer at a pet shelter, visiting museums, ecological travel, jazz concerts, spending Christmas with my parents, all that crap.

Within one week, he was taking out a different woman every night. He was so popular, he was going broke. I told him, be cool about this, you have to fake being the person in your bio. You have to stall them from finding out who you really are. He said, don’t worry, I can be a great phony.

I said, you wrote that you like jazz music. Okay, who’s your favorite current jazz artist? Between the stalling and changing the topic, I knew he didn’t have a favorite. I made it easier, can you name one jazz artist, living or dead, in the history of the world? He couldn’t do it.

Not surprisingly, he was back to being dateless in a month.

I know another guy, who used to work with me at the Chronicle, who joined a dating service. A couple of years later, he told me, “When I was on a date and told them where I worked, they always asked if I knew you.” This Chronicle guy was doing better with women because he knew me … than I ever did being me.

It's a MAD restaurant world
Read about a hot, new restaurant opening in Houston. There is a six-week wait for reservations. Just a personal thing, but forget that. I don’t even wait 20 minutes for a table.

There is no food that great that I’d wait six weeks for a reservation, even if I were having dinner with Paul McCartney, Roger Federer, Tom Hanks, Willie Mays, and Bill Gates … and one of them was paying for my dinner, and valet parking was complimentary. And I don’t mean complimentary where you still have to tip the guy. I mean free parking, like in Monopoly.