I can’t wait for former radio sports talk host Josh Innes to unleash, and I do mean release the hounds, his new daily podcast on Monday, September 16. It happens to be the exact day that his contract with his old station officially expires.
It’s not my nature to stick my nose in other stations’ business, but Innes got nailed so hard that they should name an aisle at Home Depot after him. I expect Innes to unload enough dirty laundry to open a laundromat. No paywall, so it’ll be a free-for-all on most podcast streaming outlets. You’ll find it, just listen for the gnashing of teeth coming from station general managers' offices.
Here’s the thing. Several years ago, a local TV station needed a new weather forecaster. They hired a super-slick weatherman from Los Angeles. He didn’t look, dress, or talk like Houston. Eventually, actually in short order, the station bid him goodbye. The real problem wasn't the weatherman. The station should have dismissed the person who hired Mr. Cool from L.A.
The weatherman delivered exactly what was on his audition tape. He was who he was. Did the station expect him to wear a cowboy hat and spurs? So whether you liked or despised (and there was plenty of both) Innes in his two go-arounds on Houston radio, it's the same deal. He’s been outrageous everywhere he’s worked. That’s who he is. Did the stations here expect a choir boy? This goes for everybody, stop trying to change people.
McD's in the chicken sandwich game
McDonald’s finally engaged in the Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019 this week, with its new Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich — joining Popeyes, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, and Jack in the Box in an all-out battle for chicken sandwich supremacy.
McDonald’s Sammy starts with its classic buttermilk battered, crispy (translation: deep-fried) white meat breast, followed by slivered onions, pickles and a new BBQ glaze with a mild suggestion of jalapeño, served on a sesame seed bun. Total calories: 530. Fat grams: 19. Sodium: 1,260 mg. Carbs: 64 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 26 g.
Here’s where I usually give the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, but today the price maybe should be listed first. McDonald’s new Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich is going for between $4.89 and $5.29 around the country. My local McDonald’s has it for $5.19.
The price is significant because Chick-fil-A’s comparable chicken sandwich costs $3.59 ($3.89 for spicy), and Popeyes is charging $3.99 for its industry-rattling chicken sandwich — when Popeyes can keep it in stock. Popeyes ran out of its buns only two weeks after introducing the sandwich. Some of its stores were selling 1,000 chicken sandwiches a day. Or as Chick-fil-A would call that statistic … “Tuesday.”
I did like McDonald’s chicken sandwich. First thing, when I opened the box, the chicken breast was sticking out from the bun. It’s a big slab of chicken. I remember when I moved to Houston in the ’80s, I got hooked on fried fish sandwiches at Joe Lee’s in Kemah, mostly because the piece of fish was big enough to cover three buns. So McDonald’s is doing its sandwich right.
As for taste, again, McDonald’s sandwich is good stuff. The spicy BBQ glaze is very mild, your kids won’t take a bite and hand it back to you with their noses scrunched. Overall, McDonald’s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich stands up to the competition. You know, it’s hard to mess up fried chicken. Everything else is just promotion and TV commercials. The real bottom line: McDonald’s stock is up 20 percent this year, and same-store sales are their best since 2012.
McDonald’s also has Spicy BBQ Glazed Tenders, same flavor profile, four for $4.49, six for $6.79, and 10 for $10.99.
Dominique Sachse's Top 100
Have you checked out CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler’s list of the “Top 100 Very Best Restaurants in Houston?” I’ve eaten at only six of them. Yes, I’m ashamed, but I’m okay with it. I started asking friends and superstar titans of media, “How many of Eric’s Top 100 have you visited?”
The winner so far: Channel 2’s chanteuse of cuisine Dominique Sachse. She’s graced 29 of the Top 100 restaurants with her appetite and credit card.