Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Let's Change the Subject to . . . Chicken

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But before we do, I would like to wish Brian Wilson (the musician, not the Giant) a very happy 70th birthday, and Errol Flynn (RIP) a peaceful 103rd.

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This site has been somewhat dreary lately, what with all the CTO-bashing and hand-wringing over the declining broadcast quality on The Ticket.  So much negativity, it angries up the blood.  So let's have a little fun.

We'll start out with some positives about our daytime pals:

When Cane's began opening up stores here, I went a couple of times.   Wasn't inspired to return.  Then it made the investment in George and Gordon as pitchmen.  Whatever you say about The Ticket, the hosts without exception do a great job with their spots.  The live spots are a special treat, even when they crater owing to poorly-written copy, technical problem, or just the vicissitudes of live radio.  The Corby-Mike spots can be hilarious, as can the Gordon-George improvs.   Some local radio/TV guys think doing ads is beneath them, but even Mike throws himself into them with gusto, as indeed they should as that is the station's sole source of revenue.  Mike's Herradura ads with Emmitt -- their parts apparently recorded miles and hours apart, like a Tony Bennett "duet" -- should win some kind of award.

I was impressed by George's and Gordon's near-climaxing over the greatness of Cane's and thought -- well, maybe my early visits took place while they were still getting going in DFW, I'll give it another try.  (See, the ads worked!)  Was out for a long bike ride oon Saturday, and happened by a Cane's around noontime.

Here are the good things about Cane's:

        Spotless stores
        Friendly staff
        Fresh ingredients
        Served hot

Here is the bad thing about Cane's:

       Utterly flavorless chicken fingers

The marquee dish has nothing to recommend it.  It is very lightly coated and breaded, which is not a virtue when the coating/breading fails to convey any kind of a taste sensation.  So they're very uncrispy, actually rather limp and even soggy.  De gustibus est non disputandum, I know, but speaking only for myself, I want my fingers crispy, covered with yummy ingredients.  It's not even salty, it's without any flavor at all.  Again, the underlying breast meat is fresh and hot and fine, but that's not why I eat chicken fingers.

How about that sauce?  It's just OK, and they don't give you enough of it.  Thousand Island without the islands, and with a dash of some kind of pepper or paprika or something, just the very slightest bit tangy.  Not bad, but not as notable as it needs to be since it is the only thing that lends the illusion of flavor to the chicken itself.

It is hard for me to believe that George or Gordon rushes out to Cane's when noontime rolls around.

So feel free to weigh in on Cane's if you'd like, but what I really want to know is where you get your favorite fried chicken of any kind.  I confess my tastes are rather plebeian:

(1) KFC original; stay away from the medicinal extra crispy; have to put up with appalling KFC service and tendency to get orders wrong and run out of chicken; cole slaw a favorite.  Yes, I know the original recipe does not make for a crispy piece and the coating/skin tends to fall off the chicken, but its deliciousness makes up for it.

(2) Popeye's spicy, and don't forget the red beans and rice; however, Popeye's must be eaten fresh after ordering -- it doesn't keep well in the fridge for breakfast the next day.  Refrigerated KFC leftovers that are reheated tend to remain pretty tasty.

(3) Golden Chick,  a chain apparently concentrated in smaller Texas communities away from the metro, similar to Church's in product configuration, with three Dallas-area locations listed on their website; and they're one of those food vendors that has selected as its symbol a cheerful representation of an individual of the species that they're in the business of slaughtering and offering for people to eat -- so unsound;

(4) Church's, could use more locations in DFW; service also leaves something to be desired.

(5) Babe's, but would prefer to order dark-only instead of their meals and carryout requires that you navigate your way through the restaurant.

It's not Tickety, but I would selfishly like to know where you go for fried chicken.  Doesn't have to be fast food.  I wish I had some right now.

And, of course, continue to treat Comments as a perpetual open thread on all things Ticketish.

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birq said...

For some reason, people in my town really dig Chicken Express. I think it's bland and excessively greasy. I prefer Popeye's and Chick-fil-a (because of the waffle fries), but truth be told, I only have chicken that's been in a cholesterol hot tub once or twice a year. If I'm going to take that chance with my arteries, I'm going to go to go all out and head to Babe's for the full experience and the biscuits with molasses.

Anonymous said...

The real greatness at chicken express is the corn nuggets. In fact, there have been a few times that I have gone there for JUST the corn nuggets to take home to have with dinner. I will also get their tea - half sweet and half unsweet.

Anonymous said...

I preach to anyone that will listen the utter lameness that is Cane's. So they do one thing, chicken fingers. Great. Why wouldn't they have an entire WALL of sauces to choose from? 25 sauces available to drown out their crappy fingers. But no, they have ONE sauce, which sucks. I do NOT see the draw to that place. It's a waste of space that could have another Chipotle or WhatABurger on it.

charlie0712 said...

I'm partial to Chicken Express when I lived in Texas. Now I go to Popeye's when I can for the spicy chicken.

Here in TN we have Zaxby's which is ok but a little pricey and Bojangles which is very run of the mill, but good non-the-less for fried chicken.

P1 Brad C said...

Chicken Express is the rage around my parts and I also don't see what all the fuss is about. Pretty flavorless if you ask me. I'm not ashamed to say if I had to get chicken strips somewhere it'd be Whataburger. Speaking of which, give me a whataburger with cheese over In-N-Out any day of the week. Yeah I said it.

East Texas P1 said...

Years ago there used to be place in Six Flags that served the best fried chicken ever (except for mom's). Can't remember the name but I looked forward to that as much as the park itself.

+1 on Chicken Express and KFC original two-piece dark with a biscuit.

The Plainsman said...

East, I hadn't even read your comment before I went out over the noon hour and negotiated the purchase of a "KFC original two-piece dark with a biscuit" for myownself.

Shaggy said...

I liked Raising Cane's okay the couple of times I tried it. I liked the sauce a lot though. You can trade the cole slaw for more sauce or do what I did and get an extra slice of Texas Toast. That was awesome. Chick Fil A's strips are better though.

If you want the best chicken strips in the world, go to Houston's/Hillstone and ask for the Flying Chicken Platter. It's an off-menu legend.

James said...

It's called Raising Cane's, not Cane's. And I love their food. I don't see how you can say they have no flavor.

At any rate, the best chicken strips I have tried lately are the ones sold at Wingstop. Not the wings, and not the boneless wings. The strips. Very tasty, just crispy enough without being too crispy, and several flavors to choose from. Good sized.

Anonymous said...

The best chicken can be found at any Mexican restaurant that has "pollo" in its name.

Shaggy said...

Los Pollos Hermanos?

jwj170104 said...

Indeed a very happy birthday greeting to Brian Wilson, writer of many, many songs filled with joy and happiness.

As far as Chicken, like Cane's and Popeyes. Agree with you that Golden Chicken is very good. I like almost any fried chicken (as my waist shows)

The Plainsman said...

I accept the correction that the name is "Raising Cane's."

I accept no correction respecting the flavorlessness of their sole dish. As pointed out above, they brag that chicken fingers is all that they do, and yet those fingers don't even rise to blandness. No taste to them at all (other than the very slight "taste" of the breast meat, which, as I admit, is of good quality).

A triumph of marketing over merit.

The Plainsman said...

Interesting that the two most prominent and influential musicians-who-were-also-bassists from post-Elvis pop/rock (Wilson and McCartney) were born only two days apart.

Anonymous said...

I too wonder why there's not an array of sauces to choose from at Cane's. Also, if you're going to do one thing, it had better be singularly superlative. While Cane's fingers are pretty good, they are decidedly not the cat's meow.

There used to be a place on lowest Greenville called, of all things, Gordo's. They had the best damn fingers ever. They had a location near SMU (I believe it was the flagship), but I'm not sure if it's still around. If it is, by all means, go there.

Anonymous said...


The Plainsman said...

Anything worthy of note from BaD's Juneteenth broadcast?

Any Timewasters audio yet?

charlie0712 said...

BAD radio played the songs quickly that they all did but no others. The game they played was pretty funny yesterday from the barber shop but overall was just a solid good show from "below 30". lol

deezy said...

I agree with the Zaxby's comment up above better chicken than Raising Cane's, and I want to say that their sauces are very similar...? Zaxby's will give you more sauce, however, while Cane's is inexplicably proud of theirs.

Charlie - Zaxby's first Texas store was in Mansfield, a couple of years ago, and I think they've branched out. It used to be very amusing to look at their in-store map and see the heavy concentration of stores out east and the _one_ in Texas, where I was standing at the time, but I digress.

Shaggy - Houston's has chicken strips? I bet they're mighty tasty (and mighty twenty dollars). I'll give 'em a try nonetheless, if I remember what they're called.

Final thought: piggybacking on what Brad said, there are two types of people who like In-N-Out: Cali transplants, and wannabe Cali transplants. Out here so close to Cowtown, USA, there are MANY fast food burgers done better (Whataburger and DQ, anyone?)

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet Raising Cane's ends its advertising budget with The Ticket on Monday.

East Texas P1 said...

My daughter is home visiting right now and I shared comments of this thread. She said that Raising Cane's is also owned by the same people that have Layne's in College Station. However, this video tends to lend credence that they are separate entities.

Or it could just be genius marketing.

My daughter also worked at Chicken Express in high school. She would bring home a box of leftover food any time she closed. Chicken gizzards are an unappreciated delicacy.

She wants to share +1 on Chicken Express mashed potatoes and gravy, corn nuggets and biscuit.

Wife just joined in that CE is not greasy.

Ron said...

Hardline played Jake and TC's "Festival Corby" and Mike's "19th Nervous Breakdown" (with Danny on vocal harmony).

Some thoughts on Brian Wilson: I've always been a Beach Boys fan in general and Brian fan in particular. My first rock show (not counting Mouse and the Traps playing a junior high school dance) was the Beach Boys at Memorial Auditorium. I'm not a musician, so I don't feel qualified to say whether Brian's drug indulgence helped or hindered his musical output. What I have pondered over the years is what it was like for Brian to have all that music inside of him that nedded to get out. If you are a fan of Beach Boys/Brian Wilson and have not heard the "Smile" album that he completed (finally) a few years ago, I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Williams ftw

The Plainsman said...

4:41 PM Anon: Doubtful. This site only has a few hundred readers a day, and a lot of them LIKE Raising Cane's.

They should increase their buys -- after all, I was a non-RC fan, but George and Gordon's orgiastic ads made me want to go back and try it.

I'm actually regretting this post, since RC is sponsoring George's charity Jubfest, or whatever it's called.

The Plainsman said...

I would like to thank Gordon Keith for engaging in zero Doocy-baiting this morning. What a pleasure.

I LOL over Doocy's Sven Svinson, or whatever character he was doing for Dallas Dodge.

Anonymous said...

I like Raising Canes. It's a different style of chicken finger that I prefer over the over salted, over battered, over crispy traditional kind. I think most of their repeat customers feel the same way which is why they're so successful.

The chicken strips at Scotty P's are great too.

birq said...

Gordo's "interrupter" bit during the college football championship segment this morning really entertained me. It's subtler than his normal George and Doocy baiting tactics, but it still rams a stick into the spokes. It's really telling how different the show is when one of the Musers is out. Gordo likes messing with everyone, but he tends to give Craig a lot more leeway when George is out. The thing that's interesting to me is that George isn't shown that same restraint when Junior is out. The free-for-all during George's "review" of Rock of Ages was hilarious, but how differently do you think that would've gone if they were at full strength?

Anonymous said...

Jr and Gordo have more of a shared history. Meaning that George has been married and with children since Gordo, George, and Craig met. So during the early years, Gordo and Craig were not only drinking buddies (almost every night drinking buddies in those days), they were also roommates. Also, until very recently, George has been on the polar opposite of the political and social/cultural spectrum of Gordo and Jr--which has provided for endless gut punching opportunities. I think when you put those two together, you might have a better understanding as to why George seems to get the brunt of Gordo's kicks to the nuts. Having said that, I think that most of the nut kicking aimed at George is now more out of habit and custom than an actual desire to rile him up. I say this because it seems to me that these days Jr. is becoming more and more aligned politically to where George once was, George more toward Gordo's stance, and George and Gordo seem to have more in common, in every way, than either do with Craig.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to imply that George was married with children when he and Craig met. I was talking about when they hooked up with Gordo.

Dan'sBeachTowel said...

Anonymous at @June 20, 2012 1:12 PM:

PLUS 1000 on charcoal chicken from Pollo "fill in the blank"

As far as fried chicken goes here in Austin i like Top Notch for fast food and Lucy's for a sit down spot.

Also BaD played some audio from the time wasters as well yesterday. Bob's as well as tom's.(jake and tc too)

Ron said...

Has this been brought up yet?

The important part is near the end of the article.

Is this just a replacement for Yahoo Sports Radio, or is it something else?

Anonymous said...

Wow... end of the fan??

East Texas P1 said...

What does this mean for the little one?

The following Cumulus radio stations in the Top 100 markets will broadcast CBS Sports Radio programming:

KTCK-AM (Dallas)

birq said...

@ETP1, I suspect it's as Ron was suggesting, that CBS will be what they go to when they "go to network". It used to be Sporting News Radio, now it's Yahoo Sports, and after this change, it'll be CBS. I think that's all it means.