Doughboys with Nick Wiger and Mike Mitchell

Los Angeles is known for its vast array of cuisine being home to fusion tacos, fancy burgers, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, endless Korean BBQ, delectable falafels, epic cupcakes and the list goes on and on. Therefore, it is just a tad bit ironic that writers and buddies Nick Wiger and Mike Mitchell decided to make a podcast in which they review the many chain restaurants of Los Angeles.

The podcast, featured on Feral Audio, is called Doughboys and in each episode Wiger, Mitchell and a special guest venture out to a specific chain restaurant such as Five Guys, Carrows, Pizza Hut or even Burger King to review the food and ambiance of the restaurant. The idea of reviewing a chain restaurant is bizarre enough, but add Wiger and Mitchell’s dry humor to the mix and the result is scrumptious.

High Voltage: Where did you two get the idea to review chain restaurants?
Mitch: Wiger did it.
Wiger: That’s not entirely true. We talked about collaborating for some time and decided to work on a podcast together. We texted back and forth about possible topics and then, after a visit to the Cheesecake Factory, we locked in chain restaurants as the theme.
Mitch: Yeah. I guess it was my idea.

HV: What has been your favorite restaurant and your least favorite thus far?
Mitch: That one is easy for me. Carrows was definitely my least favorite restaurant. But I kind of feel bad to pick on a struggling franchise. My favorite… that’s tough. I’m going to go Taco Bell, but there are a couple we haven’t reviewed that could dethrone it as my number one.
Wiger: Agree with Mitch on Carrows as my bottom pick. As a chain it is a dying dog and about as appetizing. For favorite, I mean I loved In-N-Out Burger and Del Taco going in, but Buffalo Wild Wings and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue really had their stocks shoot up for me over the course of this podcast.
Mitch: Oh yeah, those were surprisingly great.

HV: Have you had a favorite guest on the show?
Wiger: NOT Armen Weitzman. Just kidding, love you Armen! We’ve had countless guests we love. I guess this is where friend of the podcast Evan Susser will be mad if we don’t mention him, so I’ll say Susser.
Mitch: My favorite guest was Armen. Least favorite… Susser. It’s been great getting close friends, former bosses and colleagues, and some people who I’ve never met to sit down and talk food with us. We’re going to keep that up in the new year.
Wiger: Yeah. I hope we get Jared Fogel as a guest this year.
Mitch: What? Why?
Wiger: He’s my hero.
Real Wiger: Mitch stop typing out my answers you piece of shit.


HV: Are there any other food-related podcasts that you listen to? If so, do you have a favorite one?
Wiger: I listen to every episode of KCRW’s Good Food. Unlike Mitch and I, host Evan Kleinman is actually knowledgeable about food and puts a lot of work into her show. It’s refreshing.
Mitch: There’s a new podcast called How It Got In Your Mouth that’s great, but I haven’t been listening to too many food related podcasts lately. I’m already thinking about food enough as it is. Jon Gabrus, Jordan Morris, John Roy and Matt Besser are all Doughboys guests with great podcasts of their own! Shout out to all them.

HV: Do either one of you enjoy cooking, and if so, do you have a signature dish?
Wiger: I used to love cooking but I have less time for it now due to work. I used to do a nice pork chop, but these days I’m limited to making myself breakfast… usually omelets and scrambles which I’m pretty good at. So I’d call egg breakfast my signature dish, I guess.
Mitch: I’m in Wiger’s boat. I don’t really make myself meals anymore. Not because I’m busy, but because I’m really lazy. I’m living a bachelor lifestyle that most men can only dream of! I do like cooking when I get a chance to do it. My Mom just gave me some Mitchell family recipes that I gotta try out. But my signature dish? Hmmm. Sadly it’s spaghetti or Mac and Cheese. Yikes… That’s pathetic.
Wiger: I agree with Mitch that he’s pathetic. Oh, and I also make great peanut butter cookies.
Mitch: God damn it. Fuck you, Wiger. Oh yeah… that reminds me. I used to make a great Double Decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich in college.

HV: Is there a restaurant that you have not yet had the chance to review but want to?
Mitch: I’m excited to do Wendy’s. It may be my favorite fast food restaurant. I know that takes any suspense out of a review, but what can ya do. Also, I’m excited to review the pride and joy of my hometown, Quincy, Massachusetts, Dunkin Donuts. And I’m excited to try some places I’ve never been. Like White Castle.
Wiger: I can’t wait to get to The Cheesecake Factory. I have some very strong opinions that I’m eager to share. As far as places I’ve never been, Waffle House is a beloved local chain that I’ve never had the chance to dine at, so when we take a road trip and do a southern swing, I’d love to give that a shot.

HV: Has there been a restaurant you would like to re-review?
Wiger: Another tough one… I think Wingstop deserves another shot, purely because it’s a restaurant designed for take out and our review focused on our unpleasant dine in experience. I’d like to re-review Wingstop as it’s meant to be eaten: out of to-go containers while sitting on Mitch’s filthy second hand couch, as he drunkenly screams at his TV because the Celtics are losing. Also, any excuse to eat more wings.
Mitch: My couch may be second hand, but it’s extremely comfortable and it doesn’t have any mysterious white stains on it like Wiger’s does. I agree with Wiger that Wingstop could use a revisit, but I already like Wingstop. Mostly I want to revisit the restaurants that got a lower score and see if they can be better than what we initially thought. Carrows deserves another chance… because it has to be better than what we experienced. I’d love to dine in at Pizza Hut. Maybe revisit Burger King and Umami Burger. I’d NEVER like to revisit any of the rock themed restaurants from RockDoughber fest. That month was torturous. Oh yeah, and I’d like to revisit Taco Bell because there’s a lot more to say about it. I mean, eventually, we will just start repeating places until either Wiger or I die from a heart attack. So there’s that to look forward to as well.
Wiger: I assure you, those white stains are either ranch dressing or vanilla frosting.
Mitch: In conclusion, Tom Brady is guilty of Deflategate and should go to prison.
Real Mitch: Well, now Wiger is typing for me. I would never say that about former Quincy resident, football hero and future Doughboys guest Tom Brady. I can’t wait to see how cowardly Wiger acts when we get him in the studio. There’s no mic stand wide enough to hide his fat ass.