Podcast Review: Doughboys – The Chain Restaurant Podcast

Above image: FeralAudio

By Christopher Santee

The glut of thousands upon thousands of podcasts is enough to cause decision fatigue in the best of us. In much the same way, we can become fatigued by the endless choices provided to us when deciding where to go out to eat. Allow me, dear reader, to humbly propose to you a podcast about another universal and little thought about medium: "Doughboys," the podcast about chain restaurants.

"Doughboys" is the brainchild of Nick "The Burger Boy" Wiger (@midnight, Comedy Bang! Bang!) and Mike "The Spoon Man" Mitchell (Netflix's Love, The Birthday Boys), two writers and comedians out of Los Angeles with a love-hate relationship toward each other and food. Each episode the Doughboys feature a guest who picks a restaurant they had visited in the past and to which they have strong memories attached. This format individualizes each episode and makes it easier for the listener to jump in at any point along the way. This is a true boon, as most of the 80 episodes clock in at around 90 minutes.

The true joy of "Doughboys" comes in the interaction between friends and hosts. Wiger starts with a serious history lesson and Mitchell follows with a listener submitted sound-clip similar to a wacky morning radio show host, none of which are pre-screened. The animosity and hilarity grows as Wiger and Mitchell fight over which chain has the best hamburger (Tournament of Chompions), awkwardly pit similar chains against each other in a poorly conceived Olympics tie-in (Doughlympics), or fully explore the menu of a widely popular sea food restaurant one of them has never been to before by dining there four weeks in a row (Rocklobsterfest).

Creating a weekly podcast centered around eating at chain restaurants will naturally wear on anyone's digestive system and waistline, therefore Wiger and Mitchell regularly talk of ending the show as it begins to effects their bodies. The constant barrage of jokes at each other's expense adds to the enjoyment of the show by taking the form of playful digging with friends at the best of times and outright swearing in anger at the worst -- All recorded and published for our listening benefit.

It may sound like chain restaurants are an inane subject, but "Doughboys" is a service to everyone as they eat at places and discern what really makes them unique from their competitors. Why do you  like a Del Taco versus a Taco Bell, or a Denny's versus an iHop? Listening to "Doughboys" is a fun way to find details that might not stick out to the patron who has eaten at these places ad infinitum.  A consensus is hardly ever reached, and each side will argue greatly for their taste, but in those conversations the listener can find a kindred spirit in their consumption preferences. The next time you grab a bite to eat somewhere and skip the chili fries, or order the shrimp instead of the lobster because the Doughboys did the leg work for you, that's a deeply human connection. And that is magic.

You can find the Doughboys podcast on Feralaudio.com.