Jason Isbell calls out Chuy’s on Twitter; restaurant obliges

Jason Isbell performs at ACL Live on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Jason Isbell performs at ACL Live on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016.
Suzanne Cordeiro FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Update: Well, apparently I am not as perspicacious as I thought. That or the clever Isbell’s Tweet was just too abstruse for me to parse. Or, maybe I just wasn’t deep enough into the language of the Internet this morning to pick up on it. But, an astute friend pointed out that Isbell’s Tweet to Chuy’s about sending in the Foodies to fix the “horrible carnitas” was very likely a reference to Trump’s threat to “send in the Feds” to fix “the horrible carnage” in Chicago. Seems pretty obvious now in retrospect. Well played, Mr. Isbell. I now have egg on my face and will go back to the corner of the Internet that is home to slow-witted restaurant critics. That is why he makes much more money with his words than I do.

In another sign that social media can lead to change big and small, brilliant singer-songwriter Jason Isbell may have just improved the state of Chuy’s carnitas. The Alabama native took to Twitter and, with tongue-in-cheek, called out Chuy’s for their dry carnitas. If he didn’t get redress, the former Drive-By Trucker threatened to “send in the Foodies.”

The Austin-based Tex-Mex chain that went public in 2012 responded with their trademark excellent customer service, promising Isbell the chance to make it right and giving an email address. Isbell, whose “Something More than Free” was one of the best albums of the past couple of years, was either satisfied with the response or shocked at the number of people who took quick notice of the post, because he deleted the Tweet soon after, but a screen grab is included below.

img_8296Isbell didn’t mention a specific Chuy’s location, though there are two in Alabama, so he could have been writing from any number of states. Here’s hoping the carnitas make an appearance in a future tune. For the record: I’ve never tried the Chuy’s carnitas. Also, let the clever Southern gentleman’s behavior be a lesson: you catch more flies with humor-tinged honey than vinegar.

For a revealing, funny and deeply personal interview (as well as a great Billy Powell impression) with Isbell, check out his appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast below.


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