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Cactus Music and One Howdy Hot Chicken Sandwich in Houston

Cactus Music and Howdy Hot Chicken are about a block apart. We found the records we wanted and don’t need to eat again. Ever.

Cactus Music Store Houston, Texas

During my trip to Houston, I decided to visit Cactus Music which is an older record store located in the Montrose section of the city. The neighborhood is under heavy construction so don’t drive here expecting to find a parking spot. Uber worked perfectly fine. Minus being left in the middle of a parking lot next to 2 bulldozers and a police car. It was also bloody hot and probably a bad idea to get a hot chicken sandwich for lunch but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Cactus Music Items for Sale

Cactus Music is the type of record store where you can spend hours. Jazz and blues fans should definitely look elsewhere. Rock, heavy metal, pop, classical, country, hip hop, folk, and some excellent international music are certainly plentiful.

I didn’t expect to find a stack of Israeli pop and folk records from the 1960s and 1970s but I bought 5 of them and they will get plenty of playing time in my collection.

Israeli Records Purchased

The prices at Cactus Music were also more reasonable than the other record stores that we visited and I’m still deeply puzzled by the $200 and $900 records that we saw at Sig’s Lagoon.

It’s a bad sign when greed is driving prices to those levels and I can’t imagine anyone paying $900 for a Stooges or Little Richard record that are not really that rare.

Our Music Editor, Lauren Halliday, is a native Houstonian and she loves this store.

After dropping $120, I ventured outside into the sweltering heat and humidity and decided to do the most logical thing.

Find the hottest chicken sandwich in Houston that I could find.

Fortunately, Howdy Hot Chicken is located around the corner from Cactus Music and they did not disappoint. I have a very high tolerance for spices and intense heat in my food but the “Howlin” chicken sandwich proved nearly lethal.

Howdy Hot Chicken Sandwich Shop

Having grown up in a food family that owned a restaurant chain, I spent 5 consecutive summers working in the kitchen as a chef and I’ve seen customers request some odd additions to their meal. I’ve eaten spicy foods that could strip the automotive paint finish off a pair of Wilson Audio loudspeakers.

After drinking 4 Mountain Dews, my vision began to return and my heart rate settled back to a normal level.

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One Howdy Hot Chicken Sandwich

The sandwich; minus the extreme heat, was cooked to perfection and I loved the homemade slaw and pickles on the fresh brioche bun.

The Uber trip back into midtown so I could dump my vinyl stash and pay a visit to Rice University where my nephew is an engineering student was uneventful; minus the flash flooding from intense thunderstorms. Houston has some really unpredictable weather.

The real purpose of our trip to Houston was to spend some time with our friends from Focal and Naim.

Focal powered by Naim Houston Front Door Entrance

There are a new chain of boutique and “shop-in-shop” Focal Powered by Naim stores coming to America and we were invited down to Houston to spend some time at the new Focal Powered by Naim Houston location and learn more about their long-term strategy for strengthening the brand and attracting new blood into high-end audio.

Houston was a great experience and we can’t wait to return this year for more record shopping, hot chicken sandwiches, and perhaps some Astros playoff baseball. The 4th largest city in America has its quirks, but the food is great and so are the people.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. MadMex

    July 24, 2021 at 2:14 am

    Off topic. Vinyl Edge record shop in Houston is 36 pushing 40-years in the vinyl game. Give them and Turkey Leg Hut a go next time in town. The hut will have a line. Turkey tastes like chicken.

    • Ian White

      July 24, 2021 at 2:57 pm

      I have a list already of places and this is getting added to it. Thank you.

      Ian White

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