It was all good a couple of weeks ago, but that all changed on August 12, 2019. That’s the day Popeyes’ Louisiana Kitchen released their now viral chicken sandwich at restaurants nationwide. Over the past two weeks the internet has been buzzing and debating if Popeyes wears the crown as the true King of the Chicken Sandwich. During its first 11 days, the buzz created an advertising value worth $23.25 million
$23.25 million: Equivalent ad value in media mentions for “Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich” in first 11 days from Digital, Newsprint, Radio, TV and Social, according to @apexmarketing. pic.twitter.com/cXhfrtDnqY
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 22, 2019
At the end of the day, this is just a chicken sandwich, but the demand is so high that Popeyes’ employees are falling into grease and people are fighting service workers at the drive-thru window. Popeyes’ newest concoction is causing an epidemic that might as well be the new Bird Flu. Each and every day we are getting closer to making The Boondocks a reality.I tried Popeyes’ Spicy and Crispy chicken sandwiches to see if the hype was true and how they measure up to the competition.
Crispy vs. Spicy
Patrons have the choice of Crispy or Spicy when biting into one of Popeyes’ chicken sandwiches. There isn’t much difference between the two sandwiches outside of the sauces they are topped with, as Popeyes’ website describes them as:
Buttermilk battered chicken fillet, crisp barrel-cured pickles, your choice of spicy Cajun spread or mayo, on a buttery toasted brioche bun.
For each first bite, I tried the sandwiches as they came without any type of modifications. Time to take a look at what Louisiana’s most well-known kitchen has cooked up for us.
A Little Crunch Goes a Long Way
First up is Popeyes’ Crispy chicken sandwich and if you’re a mayonnaise lover then this is the sandwich for you. Personally, this has far too much mayo for me, but this is a hearty chicken sandwich. The chicken breast is so plump that it hangs off the brioche buns. The pickles are bound to fall off just like the mayo that’s dripping off of the sides.
With the first bite, I tried the sandwich as is, and the results are mixed. The best part of the sandwich is the buttermilk breading that Popeyes’ uses. The chicken is as crispy as its namesake and the breading has Popeyes’ trademark flavor, but their chicken fillet tastes better on a sandwich than their regular legs and wings.
The pickles do not have a distinct flavor compared to their competitors. They taste like somebody just cut up some cucumbers and put a couple drops of vinegar on them and just called it a day. They taste closer to “barrel-placebo” than “barrel-cured”.
Had to hook it up after the first bite by trying it with Popeyes’ Sweet Heat and Blackened Ranch sauces. This is where things picked up because each added more flavor and paired better with the chicken than Popeyes’ mayonnaise did. Overall, the Crispy chicken sandwich was enjoyable but I don’t think I would eat this one again.
Time to Spice Things Up
Disclaimer: I love spicy food.
Unlike most fast food restaurants, Popeyes’ Spicy chicken sandwich only differs from its Crispy counterpart because of the cajun spread that’s used to make it spicy. Most fast food restaurants use a chicken breast that’s seasoned in various spices to create a spicy flavor. Since Popeyes already uses spices for its chicken if you’re someone (like me) that does not think their chicken has a kick to it, then you better hope that their cajun spread does. This is what it looks like out of the wrapper:
Again the chicken is hearty. The pickles poke out the bun and you can see the glow from the orange cajun spread. You can see the spices used to create the zesty cajun spread and the spread does have a welcoming flavor, but it needs more heat.
For all the foodies out there, if you have to choose between the two sandwiches then Spicy is the one that tastes unique and not something that you can get from anywhere. Again, the pickles could’ve been better or tasted more pickle-y, but I highly recommend the Spicy chicken sandwich.
I do wish that the breading had more of a spice to it because that’s the biggest thing that is holding this sandwich back. Like the Crispy sandwich above, the Spicy pairs better with other sauces that Popeyes’ offers. If you like heat then ask for a pack of Sweet Heat dipping sauce and you will not be disappointed.
Better Than Chick-Fil-A?
When it comes to this chicken sandwich debate, some say that it’s hard to eat at Chick-Fil-A because of their homophobic ties; while others say Popeyes’ ill-fated ad campaigns have been questionable and obnoxious at times. The biggest positive from the nationwide rollout is that social media has given Popeyes free advertising. It’s to the point where people have been saying that Chick-Fil-A is so shook, that they might have to open on Sundays to compete. This was highlighted by the fact that Chick-Fil-A was going through it on Twitter and Popeyes had to check up on them:
… y’all good? https://t.co/lPaTFXfnyP
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 19, 2019
Others had their verdict on which chain had the superior chicken sandwich in a well thought out breakdown:
Personally, the edge goes to Chick-Fil-A. The Home of the Original Chicken Sandwich has a spicer chicken sandwich, better pickles and a better bun than Popeyes. Popeyes has infiltrated the market with a top 3 chicken sandwich but there is room for growth (add pepper jack cheese to the menu). Is Popeyes’ new sandwich delicious? Yes, especially their spicy version. The breading at Popeyes is what makes their sandwich for me, and with a few modifications, Louisiana’s Famous Kitchen might be able to become the king. But at the end of the day, Popeyes created a chicken sandwich that was perfectly made for Sundays.
[All Mames Wey]
Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich is currently available in stores nationwide.
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