I was late to the party, but I’m glad I went.
After all, it wasn’t – and never will be – “on my diet.” But I couldn’t resist temptation, and finally tried Popeyes Chicken Sandwich!
And I can recommend it to you wholeheartedly. I think. Read on.
You know the backstory. Popeyes introduced its first Chicken Sandwich last fall. Early adopters couldn’t believe how much better it was than any fried chicken sandwich that came before it. Including the one that shall not be named.
Its praises went viral. Lines formed at every location. A few of them went from a fast food restaurant to a crime scene. It was lunacy.
And then Popeyes sold out. People wailed; their garments rendered in the streets!
In a few weeks, after protests reached a fever pitch, the sandwich came back. Everyone who wanted a Popeyes Chicken Sandwich got one. And the land was at peace with Popeyes again.
Or was it?
Soon after the sandwich’s reintroduction, a reporter at formerly-serious-now-BuzzFeed-clone Business Insider found that “some fans have said the new sandwich seems different this time around. When reached for comment… a Popeyes representative said nothing about the sandwich had changed.”
But the intrepid reporter “went to a local Popeyes to investigate and found that the new sandwich was smaller and not nearly as good as the original.”
The scribe added, “My first clue that something was different should have been the calorie count. The sign in the restaurant said the sandwich was 660 calories. But [at] the time of the sandwich’s original release, Popeyes confirmed that it was 690 calories.”
Less chicken? Lesser bread? Could it be that Popeyes had planned to cost cut the sandwich all along? After all, most new fast food items are pretty good at first. Then, as they become popular, companies find ways to make them cheaper. But it usually takes about a year. If Popeye’s did it, they did it in record time.
Now, I have no personal experience in this matter. No comparative benchmark. All I can say is that the sandwich delivered to me from Popeyes at 9120 South Main blew my mind. It arrived hot, a simple affair of chicken, bun, mayo, and pickles. Not unlike that other one we don’t mention around here.
But it was huge! The chicken breast was Texas Toast thick, perfectly fried, alluringly crispy. There was just a hint of spiciness (I ordered mild). The bun was fresh, soft, and chewy. The mayo and pickles did their job admirably.
The taste and experience were sublime. I almost couldn’t finish it, but I came back to the last few bites a bit later. Popeyes certainly has a product to be proud of.
Sellout frenzy or brilliant marketing? Did Popeyes change the sandwich? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. As long as Popeyes delivers sandwiches like the one I had, I’ll continue to eat them. On rare occasions, of course. But wait a year. That will be the true test.