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Fast food fried chicken - Popeyes

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A Popeyes chain recently opened in my area, and I tried it for the firsttime today. I know its not very chowish of me but I really liked the spicy fried chicken. I was wondering how other chowhounds felt about it? I was also wondering if anyone had an opinion on thier cajun fast food?

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  1. I hate to admit it, but I love the spicy fried chicken also. The mashed potatoes and gravy are outstanding as well. This is the only chain that I patronize, but no other place does what they do as well as they do it.


    1. Why isn't it very chowish of you? Here in New Orleans where Popeyes started, their fried chicken is considered to be good, and many people spend a lifetime trying to duplicate their red beans. I personally have rarely had a better biscuit. Dirty rice is good, too.

      I've heard they're not as good in other parts of the country, but if you've got a good one in your neighborhood, lucky you!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Jess
        David Feldman


        In my experience, the non-New Orleans locations often have problems with the dirty rice (perhaps because there isn't enough turnover) but most of the other dishes, especially the chicken and onion rings, are as good outside of home base.

        1. re: David Feldman

          I love love love Popeye's onion rings but haven't seen them on the menu in the ones I've been to recently. Is that just an individual store thing?

          1. re: David Feldman

            I don't even think that dirty rice is on the menu of the one closest to where I live. Everything else seems to be pretty good though (although they have nobody but KFC to compete with.)

          2. re: Jess

            I went to New Orleans on a work trip for a week once, and while I was excited to eat gumbo and crawfish, what fired up one of my co-workers was Popeye's -- he said it was better in New Orleans than anywhere else. I had some interest in investigating this, but not enough to spend eat one of my precious New Orleans meals in a Popeye's.

            1. re: Chris E.

              He's right--the first Popeye's I ever went to was on Canal Street around Chartres, and it remains the best branch I ever went to.

          3. Definitely my favorite chain for fried chicken. Also like the red beans and rice. There is a Pop-eyes near me in Springfield NJ, but I don't think it's narely as good as I find in southern states' Pop-eyes.
            There's one in the Houston Airport (IAH) and we will risk missing our connection just to get that chicken.

            Link: http://flyingfur.typepad.com/flyingfur/

            1. I too, like their spicy chicken. There are not any near me, but when I make road trips to Ohio ( route 90)and virginia ( route 95), they are at the rest stop areas, and it is a treat for us.

              1. We like it, too, although I've only had it on the rare road-trip to Vegas.

                1. I agree with everyone. We have also noticed that the further south the chain is, the better the preparation. The ones we've eaten at in Wisconsin and Illinois tend to produce greasier and heavier chicken than the Popeye's we ate at in the deep south.

                  This is peculiar though, since I would assume everything is standardized.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MkeLaurie

                    A lot of chains are regionalized, so the Northeast with be different (recipes and procedures) than the south, than the West Coast, etc.

                  2. It is my second favorite fried chicken. The one better I had was a chain that's in the south (not bojangles). I had it in Gainesville GA, and it has a woman's name associated I believe?

                    Around DC though, if it's fried chicken and you're not around one of the few soul food joints, Popeye's is the deal. Much better than Pollo Campero which is a latin american chain that is migrating to the US.

                    1. b
                      Biscuit Lover

                      VERY CHOWHOUND OF YOU!!! Popeye's fried spicy chicken is better than the 11 secret herbs and spices, except KFC does have the BEST biscuits!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Biscuit Lover

                        I had the biscuits in the Popeyes (now closed) in Cherry Hill Mall (NJ). They had one of the worst "artificial butter" flavor you can imagine.


                        1. re: Biscuit Lover

                          when the biscuits are fresh they're great - but if they've been sitting around for a while the term hockey puck comes to mind

                          brings back memories of sitting on the Levy in New Orleans with a 3 piece spicy, fry and biscuit - ahh college, when fried food didn't add any weight.....

                        2. It's actually *very* chowish of you to acknowledge great food when you find it at a chain restaurant. Shows that you're not a snob, and that you don't have a knee-jerk reaction against fast food joints... quick-service chow *can* in fact be prepared to high standards (Chick-Fil-A, another regional chain, is a personal favorite of mine.)

                          I love me some Popeye's, too, and the red beans and rice and biscuits are good. I could wish for better slaw, but you can't have everything.

                          - er

                          Link: http://enrevanche.blogspot.com

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: enrevanche

                            Well, I guess I was wrong - seems many people think it IS very chowish! - Thank you all!

                            1. re: enrevanche
                              JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                              With Chick-Fil-A, the standalone locations are leagues apart from the ones that pepper mall food courts across the country. The food is always hot and fresh, and their staff is easily the friendliest that I've seen at any fast food joint anywhere.

                              1. re: enrevanche

                                I agree too many snobs on CH that turn their noses up at chains.

                                I agree Popeyes has the best fried chicken but I'm not a fan of their sides. Church's Fried Chicken has better sides. I've been known to buy the chicken at Popeyes and the sides at Church's.

                                What a great topic.

                              2. Next time get the onion rings! You'll have to wait for them, but they're worth it.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Basilgirl

                                  well thanks a lot people... i had managed to avoid Popeye's for a good while.. and I had restricted myself to chicken, gravy & biscuit. Now I have to rush over and try the rice n beans... and now the onion rings. Sigh.

                                2. Popeye's rules the fast food world. The spicy chicken can't be beat, and the bisquits are sheer unadulterated heaven. Wish there was one right here. A very Chowish choice indeed!

                                  1. If you ever make it to Houston, try Frenchy's on Scott St.

                                    They make Popeye looks like a one-eyed gimp.

                                    Maybe a bit more Creole than Cajun, but REALLY good.

                                    But overall I do think Popeyes is the best of the rest. Blows the pants of the old Colonel.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MidtownCoog

                                      Amen! Popeye's is damned good, but Frenchy's is transcendental. At Scott and Wheeler, just off the University of Houston campus.


                                    2. LOVE the biscuits and the red beans and rice are tasty too.

                                      1. Eddie, What's really nice about Popeye's is that you get all four food groups you need to sustain life:

                                        1. Fried Chicken
                                        2. Biscuits
                                        3. Red Beans & Rice
                                        4. Jalapeno peppers

                                        I just wish they were open for breakfast with the same menu.....

                                        2 Replies
                                          1. re: Leper

                                            The Popeyes up here in Renton WA actually opens up for breakfast these days, although that seems to be the individual franchisee doing it, and most of the items are non chicken-related (aside from chicken and waffles.) I live too far away to get down there early enough to catch it though, so I couldn't say if it's any good.

                                          2. Many times when my husband is in the city on business, he goes to Popeyes. I always wonder why, when you're in Manhattan, but I guess they're in a rush too.I think there's also one other in Nassau County, which is a little far for us. But he raves about it, esp. the mashed potatoes. Now I have a feeling why. So it's on my wish list now.

                                            1. Thanks for posting this topic. The first time I tried Popeye's I was going to post my experience but was afraid of the unchowishness about it. I am glad to see that it is chowish and that other people love their spicy chicken too.

                                              1. j
                                                janet of reno

                                                I too love spicy Popeyes (although I'm sure its not good for me!)....there used to be a Popeyes here in our town years ago but its long gone and I've seen very few out west....Miss it!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: janet of reno

                                                  next visit to SF: Popeyes on Divisadero Street or there's also one on Mission ...not too far from your sister

                                                  1. re: Cynthia
                                                    ChowFun (derek)

                                                    Let us not forget the one in the Safeway shopping center (with a parking lot!) between Webster and Fillmore..here in S.F.
                                                    I like the "not spicy" (ofcourse!) and I didn't care for the other Cajun things I tried...I do like their red beans and rice (although I am unfamiliar with the "real thing") and their biscuits are good, if they're just out of the oven

                                                2. Like a Krispy Kreme donut, sometimes I dream of Popeye's spicy fried chicken. It's easily the best chicken chain. And when in New Orleans, I like to grab a bucket and some biscuits to keep in the hotel fridge (assuming I can nuke the biscuit if necessary). Cold fried chicken is delicious.

                                                  Although a friend of mine swears by the Chicken Box in NO, a local chain I think.

                                                  1. I've found that the worse the neighborhood, the better the popeye's (at least in DC) the U st. location if great

                                                    1. I like the mild, the son loves the spicy, the wife prefers KFC (Heck - she grew up in central KY and we lived in Shelbyville at one time where the colonel "perfected" his recipe). What I really miss though is BoJangles wings. I used to be able to plow through boxes of those.

                                                      1. Just returned from a donut run impelled by Krys's fried dough post. And now this. So unfair that there's a Popeye's right up the street. Red beans an' rice that fine, they couldn't keep you awake, could they?

                                                        1. I can't believe nobody is talking Bojangles. Especially about biscuits. Both KFC and Popeye use frozen biscuits with artificial butter flavor. Bojangles makes their biscuits from scratch and they are so much bigger. Besides you need to be carrying a gun to go into the Popeyes around here. The employees would rather cuss you out that serve you. Last time I went in they had so much chicken cooked it looked like they had cooked enough for the whole night at 5:00. Probably why it is sooooo greasy. And maybe they get it right in New Orleans but Dirty Rice here is inedible. The meat is like left over taco meat from taco bell. Bojangles dirty rice is seasoned better and has big chunks of fresh sausage.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: jhaddock

                                                            On my semi annual journeys up the East Coast, I do a scientific tasting including Fried Chicken chains three meals a day. Based solely on chicken, Bojangles is first, followed by Popeyes and KFC a distant third ( only crispy). If I have enough Pepcid, I am OK .( I am at the Pepcid before meals age). There is variation between specific stores and I try to arrive at mealtimes so the chicken is hot. But I am not too fussy ( for a CH) as my favorite is cold leftovers at 5am.

                                                            1. re: Sinicle

                                                              There's a Bojangles about 20 minutes from me, not in the greatest area, but most good fried chicken places aren't. Will make the trip this weekend and decide if Bojangles is better than popeye's, at least give my opinion on it

                                                            2. re: jhaddock

                                                              Sounds good. Too bad they haven't hit South FL or Tampa yet.

                                                            3. I didn't realize it but we have 8 Popeye's locations on Oahu, but 5 of them are on military bases. One is in Waikiki.

                                                              I really like the spicy chicken, a great change from "the other chain". The mashed potatoes are great, as are the biscuits. Haven't tried the rings, the beans or the rice yet.... hummm..... its almost lunchtime.

                                                              1. Love that chicken from Popeyes!

                                                                1. Depends. We have one not so close by, a freestanding independent franchise, and it's pretty damn good. There's another one that's closer, but it's combined with a Subway at a truckstop on I-95, and it's positively dreadful.


                                                                  1. I love Popeyes spicy fried chicken also....and their dirty rice....my DH loves their mild fried chicken and their red beans n rice......however I go to NC every year to a scrapbook event and there's a Bojangles near the hotel which I love too......I prefer those two chains to KFC.

                                                                    1. Popeyes is the second best fried chicken i've had. It can be a bit dry sometimes but the seasoning is really good. Oh, and their biscuits are absolutely delicious!

                                                                      The best fried chicken is Dixie Lees. Not only is the flavour of their spicy chicken incredible and unique but the chicken is cooked better than KFC and Popeyes.

                                                                      1. I'm just sitting here eating a large bag of Hershey's Chocolate Kisses wishing that I had a Popeyes close by. If they are as good as you all say, I'd have to take a break from my cheeseburgers and go try em' out!

                                                                        1. Didn't read the whole string so maybe someone else mentioned it, but sadly the founder of Popeye's passed away on Easter Sunday last month of a rare disease, it'll be interesting to see how the quality/flavor holds up, since he still controlled the spice mixtures, even tho he lost the company years ago after the failed (financially) acquisition of Church's.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: NoeMan

                                                                            Also to add to NoeMan's comments, many have said Wendy's quality has gone down since Founder, Dave Thomas passed away a few years ago. Don't have much feeling for corporate types but I always liked Dave.

                                                                          2. Since Church's Fried Chicken disappeared from Toronto a few years back, Popeye's is the only option for us. We won't visit KFC unless threatened with bodily harm. My only complaint is they never have chicken ready; we always have to wait 10-15 minutes.