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Best Popeyes in NoVA?

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I grew up on Popeyes' chicken and biscuits. Specifically, the location in Annandale used to be one of our regular dinner destinations.

But recently (last 2 years) the biscuits at that location have become terrible. They taste worse than KFC biscuits which is ridiculous given how good they used to be.

So I was looking for feedback from other NoVA foodies about which Poepeyes locations are still good. I heard the one in Herndon is very good but that's kind of far-away for me.

Anyone try the ones in Fairfax or Springfield?

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  1. Wow, interesting question. I would assume that all Popeyes are built equal, but perhaps not. I don't think I've ever been , but there is on in Old Town Alexandria on King St.

    3 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      good questions. I've been going to different popeye around town in other places and they ar not the same. clearly there are big difference is biscuits and chicken quality, mix, and size vary greatly. Right now I like the one on rt.50 that others have refer to.

      1. re: Soup

        I haven't been to a lot of Popeye's but there are a few that are close enough to my lunch route so that I've been to more than one. I'm not aware of much difference in the biscuits (I usually just have a couple of bites anyway) but I've noticed a difference in the taste of the frying oil, which of course influences the chicken. The Popeye's in Willston is most objectionable - the chicken tastes like fried fish. The one on King St between Bailey's Crossroads and Alexandria, roughly across from TGIF at Beauregard St. is pretty good.

        Beans and rice seem to be pretty consistent. I hate what they call fries, so I avoid those when I have a choice of side dishes.

        I don't mean to sound racist about it, but I suspect that the ones in predominantly black neighborhoods are best, those in predominantly Asian neighborhoods are less likely to "get it" as far as clean frying goes. I don't know if Greenbriar fits either of those stereotypes.

        1. re: MikeR

          I can't comment on the biscuits specifically because I don't eat them, but agree w/ MikeR that the King Street location's chicken is a bit better than the rest in Alexandria. There does seem to be a noticeable difference.

    2. I personally like the one in the Greenbriar shopping center on Rt 50 in Chantilly. They almost always have hot fresh chicken that's cooked right.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dpan

        I'll second the rec for the Greenbriar Popeye's.The biscuits have always been sinfully good.

        Also, the place just got what appears to be a very expensive makeover to give it sort of a French Quarter look, so they must be doing pretty well.

      2. A little off the mark, but I know the WORST Popeyes in NoVA...the one on Smoketown Road in Woodbridge. Yeesh. Dirty, unsanitary and the counter people barely interrupt their own conversations/smart ass behavior to wait on you. Never again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Furgs

          worst popeyes in the area was the one located in DC, 12th and F St. Thankfully, it's closed. Strange thing about it was that it had a walk-up window...

        2. I agree an interesting question.

          From a few years ago there was a posting saying that the one on Pershing in Arlington, just off Glebe, does halal:

          http://www.chow.com/topics/172748?que...

          1. I was going to say Annandale until I read that is the locale that is no longer amenable to you. The Annandale location is busy and that is one of the keys to a good Popeye's so that freshness is maintained.

            I wonder if perhaps Popeye's has stopped using transfats in their biscuits. I know that Red Lobster recently reformulated their biscuits to be trans fat free and the taste definitely declined.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Aza Mila

              The biscuits changed before the transfat changes came through. The dough is being overworked and they aren't being cut cleanly, and the double whammy has turned them tough and heavy. That location has gone from being staffed primarily by Asian workers to Hispanic workers, and I wonder if the training on biscuit making lost something in translation, especially considering both cultures do not have a biscuit equivalent.

            2. I'm rather amazed by the detailed replies. Clearly, Popeyes has a loyal following if also not a consistency problem... Maybe, I'll try the Greenbriar location whenever I'm up in that area...

              Thanks everyone and please keep the suggestions coming!

              1 Reply
              1. re: DonBlack

                The King St. location used to be best location but current mgmt seems to be running the flavor into the ground (as compared to before). That being said, I haven't had good biscuits from Popeyes in AGES... The texture of the biscuits are like glue paste w/ oil. They're still better than KFC tho.
                If you want good biscuits, (like they used to be 12+ yrs ago), head over to Kilroy's ( http://www.kilroys.com ) in north springfield. Made w/ lots of good old-fashioned butter.

              2. I don't know if it's the "best," but the one at 7832 Richmond Highway has a manager that is definitely on the ball. I walked in and while I was waiting for my order, I watched the manager check his watch and clipboard and order a full rack of fried chicken pieces be removed because they were no longer fresh. Same with a batch of onion rings; this is a loss they chalk up but guarantees a fresh product for their customers. I got my 10 piece fresh, piping hot, with a side of blistering hot fresh onion rings.

                Much better than several of the Popeyes that I've tried downtown, where I've been served chicken that wasn't freshly fried and had been under heatlamps for who knows how long. And the ones I've tried no longer carry onion rings. Boooo!