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Jan 29, 2008 07:00 AM


I have heard an amazing range of opinions on Popeye's, from folks in NOLA telling me it is the best fried chicken in the world to people who say it is cr*p. I would be really surprised if a chain like this didn't have a very consistent way of cooking their chicken, so I wonder if it is a function of going at busy time (when the chicken is more likely to be freshly cooked) vs. a slow time when it's been sitting under a heat lamp for an hour.

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  1. If you go to Popeye's at an off-hour and think the chicken has been sitting too long under a heat lamp, you can ask that they fry your order up fresh, and they should honor that request.

    1. having been born and raised on popeye's (could u tell?) when its on, it is outstanding ! for fast food anyway. it is the only fast food i eat nowdays, and not that often. can't beat the spicy dark meat, the 900 calorie ea.( yes each) biscuits and the homely red beans and rice. now, if they would just do the onion rings and chicken livers like they do back home...... ooooooohhhh so good. drew, i think a trip is in order.

      10 Replies
      1. re: chefMD

        Chicken livers? You must be from the south or midwest. I loved my Mom's spicey chicken livers cooked in bacon grease, yes, I know how to make them, I just cannot find anyone else that will eat them! LOL, it's you and me chef!

        1. re: crzldy

          I love chicken livers, and I was born in NYC. :-)) So much for having to be from the south or midwest. However, my guess is the way I am used to having them would be quite different from how they are prepared in those areas. Nevertheless, I wouldn't mind seeing them on the menu. And onion rings? Definitely!!

          1. re: RGR

            NOLA born and raised. as far as the southern thing, the popeye's in nola would deep fry the livers in same batter as the chix, ohhhhhhhhhhhh soooooo good. but would settle for pastalicous or, pate, or simply with butter and onions schmeared on rye or pumpernickle.spoke to my buddy in dc and he told me onion rings are available up this way at some locations.

        2. re: chefMD

          I'm curious, where did you get the figure for 900 calories each? I love their biscuits and found this a bit horrifying as I had two biscuits last week so I looked it up on the popeyes website and it says 240 calories (13g fat).

          1. re: chefMD

            The website lists the biscuits at under 250 calories each. Seeing as how I know I have had 2-3 of them in one meal, I am really hoping you are not correct. Do you have some inside info?

            1. re: Honey Bee

              The newly designed website doesn't list the calorie count for anything! And I checked with several websites that squeel on calorie overloads, and none of them (checked 3) even list Popeye's! My God, what if they really ARE 900 calories each?

              "I'll have the two piece dark with one quarter of a biscuit, please.

              1. re: Caroline1

                I don't see how it would be possible for a single biscuit to have 900 calories unless it was a giant biscuit because a whole stick of butter or margarine has "only" 800 calories.

              2. re: chefMD

                Ah, chicken livers! I used to get them at Pioneer Chicken. They were the best. Those were the days. And you could also get their 'bucket of livers & gizzards. I also liked their chicken. Thought it was better than Church's or Popeye's. In my view right up there with the 'ol Colonel.

              3. My experience exactly. Stopped at one in northwest Washington DC last week and it was perfect. I only do this 3-4 times a year and it's usually just passable rather than anything else. But it's way better than pollo a la brasa if the pollo is dried out from sitting too long...

                1. Here in Toronto, since the demise of Church's Chicken, Popeye's is now our go-to place. Our only complaints are that they *never* have chicken ready; it's always "please wait 10-15 minutes", and they won't let us call ahead, and they never have enough spicy, just mild.

                  Of the sides, I like the coleslaw, and the mac 'n cheese is passable; I usually find the rice mushy. The corn is horrible! We like to keep our eyes open for the manager specials (which are almost always dark meat only, which happens to be our fave) where you get 10 pieces and 4 biscuits for $9.99 or something.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: KevinB

                    Much like chefMD, I was born and raised in New orleans and remember when Popeye's first opened. Nothing beats it when they are busy and the chicken is fresh. The red beans are excellent, lard based, but excellent. Now that I don't live in NO, Popeye's is at most a once a month treat, but it is hit or miss as far as the quality goes. Seeing as how Mardi Gras is a few days away, I might have to get a 20 piece box, let it sit in the backyard for most of the day and pretend I'm watching a parade while I eat it cold.

                  2. Years ago on the West coast when Pioneer Chicken became Popeye's they featured chicken livers which I love! But it must have been a promotional item because I haven't seen it since either there or here in Baltimore. I believe though that while Popeye's is the best of it's class, just any other chain the quality can vary from location to location.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: RichardCrystal

                      WAIT--Pioneer Chicken=Popeye's? When I was teenager, my mom worked for a place called Steamboat Fried Chicken. Their biggest competitor was Pioneer. I remember the owner of Steamboat saying that he had his, Pioneer, and Kentucky Fried analyzed for the flavorings. At that time, Kentucky Fried Chicken had a big advertising campaign about their '18 herbs and spices'. Pioneer had 16, and Steamboat had 15. He just sighed and shook his head; the chain only had 2 or 3 locations, and went belly-up soon thereafter, and my mom had to find a new job.

                      Sadly, there is Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeye's, and Church's here in the SF bay area, and they are all pretty mediocre (but not really bad; just OK). I patronize whichever one is convenient. None is better or worse than the others.