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Popeyes Fried Chicken - Change of Recipe?

I have been to the renovated Popeyes on Yonge near Steeles twice since they reopened.
There seems to be a lot less breading on the spicy chicken.
It is also a lot less spicy.
Has anyone else made the same observation either at this or another Popeyes?

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  1. Ummm, you might find that you'll not get an overwhelming response when it comes to opinions regarding fast food on this board. I prefer Popeye's to KFC, myself, but I certainly do not have either often enough to comment on a change of recipe from either franchise.

    12 Replies
    1. re: redearth

      A few fried chicken franchises seem to do well on these boards.. Mary Browns, Chick 'n Joy, and Popeye's. I suppose we have catholic tastes.

      1. re: jayt90

        I doubt that the regular customers at Popeye's have "Catholic tastes" :-)

        1. re: jayt90

          Interesting, I tried Mary Browns (Dufferin location) for the *first* time while the Popeyes at Yonge/Steeles was being renovated and I had the yen for fried chicken.
          It was 'good' but I thought that Popeyes was superior.
          *Now* that Popeyes has reopened, I think that the taste of the chicken there resembles that at Mary Browns (i.e. size of chicken breast, lack of coating/spice).

          1. re: jayt90

            Are there any Chick 'n Joy locations in North York, Thornhill, etc?

            1. re: allanc

              They seem to be located in south eastern GTA and close to the lake or Kingston Road.
              The one I go to for a quick fried chicken fix is at Whites and #2; it is family run and fries are hand cut, somewhat variable. These franchises seem to have some local control, like Popeye's, but less expensive.

              -----
              Chick-N-Joy
              1483 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1E2, CA

              Chick N Joy Restaurant
              4449 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M1E2N7, CA

              Chicken N Joy
              3555 Thickson Rd N, Whitby, ON L1R, CA

              Chick N Joy Restaurant
              705 Kingston Rd, Pickering, ON L1V, CA

              1. re: jayt90

                Thank you.
                Those are the locations that I found when I searched also.
                I was hoping that maybe there was a location that was not in the online phone book.

            2. re: jayt90

              Of the many Mary Browns I've visited, the one at Dufferin is the worst. Really terrible, compared to the ones in Durham region. The best is in Oshawa near the OC.. kinda far, I know. :(

              1. re: jennjen18

                I tried MB on Dufferin and thought it was awful too. Is there a good location in the GTA? Where are people eating MB that they are raving about it?

                1. re: deelicious

                  The MB on Dufferin is the only one that I have tried.
                  Being a Popeyees fan (and the OP), I don't know what to compare it to.

                  1. re: deelicious

                    I tell you ... Durham region! Try Pickering - Hwy 2 and Liverpool!

                    1. re: jennjen18

                      That is kind of out of the way since I live in North York.
                      The farthest east that I travel to on a somewhat regular basis is Finch & Markham road.

            3. I haven't been to any Popeye's recently, but Popeye's spicy chicken was one of my guilty pleasures.

              Over the past few years, many Popeye's items have changed. Not surprisingly, these changes have not been for the better.

              The once wonderful biscuits, at least by Toronto standards, were reduced to less than half of their original size. They are now stingy and are usually dry. The once excellent house made to order onion rings are now frozen. None of the many menu additions ever tasted good, at least to me. There is no longer any "a la carte" option, so meals are too big and fattening for a snack.

              The one thing that stayed constant was the chicken recipe, but the prep has never been consistent from store to store. The spice level, coating quantity, greasiness, juiciness, and cooking has always varied all over the map. The Overlea and Lawrence E outlets were always much better than the outlets on Danforth or at Yonge & Dundas.

              While I don't know whether they recently changed the chicken recipe, the size of a breast piece had shrunk by half the last time I had one. (I think it was some time last summer.)

              7 Replies
              1. re: embee

                I ate at the Overlea location twice when there was only one other customer in the restaurant. Both times they made errors with my order (i.e. mild instead of spicy and/or dark instead of white).

                1. re: allanc

                  I do hope you had them correct the order. I sure would have done that. I don't like dark or mild Popeye's chicken. Service quality has never been a priority :-(

                  1. re: embee

                    Actually, I did not.
                    I just do not have it in me to complain about a $7 meal in a restaurant with only one other customer that cannot get the order right.

                    1. re: allanc

                      If I order something I like and get served something I don't like, it's going back whatever the price. This isn't a flawed prep - it's the wrong food. OTOH, if the chicken came overcooked but still edible, for $7, I'd let it go.

                      1. re: embee

                        You are absolutely right in principle.
                        That (Yonge & Steeles) location brings back fond (and fun) memories of me taking my kids there 20 years ago.
                        I have now been disappointed by that location and the Licks that was nearby.
                        I can't explain the thoughts that are swirling around in my head.

                2. re: embee

                  You mean that you cannot order a chicken breast on its own?
                  It might be available although it is not on the visible menu.

                3. Try a different location. The couple locations I frequent have consistantly amazing chicken.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Crispy skin

                    Maybe you could mention which ones you like so we don't have to try them all to figure out which are the good ones.

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      I'm in Mississauga, and I frequent the one in Heartland, at Mavis and Rodeo. They're friendly, service is good.. and I always tell them what I want, and they would always figure out which meal is best for what I need. I've once was advised to get a kids meal and then order a la carte other items so to save on cost.... so, a la carte ordering still exists, despite it not being on the board.

                      1. re: jennjen18

                        At the locations I've been to, you can order à la carte sides. They won't sell a breast or a couple of wings & a biscuit anymore.

                        1. re: embee

                          The one I go to (Heartland in Mississauga) still does though. I've asked them how much one piece is ... they go: depends on which piece you want... breast is $x.xx.. i forget how much it was. I didnt go through with it, 'coz I was buying more, and like how others said, it's just more worth it to get it in a meal..

                          So, I didnt go through with it, but it seems like they still are able to do that at the one I go to...

                          1. re: jennjen18

                            My companion is a small eater so a single breast is perfect for her.
                            Or, you can order a 2 or 3 piece combo and upgrade one of the pieces to a breast.
                            I forget the upcharge ... maybe about $1.50?

                      2. re: foodyDudey

                        I went back to my old nemesis location (Overlea) the other day.
                        Previously, they have *always* messed up my order (see other posts).
                        Well, they finally served it right.
                        Unfortunately, they are serving the new style of less batter and not even close to being as spicy.
                        That's three locations that I have tried now with the same 'issue'.

                      3. re: Crispy skin

                        I have tried the location in Richmond Hill (north on Yonge/11) and it was good.
                        I thought the chicken pieces were smaller than what I remembered from the Yonge/Steeles location which was being renovated.

                      4. When did it reopen...I thought they closed the location for good.

                        I go to the Don Mills Peanut Plaza location...last time I went it was good as usual.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                          Not sure exactly - I would say around February.
                          They did some major renovations and the restaurant is now a lot smaller.
                          A video store is now located between the corner of the building and Popeyes.

                        2. The one here in Brampton is AWFUL... They don't even change their oil, they just strain it through some machine and keep re-using it forever.. Very greasy

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: duckdown

                            That location should be audited by the Popeyes head office.
                            Actually, with the inconsistency that we are all talking about, *all* the franchises should be audited.