Thursday, November 28, 2019

Is Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich Really THAT Great?

TIIIA gives it to you straight about the culinary phenomenon that has social media stirred up into a fast food frenzy ...

By: Jimbo X

I’ll just come out and say it — I’ve ALWAYS thought Chick-fil-A is a vastly overrated fast food restaurant.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. Their customer service is really good and their employees actually look and smell like they shower and I’ve never seen a legitimate retard working behind the cash register at CFA like I have at Burger King and McDonald’s, but to say that their food — particularly, their signature two-pickle, Southern-fried sammich — is anything truly extraordinary is just a bunch of bull hockey.

Now, by no means am I saying that the chicken sandwich there isn’t any good. Indeed, I think it’s a pretty yummy poultry burger (especially the spicy variation, which I usually lather in an extra sprucing of Texas Pete sauce for an added anal torching later) and it’s certainly better than, say, the kinda’ chicken sandwich you’d get at Dairy Queen or Sonic. But I really don’t think it’s anything significantly superior to something like Wendy’s Spicy Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Sandwich, or even McDonald’s Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich — and let’s get goddamn real, it doesn’t even come CLOSE to matching the sheer caloric awesomeness of KFC’s Cheetos Chicken Sandwich, and the sooner we stop lying to ourselves about the matter, the better off we’ll all be as a collective peoples.

Yeah, I know that Chick-fil-A is the fastest growing chain in the States, but let’s come to terms with another hard to swallow truth about the chain: deep down, MOST CFA loyalists support the chain NOT because their chicken sandwiches are superior to the competition, but because the company’s Christian leanings pander to their inert religious prejudices. It really is the cross-pollination of virtue signalling and mindless mass consumption at play here: people LITERALLY thinking their doing the Lord’s work by shoveling chicken sandwiches down their big, fat throat holes, even though I’m pretty sure there’s six or seven Bible verses that say God hates lardasses just as much as he does dudes who suck one another’s cocks. I’m pretty sure at least 75 percent of CFA’s core constituency are people who would still spend money there if the food gave them botulism, just as long as their corporate representatives kept doing this whole crypto religious right moralizing — and yes, how deliciously ironic it is that their official mascot just so happens to be a calf idol.

Of course, I ain’t gonna’ shit on CFA too much. For one thing, their breakfast buffets are downright outstanding, and well worth going out of your way to experience if you’re ever venturing out in the hinterlands of metro Atlanta. And, naturally, I almost want to give Chick-fil-A my disposable income out of pure spite to irk all of the hyper-progressivist anti-CFA keyboard warriors, who act like the company LITERALLY sells homophobia burgers with anti-gay marriage shakes on the side. I mean, I can’t recall a single time a pro-CFA acolyte threatened to shoot up James Dobson and shove a chicken sammich in his corpse face in the name of gay pride, can you?

But like all corporate leviathans, it’s only a matter of time until CFA succumbs to the false song of globalism and identity politicking and starts doing commercials like Sprite, where the implicit message is literally “if you’re a homo, please drink our product.” We’re already seeing Chick-fil-A kind of turn the corner there, as apparent by their recent announcement to stop donating money to such hateful, bigoted, prejudiced organizations as … The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I’m telling ‘ya, with beneficiaries like that, they might as well be sending gift cards to jihadists. 

Which brings is to the (white) meat of the matter — Popeyes’ much-ballyhooed chicken sandwich. OK, I realize that this kinda’ sounds like a wildly abrupt shift in topic, but hear me out; this WILL make some sense in just a few paragraphs.

When the Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich was released this summer, it was a social phenomenon — or, at the very least, a social media phenomenon. The chain came right out the gate swinging at Chick-fil-A, with an ad campaign that posited their poultry burger as the one with true soul. Kinda-sorta-surreptitiously pandering to balck identatarian demographic — which, statiscially, tends to be far more religious and far more homophobic than the Caucasoid CFA bread and butter — the sandwich became a nationwide hit, to the point a bona fide chicken sandwich shortage ravaged franchisees coast to coast. Naturally, this led to several instances of incredibly aberrant African-American incivility, including all out brawls in Milwaukee, an attempted mass shooting in Houston, and at least one fatal stabbing in greater Baltimore

And — as evident by the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and the great gang turf wars of the 1990s sparked by want of Nike Air Jordans — if black people are literally KILLING each other in the name of unfettered consumerism, you KNOW whatever they’re shanking one another for has got to be pretty damn good.

So after a hiatus of a few months, Popeyes announced that it was resurrecting the uber-popular chicken sandwich, this time as a permanent menu item in November — fittingly enough, on National Chicken Sandwich Day, which just so happened to fall on a Sunday this year, meaning you-know-who wasn’t going to be able to participate in the festivities.

Well, it took me a while, but I finally went to the local Popeyes a couple of weeks ago to see what all the hubbub was about. Right off the bat, things got off to a good start when I had to wait in line 15 minutes for just two sandwiches in the drive-thru, but you know what? At this point in American culture, I kinda’ EXPECT to wait that long for anything at a fast food restaurant, considering the splendid sorts they’ve got working behind the cash registers and deep fryers (without giving it away, remember, convicted felons have to work somewhere, don’t they?) After the extensive wait (which I’m pretty sure cost us half a tank of gas in the process), me and the missus got our double bag of much ballyhooed chicken burgers, and we quickly scurried home to see if the widely-celebrated sammiches actually lived up to all the hype. 

Alright, just so that we have this squared away early, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich comes in two varieties — a “regular” version and a “spicy” version. Of course, me being the completist I am, I elected to spring for both permutations, which in my neck of the woods, are priced at $3.99 a piece. So all in all, it’s a fairly competitive price point that’s only a couple of cents more expensive than the standard CFA sandwich; and it’s actually significantly cheaper than some of the competing new wave chicken sandwiches being hawked at Burger King and McDonald’s, which really is surprising. I mean, not “finding out she has a penis-surprising,” but surprising nonetheless.

So let’s start with the “regular” chicken sandwich first. From the get-go, I can tell you that it is VERY bulky. Indeed, for $3.99, you are getting a LOT of meat and a LOT of bun, and an objective eye-test indicates this thing easily dwarves the CFA signature sandwich. I did a quick Google search, and according to Healthline, this variation contains about 690 calories, 42 grams of fat and 14 grams of saturated fat. For comparative purposes, the CFA “original” is only 440 calories, has just 19 grams of fat and only 4 grams of saturated fat — meaning, ostensibly, that the Popeyes chicken sandwich is definitely catering to a less-health-conscious demographic that don’t mind putting down 1,400 calories at a single mid-day meal — quite possibly, even one with a 50 percent obesity rate.

But let’s stop it with all of the sociopolitical rabble-rousing. What I suspect you REALLY want to know is if the sandwich is any good, and I’ll tell you in just a sec. But just to uphold my journalistic duties, lemme first go over the ingredients. As you can no doubt see for yourself (apologizes in advance to Stevie Wonder, if he’s reading this somehow), the standard Popeyes sammich comes with a goddamn enormous chicken patty, two mushy-ass pickles and a big smattering of mayonnaise on a toasted (almost to the point of being lite-charred) bun. So, in simpler terms, it looks fucking delicious, and as soon as you smell it you’ll probably go into retard hunger mode and start breaking stuff like the apes in the opening scene of 2001. Or not, but again, probably.

OK, I’ve jerked you around long enough — the actual TASTE of the product is what you REALLY wanna’ know about, right? Well, as much as I’d love to be a contrarian on the matter, I’ve gotta’ agree with the herd concensus on this one — the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, to quote the titular character from Little Nicky, is indeed “fuckin’ awesome.” 

By now, we all know how great the Popeyes chicken patty is. It’s super chewy and extra flaky, with the kind of spicy crispiness that KFC couldn’t even dream of replicating. Whereas most fast food chicken sandwiches feel like poultry patties, this thing FELT like a real chunk of fried chicken breast, and it’s seasoned damn near to perfection. According to Popeyes corporate website, the thing is “marinated in an authentic blend of Louisiana seasonings, then hand-battered and breaded in our all new buttermilk coating.” I’m not even going to pretend that I know what those mysterious “Louisiana seasonings” may be, but rest assured, they are delicious, and that buttermilk coating ain’t no bullshit. As a proud Southerner that’s eaten a lot of REAL fried chicken in his day, I can tell you this is about as close to real shit as you’ll likely ever get at a national chain, and that alone more than justifies the widespread mania concerning the sandwiches. 

But hold your horses, we’ve got another Popeyes chicken sandwich to test-taste, this one being the spicy variation. Now, right out of the gate, I could’ve SWORN that they used a different kind of breading on this thing, or at least switched up the spices a tad. You can compare the two sandwiches for yourself photographically, and it’s glaringly apparent that the spicy permutation is noticeably darker than the original. But as it turns out, it’s apparently the exact same chicken patty as the regular version, with the only real product variable being the addition of some spicy mayo.

Now, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but the guys at Popeyes HAD to have done something different with the spicy chicken sandwich breading. It has an entirely different mouthfeel than the standard version, and there’s no way that can ALL be attributed to the special sauce. I mean, it’s a relatively subtle alteration, but still, there had to have been something extra in the mix — at the very least, a little bit more Creole seasoning and certainly more cayenne pepper. Of course, Popeyes won’t admit it for some reason, but we all know god’s honest truth on this particular matter.

So yeah, this thing was just as delicious as the regular sandwich, if not even better thanks to the spicy mayo. Overall, I’d give this one a solid 5 out of 10 on the IIIA adjusted Scoville Scale, which for a mainstream fast food chain, is probably more like a 6.5, maybe even a solid 7. It’s delicious, it’s hearty, it’s got a respectable heat index, it’s filling and — to borrow a VERY trite expression — it just plain tastes soulful, like it’s the kind of thing black people would make for white people they actually admire and respect. In other words, it’s absolutely wonderful and you need to try it, because for once, the great Twitter hivemind has it right about something.

Pretty much every fast food review I’m seeing of the products is a 10 out of 10. While I reckon the Popeyes burger is indeed great, I’m not so sure I’d go that far. A 9 out of 10, for sure, maybe even a 9.5, but I just can’t go the full monty on this one quite yet. As good as the sandwich is (and it is fucking tremendous no matter how you slice it), I can’t help but feel that it would be even BETTER with slightly more spiciness to it, and with a couple of more ingredients wedged underneath that greasy brioche bun. I mean, shit, can you imagine this thing coming topped with a spicy BBQ sauce, fried onion rings and a thick carapace of melted cheddar jack? Add a couple of strips to that sumbitch and you’d have a bona fide 10 out of 10 offering on your hands for sure — although we’ll just have to wait and see if Popeyes, if ever, decides to give their breakout menu star of 2019 the deluxe edition treatment.

With this being Thanksgiving time and all, I know we’re going to be doing a lot of nomming and a lot of chewing and a lot of putting gravy on shit. But assuming at some point you want something a tad different than the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and Cranberry Sprite, I really can’t recommend this here Popeyes Chicken Sandwich enough. It’s about as authentically deep South a chicken sandwich you’ll ever taste at a national chain, and in my humble opinion, it definitely mops the floor with the CFA original. I don’t want to come out and directly say it’s the best fast food chicken burger I’ve ever had, but it’s unquestionably at the top of the list, a bona fide top threer for sure.

So by all means, give it a try — it’s more than worth the $4 asking price, and it definitely kicks the shit outta’ anything available at McDonald’s and Burger King these days. We’ll just have to wait and see if the Chicken-Sandwich-Mania carries over into 2020, but I think it’s safe to say that Popeyes’ revolutionary poultry burger was definitely one of the pop cultural highmarks of the year that was, no matter how you slice it.

Indeed, the only complaint I have about the entire Chicken Sandwich process is how goddamn long it takes to acquire one. Whatever Popeyes’ corporate stratagem may be for the year ahead, let’s just hope they find a way to cut down on the waiting time for these fuckers — delicious sandwich or not, I can’t think of anything worth waiting 15 minutes for that doesn’t involve me getting my ding-dong sucked.


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