Popeyes sandwich proves promising

Emily Zhu, Editor

I expected the epitome of quality cuisine when Popeyes announced the return of their popular chicken sandwich that lead to a nationwide shortage last August.

The immediate buzz about the new item heightened my expectations as I rushed to snag a bite. Naturally, people were comparing the familiar crispy chicken topped with pickles with that of another fast food restaurant, and I rushed to the Louisiana Kitchen to settle the verdict myself.

I waited in line for a good thirty minutes as people seemed to have the same plans on a Saturday afternoon, my hasty anticipation made me think the slow service contradicted the definition of fast food. Not to mention, I was welcomed by a gust of cold air as I walked into the unheated restaurant, a frigid contrast even with the 40-degree outdoor temperatures. Despite wearing a full-fledged parka, I sat shivering in the lack of heat after I picked up my meal.

Despite being in an irritable mood from the unpleasant environment, the warm aroma opening the neatly packed sandwich was welcoming. Opening my mouth wide to bite into the larger-than-Chick-Fil-A counterpart, I was pleasantly surprised at the crispness of the tender chicken; a touch of Cajun flavor among the light taste of a crunchy dill pickle provided a satisfying texture. A smear of rich, spicy mayonnaise was neatly spread on the soft interior, providing the subtlest touch of flair among the hefty proportions of the chicken. Its pickles seemed thicker and more savory than the Chick-Fil-A’s as well.

My only complaint was though the lustrous brioche buns were baked in a golden butter, to my dismay, the bread was cold and left unscathed by the heat of the chicken.  I also warn those who detest mayonnaise to order the sandwich without it, though that seems to be one of the only dissimilarities between the rival stores’ competing products. Still, the sandwich exceeded my expectations by balancing a filling and flavorful harmony.

Though it boggles me how a restaurant whose main delicacy is fried chicken had a nationwide shortage of a chicken sandwich, I’d recommend all chicken sandwich lovers to give the Popeyes sandwich a try. For those seeking a twist to the comfortable Chick-Fil-A meal, taking refuge at Popeyes is now on the table. Though I wanted a clear-cut winner in the chicken sandwich battle, between the varying sauces, sides, textures, and atmospheres, deeming one sandwich better than the other is near impossible and may merely depend on the mood you’re in. For some, a low combo price of $7.99 for a larger portion and swap for waffle fries may be a deciding factor.