The New Popeyes
I finally made it down to the brand new Popeyes I reported about on Fat Tuesday. If you hadn’t heard, Popeyes is back in Midtown with a location on 40th btw. 7th & 8th Ave. I ate there on Friday, and felt pretty disgusting the rest of the day. But you know what? It was worth it. Sure in retrospect the third piece of chicken and second biscuit may have been overkill… but hindsight is twenty twenty. Popeyes is awesome.
Like fried chicken, alot is written about great hamburgers in New York City. People argue all the time over who makes the best burger in the city. Shake Shack and Burger Joint are always on the list, and new places seem to open up every week. Then of course there are the expensive burgers, with truffles and foie gras and the such. In the end, a $3 Big Mac tastes good, but it’s no competition for a real burger, made with quality beef.
Fried chicken is a whole different ball game. I don’t care what kind of prejudice you have against fast food places, I’m telling you, Popeyes is frickin good. If you want delicious fried chicken, you will be hard pressed to find some that tastes better than the spicy chicken at Popeyes. Sure, your extra money might buy you better side dishes, a fancier atmosphere and organic chickens that were treated very nicely before they were dipped in batter and fried up crispy… but in the end, when you are just talking about taste- Popeyes can hold its own with the best of them.
Pictures and a +/- after the jump…
Alot of people don’t know this, but in many parts of the country (like New Orleans), Popeyes is an institution. For those of us who grew up in the North East, or in my case- Miami (New York South) Popeyes was always thought of as the second rate chicken place. New ones never opened, so the franchises that did exist, were always old and in crappy locations, totally dilapidated, and they didn’t have popcorn chicken! (I always went to KFC.) In New Orleans, Popeyes is like Starbucks. Everybody eats there, and most of the locations are suprisingly well kept. And if there is one thing I’ve learned about New Orleans- they know their fried food.
Like most fast food fried chicken places Popeyes has two versions of their chicken (regular and spicy), chicken sandwiches, boneless strips, a few seafood dishes, an assortment of side dishes and of course- biscuits. I went with the three piece meal (or as I like to call it, the “Fat Guy” special) with Cajun Rice and a biscuit. The breast was a tiny bit dry (as breasts can be), but the spicy crunchy crust that covered the whole thing, made up for that. The cajun rice was fine (meat filled dirty rice), and the biscuit of course was delicious. You may say the “secret ingredient” is lard.
My co-workers got the boneless chicken strips, and the fried chicken sandwich- both of which came with a totally different crust than the fried chicken. Very curious. It was a lighter color than the fried chicken crust, and isn’t spicy- but I believe you can get a spicy version. Both were good, but nothing special. The spicy fried chicken is what makes Popeyes worth going to.
With a new location of a fast food place, you are always going to have some service issues- and this one was no different. They have plenty of cashiers, so the lines move pretty quick, but it took about 15 minutes for the order of chicken strips to come out (I guess they didn’t have any ready)… but they fully made up for it by giving us some free chicken and biscuits for having to wait. What I didn’t realize was that, extra chicken and biscuits is more of a curse, (especially when you are stupid enough to look up the nutritional information online after you eat). I don’t know what is wrong with me.
Lucky for Popeyes, I didn’t notice any of these service problems, because I was too busy getting pissed at these three people for stealing the table I had been waiting 10 minutes for. (They hadn’t even ordered their food yet, and didn’t seem to care when I told them I had been waiting 10 minutes for the table. Fun fun. I guess I was supposed to stand directly on top of the lady who was finishing her lunch, so I could sit down at the first possible second she was done…) And that is other the problem with the new location… seating. There are only 5 or 6 tables, and they were all full (despite it being the first week open). The manager informed me that they have the maximum number of tables allowed for a restaurant that does not have a bathroom for customers. So, unfortunately you need to be prepared to take your food to go- a huge bummer if it’s cold out, and you have a long way to walk.
All in all, it’s a great re-addition to Midtown (there were a few Popeyes that existed over a year ago but are now gone). Popeyes is delicious fried chicken…. but whatever you do, don’t eat the second biscuit (or a third piece of fried chicken) (or look at the nutrional information).
- Delicious, spicy, and crispy fried chicken
- Awesome biscuits
- Cajun flavored sides like Red Beans & Rice, & Dirty Rice
- It’s fast food, so it’s cheap
- They have regular fried chicken, but it’s the “spicy” chicken that sets Popeyes apart from the rest (so if you don’t like spicy, you may not be into it- although it’s not that spicy)
- The biscuits are made with lard
- Everything is super greasy (including the biscuits made from lard)
- You may not feel so great after lunch
- The nutritional information is bad
- There aren’t alot of seats at the location, so you may have to take your food to go… something you’d like to avoid with a food like fried chicken
- Service may be spotty
Popeyes, 240 W. 40th St. (btw. 7+8th)