Fancy fried chicken is all the rage these days, with Eater, New York Magazine and Serious Eats both putting together lists of the best fancy (aka expensive) fried chicken in the city. I can’t think of any fancy fried chicken in Midtown that should have been included on these lists (can you?), but NYMag did put together a taste test of the best fast food fried chicken, and Popeye’s was crowned the king (completely deserved.) In fact, I think they’d even beat some of the fancy spots in a blind taste test. Popeye’s is (still open) on 40th btw. 7+8th.
Archive for 'Popeye’s'
I twittered about this earlier last week, but Lunch’er “Joseph” wants to see more!
“I was desperate – I forgot my lunch and had no cash today. Couldn’t think of a decent card-only idea so I searched for Midtown Popeyes. [The one on 40th btw. 7+8th] came up on Google, but the lead posting was the one about the bankruptcy declaration. Luckily I went anyway and they were open and good. I’m not sure if it warrants another posting to remind people that they really are open – might help show them some business and improve the likelihood of someone taking over the franchise??? I’d have to go to 14th or harlem on my lunch hour for popeyes if they close. :(“
There are some decent fried chicken alternatives in Midtown, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that we don’t want to lose Popeyes.
Terrible news from Lunch’er “MychaelS” on Friday: Crains is reporting that Franchise Kings of Midtown (which owns the Popeye’s on 40th btw. 7+8th) is filing for Bankruptcy protection. The owner “aims to pay off her debts and sell the franchise and lease for the store.” The location is still open for now, but it’s not entirely clear if it will remain open in the future. (Hopefully somebody will come in and save it!) Also unclear is whether the bankruptcy is directly related to the location itself, which was always packed during lunch, or just a failure of the parent company. Of course this isn’t the first time Midtown has lost a Popeyes. There used to be one on 34th Street, and one on 46th Street. Both are now closed. The block itself, which is located right next to the New York Times Building appears to be jinxed. The Sophie’s Cuban located directly next door, closed last year despite always being full during lunch.
Things I Wish I Knew Earlier in the Day: From Lunch'er Daniel: "If you haven't heard by now, Popeye's is doing 8 pieces of chicken for $4.99 today only. At the one on 40th St (btw. 7+8th), the line had to be 30 - 40 people long around 1 p.m." I guess there is always dinner...
Posted at 4:30 pm, April 22nd, 2009 | 13 Comments
Terrible news from Midtown’s only branch of Popeye’s (on 40th btw. 7+8th): “The location… was shut down due to a tax/rent levy issue. The notice on the door had yesterday’s date. First MG in many years without Popeye’s red beans & rice.” That is very upsetting. Nobody answered a call to the location… we’ll keep an eye out, and let you know as soon as it reopens. (Thanks to nolafunknyc for the tip, they are always appreciated.)
If you’ve been reading Midtown Lunch since the beginning, you know that I never pass up a chance to talk about how amazing New Orleans is (for example, my senseless, nothing to do with Midtown, live blogging of Jazzfest). And since today is the final day of Mardi Gras, it’s time for my obligatory “this is where you should eat lunch on Fat Tuesday” post. I suppose you could go to Bourbon Street Bar & Grill for the faux N.O. atmosphere and not authentic at all muffuletta, but if food is what you care about there is really only one choice: the under-appreciated, not mentioned nearly enough, take out window of the Grand Central Oyster Bar (just off the under ground food court in the basement of the Grand Central Terminal).
Sure, the restaurant is super expensive, but the take-out window has got a bunch of sandwiches under $10… including a fried oyster po’boy ($8.25) that doesn’t quite transport you to New Orleans, but gets you pretty damn close. (And is certainly the best option in Midtown.) I had it last year on Fat Tuesday (along with a good buddy of mind originally from Nawlins), and the only other place I’d recommend on a day like today would be the Popeye’s (on 40th btw. 7+8th), which incidentally enough is celebrating its 2 year anniversary today! (Provided you count years from one Fat Tuesday to the next.) Either way it’s going to be a fat tuesday…
I have never met a piece of fried chicken I didn’t like. Sure, there have been some transcendent fried chicken moments. My first visit to Roscoe’s Fried Chicken and Waffles in L.A. comes to mind (although you may say the waffle had a little something to do with that.) And of course there was Dunbar’s in New Orleans, which is still the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Hopefully the rumors of its return are not exaggerated. But I don’t mind slumming it either, and it doesn’t take much to please me. Hot Oil + Chicken (+ Salt & Pepper) = Good.
There is some damn good fried chicken in Midtown. I’ve mentioned Cafe Cello as one of my favorites (on 46th btw. 5+6th) and even KFC has gotten the obligatory mention on the site. But if you want to be at ground zero for NYC fried chicken there is only one place to go. Eighth Avenue. The stretch of that road between the Mid 30′s and Mid 40′s is jammed packed with fried chicken goodness. Here is your guide to navigating the corridor. (A Fried-Chicken-Palooza if you will)
Popeye’s is freaking good. Anybody who has ever lived in New Orleans will tell you that, and it appears as if New Yorkers are privvy as well. I stopped by the Popeye’s on 40th btw. 7+8th (the only one in Midtown Lunch’ing range) and couldn’t believe the madhouse (despite other fried chicken options in pretty close proximity.) People love Popeye’s.
Bonus Reveal: Why was I at Popeye’s? All will be revealed in a post next week that Midtown fried chicken lovers won’t want to miss…
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… Read more »