If you’ve got an internet connection, you’ve probably heard about the new Popeyes chicken sandwich.
You’ve also probably heard people say it’s better than Chick-fil-A’s. As somebody who would probably vomit if I saw how much money I’ve spent at Chick-fil-A in my lifetime (especially knowing what I know now as an adult), it’s hard to admit this, but true: Those people are correct.
Popeyes’ sandwich went nationwide on August 12, prompting me to bolt to the nearest location lunch that afternoon. Here’s a glance at what it looks like from their promotion:
Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences. pic.twitter.com/14kXBv4jJw— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 12, 2019
I tried the sandwich in its spicy variety, because truthfully, if you get anything else at Popeyes, you’re doing it wrong. Anything “spicy” at Popeyes isn’t actually spicy — it just tastes better. Plus, the cajun spread is better than mayo. (That was a concern of mine going into this endeavor, but those concerns would be quickly swept away — with flavor.)
The sandwich comes in a similar package that Chick-fil-A’s does, serving up big “anything you can do, I can do better” vibes. Here’s a poor picture I took after having already eaten about half of the sandwich:
Of course, the actual product never looks like the promotional images, but there certainly is more breading on the chicken compared to Chick-fil-A’s, which is nice. It’s not too much where it becomes a hard sandwich, but enough where there’s a noticeable difference in texture. (In other words, it’s not going to tear the absolute shit out of your mouth like Cap’n Crunch would.)
The brioche bun is also a little bit thicker than its Chick-fil-A counterpart, and has a good flavor to it. The pickles on the sandwich are massive, which I don’t feel strongly about one way or another, because I always take the pickles off my chicken sandwiches. I just don’t need that in my life. But if you like pickles, this sandwich is for you.
Also of note: I tried this sandwich in Atlanta. It is a widely accepted fact that Popeyes is better in Louisiana, so I can’t imagine how much better this possibly is some 500 miles away. Despite not being in the superior region for Popeyes, my location is very reliable in terms of getting the order right, which is a gigantic variable. I also knew I was in for a good visit when I saw an employee outside smoking a cigarette as I pulled in the parking lot. I respect the self-care, even if it’s not a healthy habit.
The idea that Popeyes has produced a superior chicken sandwich is an upset. Even my colleague Richard Johnson just outright refused to believe me when I first told him, which I can respect. He, like myself, grew up on Chick-fil-A. He even went to a wedding that had a Chick-fil-A sandwich cake. So how could somebody possibly outdo their most famous piece of work? The chicken sandwich is their Thriller!
A transcription of the text exchange, which includes SB Nation alum Tyler Tynes of The Ringer:
RJ: A real man admits he’s in the wrong
RJ: I was wrong
RJ: I’ve seen the light
I’m not going to totally abandon Chick-fil-A, because it’s too good. There’s nothing like some Chick-n-Minis or a chicken biscuit and hash browns in the morning (start serving breakfast, Popeyes). And though I try to limit my trips nowadays, one will have to be made to see what that mac and cheese is talking about.
But until then, when I’m craving a savory chicken sandwich, I’m taking the longer drive to Popeyes.