Illustration: Josiah Topping / Courier Popeyes popular demand for the chicken sandwhich is back.
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With drive-thru lines clogging traffic and people waiting up to 30 minutes for “fast food,” the legendary chicken sandwich from Popeyes made it’s highly anticipated return on Nov. 3 after a nearly two month hiatus. However, upon first bite, instead of a juicy succulent chicken with their renowned spicy mayo spread, the overwhelming acidity and sourness of pickles overpowers any flavor Popeyes was trying to go for.

It isn’t as bad as say, McDonald’s McChicken which just slathers the sandwich with an unnecessary amount of mayo and stale lettuce, but after all of the hype seen on the internet, nothing but disappointment is tasted upon each bite.

The chicken sandwich comes in a foil bag to keep the sandwiches hot and ready similar to Chick-fil-a. The chicken itself is delicious. Almost snow-white meat enveloped inside a golden brown crust that bleeds flavor perfectly compliments the greasy, fluffy toasted bun and their spicy mayo.

All of that is brought down by their pickles. Of course, one could just order the sandwich without the pickles, but the base form of the sandwich comes with pickles— as do other fast food chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-a, KFC and Wendy’s. The pickles in a chicken sandwich serve as a buffer in between bites, balancing out the greasiness with a hint of sourness.

Popeyes goes too far with the sourness though. A pickle should complement the chicken, not take center stage

Both versions of the sandwich, the normal and the cajun-spiced variant share the same problem. In the spicy sandwich however, the pickle problem isn’t as prominent. It strikes a good balance between hot and chugging down water from spice.

Another question to ask is if the sandwich is really worth waiting for. The lines both inside and in the drive-thrus are always packed, and it’s usually not because of extremely high demand. Popeyes just can’t seem to keep up with their sudden influx of customers, leading to workers scrambling to get orders out, which then leads to issues like crumpled up bags or wrong orders. 

The sandwich is by no means disgusting or repulsive, but the hype and advertising campaign across the internet paints it as the “Chick-fil-a killer,” when it really isn’t. It’s good, but it’s not great. You’re better off skipping the line at Popeyes to get a sandwich somewhere else.

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