I’ve heard many things about Popeye’s, both good things and bad things. I’ve heard stories of chicken destroying digestive systems, and chicken completely transcending the realm of fast food chicken. And everything they have is somewhat spicy, which immediately perked my interest. So Barry and I headed out on a pilgrimage to the nearest Popeye’s last week, to dig up the real truth.
Barry is a bit averse to spice, so we ordered mild chicken, along with a side of mashed potatoes and some biscuits. Stunningly, Barry has never had coleslaw before in his entire life, which knocked my socks off. But we decided to play it safe, and ended up finding out that even the mashed potatoes and biscuits were slightly spicy, and amazing.
Meanwhile, the chicken was extremely mild, to the point where even the biscuits were spicier. It was also very greasy and very salty; I really wasn’t bowled over by it. But I vowed to return at some future date to sample their spicy chicken, which I hoped would come close to the style of the inimitable and immortal Bojangle’s of home.
Turns out, the return trip was made this past weekend, and I strolled up to the counter and ordered the spicy chicken, and some cajun rice, probably to make further Bojangle’s comparisons, as their dirty rice was my absolute favorite dish as a child. Somehow, it ranked higher than pizza, ice cream, hamburgers, or any of those other childhood favorites. Combined.
The cajun rice was quite good, but surprisingly it was still outstripped by the spicy biscuits and mashed potatoes. But not too bad at all. The chicken, meanwhile, was still salty and mild; I’m pretty sure they got the wrong kind of chicken for me, but by the time I found out I was already far far away, in the magical realm of Mary Lyons.
So in terms of spiciness, Popeye’s ranks its dishes as follows:
Mashed potatoes > Biscuits > Cajun rice > Chicken
Whereas at Bojangle’s, the ranking is:
Chicken > Cajun rice > Mashed potatoes = Biscuits
Nearly the exact opposite. Funny how the two are supposed to be compared then.
Overall? I’ll give Popeye’s a B thus far, though that grade will not be final until I have some truly spicy chicken. I find it amusing that I’m applying such culinary criticism to a fast food joint like Popeye’s, because I’m not even sure how I would go about giving grades to my fast food mainstays such as McDonald’s or Burger King. All I know is that Bojangle’s still gets an A+++. All you yankees and left-coast denizens just don’t know what you’re missing. Oh man, just thinking of Bojangle’s makes images of sweet iced tea and dirty rice dance in the air above my laptop’s keyboard.
A lot of links comin’ at ya:
- See if you have what it takes to dodge a bullet shot from various distances. I’m averaging around 0.2 second responses per shot fired.
- I hope this gets made into some sort of infinite movie loop: the Great Lakes within the Great Lakes.
- While you’re using Google Maps or Google Earth, play a game of Battleship.
- Another use for Google Earth is to find out the striking range of Hezbollah’s missiles. Not shown is the striking range of Israel, which I believe to be more more extensive than that of the Hezbollah.
- Atlas Shrugged to be made into a movie. Wut.
- Analysis of art in North Korea.
- Assorted highlights of the World Cup, and an impressive diagram of the passing in the final match.
- I’m a big fan of the current fad of personal submarine purchasing, though these ridable robots are quite slick as well.
- Put your iPod through the washing machine cycle in order to increase its storage space to 2 freaking terabytes.
- I’m consistently amused by virtuoso guitarists who don’t actually play music, but have legions of fans who aspire to be as soul-less but technically brilliant as their idols. If you fall into that category, maybe you should get this guitar strap and guitar pick.
- If you are a scientist, a mathematician, intellectually curious, or intellectually vain (I love the differences between those last two categories, I found them in an intellectually vain moment from Borges’ Collected Non-fictions), you may be interested in this summary of Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science. I’ll admit that I don’t have the guts to touch this.
- The infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper has now been identified, probably.
- And finally, I’m going to save the best for last. Here’s 18 tricks to teach your body, and they inexplicably work. One of the coolest articles I’ve ever found on the internet.