‘Watts for Dinner’: Popeyes has a spicy take on chicken, shrimp

Will Watts

Nearly two weeks after its initial opening, we made our second, and successful, attempt to eat at the new Popeyes in Golden Gate.

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Yes, there was still a line of cars around the building on this rainy Saturday and yes, a long line at the register. If you assumed everyone was home watching the latest update on Dorian, you apparently don’t know the power of Popeyes.

After a 30 minute wait in line, we placed our order. After another 30 minutes, our food finally arrived … the moment of truth.

Before I tell you what we sampled, let me tell you what we didn’t get and why: the popular and obsessive Popeyes chicken sandwich. The promotion was over; but the sign indicated it would be back soon.

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The first thing we sampled was the “signature” Louisiana fried chicken, which Popeyes marinates for 12 hours. If you like spicy, this chicken is for you. It’s not too spicy mind you; but compared to other fried chicken, this one’s got a kick.

We also tried the “handcrafted” tenders and boneless wings. Both are also marinated and come with the signature spicy breading; but while the boneless wings were tender juicy chunks of white meat chicken, I found the tenders to be thinly cut, and dry, with the crust being the only saving grace.

There was one other big plus. They only had one dipping sauce remaining, the blackened ranch – I would have picked the buffalo – but this dipping sauce was an amazing spin on ranch.

We also tried the one-quarter pound popcorn shrimp. Popeyes takes ordinary, nearly brine-like shrimp, adds this amazing seasoning and breading and viola (!) an amazing snack.

As for sides: I highly recommend the Cajun fries, crispy and amazing; I did not love the macaroni and cheese (no surprises in this dish); but I did enjoy the biscuits – made with a special cake flour with a salty, buttery taste from the top and the bottom.

Popeyes had a delicious twist on chicken, but I won’t be standing in line again anytime soon – that is until the sandwich comes back.

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If you go


  • 11899 Collier Blvd., Golden Gate
  • popeyes.com