Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits: Chicken Bowl + Popeyes $4You Menu

We take back everything we said about the KFC Famous Bowl.

Did you know Grindhouse is criminally unavailable on DVD in its original double feature cut with all the fake trailers and mock concessions ads and everything? Well, that’s the truth. But Starz ran it a few weeks back and Robert DVRed it so we could check it out a second time, having been lucky enough to catch Grindhouse during its theatrical run. And this time we could enjoy a few quarts of Miller High Life while watching without having to sneak our beers into the theater by hiding them in a shoebox.

Because cheapo B movies deserve a ton of greasy food, we hit up Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits for dinner. Robert was intrigued by the new Popeyes $4You deal, where for $4 you get to pick three items off the value menu, and I felt practically obligated to try the new Chicken Bowl. You are correct -- this story does not end pretty.

The Chicken Bowl at Popeyes consists of a red beans and rice base, with marinated non-fried chicken on the top that’s layered with cheese and parsley. Sounds like a better bet than the KFC Famous Bowl, right? Wrong. Much like that sad concoction, the individual components of the Chicken Bowl mingled, congealed and otherwise devolved into a starchy paste protected by an impenetrable orange rubber coating -- but the beans that are in there really took this to a whole new level of gross.*

For my $4You picks, I got a Loaded Chicken Wrap, Chicken Biscuit and a side of mashed potatoes. Robert got a Delta Mini, Loaded Chicken Wrap and a spicy drumstick. Plus, because they accidentally made a Chicken Biscuit before making his Delta Mini, he scored a Chicken Biscuit for free.

Keeping in mind that you’re paying $1.33 per item, out of the nine options in the $4You line-up, there are only a few actually worth picking. Let’s review.
  • Loaded Chicken Wrap: This is your best bet -- a tortilla stuffed with a chicken tender, cheese, and red beans and rice. Oddly enough, it's got more or less the same ingredients as the Chicken Bowl, yet is much more appealing.
  • Delta Mini: Also decent. A chicken tender on a small bun slathered with Delta Sauce, which is some kind of spicy mayo. Robert split his with me, and I wish I’d got my own.

  • Chicken Biscuit: Exactly what its name says -- a chicken tender on a biscuit. Good in theory. Disappointing in execution. Somehow managed to be dry and greasy at the same time. Neither of us finished ours. Says online you’re supposed to get a choice of Louisiana hot sauce or honey, although no such offer was made this evening.
  • Biscuit: Because you could get a biscuit with a piece of chicken in it instead, you should pick this only if you are new to the planet and have no concept of value.
  • Leg or Thigh, Mild or Spicy: Like the KFC Big Box Meal, it’s not enough bone-in chicken to make a true impression.
  • Three Louisiana Nuggets: Really, Popeyes? Three whole nuggets? You spoil us. Nets out to 44¢ a pop.
  • Regular Side: Should you want some red beans and rice, mashed potatoes and gravy, Cajun fries or Cajun rice, this is a decent option. For the suckers out there, Popeyes also offers cole slaw. Always thought it was weird that Popeyes doesn’t serve spinach, but it turns out the chain is actually named for Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle of The French Connection, rather than the sailor man.
  • Regular Drink: I’m sick of sodas being offered as a value menu item. A waste of one of your three picks -- especially when you’ve got a few Miller High Life quarts waiting for you.
  • Cinnamon Apple Pie: Hmmm.
Popeyes, take note -- a value menu with little value is not a value menu at all. Maybe you should just stick to what you do best, as your chicken speaks for itself and your sides have always been strong. Whenever I want fast food fried chicken, the second thing I do is figure out where the closest Popeyes is. The first thing I do is admit to myself I’m not going to accomplish much the rest of the day.

As for Grindhouse, the second time around it was still wicked cool.
  • Planet Terror: Comically super-violent, bloody and extra awesome.
  • Death Proof: A bit talky, but the scene that shows four different points of view of Stuntman Mike mowing down a carload of girls with his Chevy Nova is totally sweet.
What we should’ve done is hunt down some authentic movie theater nachos. We’re talking the kind where the cheese comes out of a vat, not the kind with the microwaved cup of cheese. Now that’s what a B movie double feature tastes like.

*Full disclosure: While Popeyes’ Chicken Bowl recipe and presentation clearly wasn’t developed to allow for a moderate amount of travel time, we did endure a snafu that could potentially qualify as extenuating circumstances and intensified the Chicken Bowl’s rapid congealment.

Since Robert’s wife Kelly wasn’t in the mood for either Grindhouse or Popeyes, we had to stop at McDonald’s to pick up dinner and a movie for her. There were six or seven people in line for the Redbox -- longer than the actual line for food.

I understand that standing in line is the social cost of getting a new release for $1 -- but honestly people, can we work together on this? Have a list ready of three to four movies that you’re looking for when you arrive. If they’re all rented out, pause on the side to regroup and let the next person go. Do not stand there and look at every single movie description while a long and impatient line of people amasses behind you. At least three Redbox customers did exactly that, and it was more than 15 minutes before we could get Kelly’s movie.

Look, T-Ball kid at the front of the line taking forever -- Delgo isn’t out on DVD yet, so step off.


  1. New reader to the blog, so maybe you've done this, but how about a comparison of Church's, Popeye's and KFC? I would have to pick Church's, personally.

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  3. Matty - I think I remember your first date with a KFC Famous Bowl. I believe I was about 8+ months pregnant with Nora and you, Chris and I went to the LJS/KFC over on Michigan and Delaney. You ordered the Bowl because they had just come out (quite and invention) while I had some LJS "fish" and chips. Not sure what Chris had. I remember this clearly because I went home later and threw up that tasty cod.

  4. I had the KFC bowl and I've had the Popeyes bowl. The Popeye's bowl is more for your money, it's a heartier meal and the taste is ten times better, more flavorful. I'm from the south were taste is very important, and where bigger is better!

    My comment on the KFC bowl is that it is okay, but the chicken gets rubbery after getting soaked in the gravy. and there is MOSTLY mashed potatoes, not enough cheese.

  5. I love popeyes fried chicken and cajun foods.. me any my family always spend most of our weekends at popeyes chicken restaurant.