Popeyes Chicken Sandwich 2.0: A review [UPDATED]

Illustration for article titled Popeyes Chicken Sandwich 2.0: A review [UPDATED]
Image: Popeyes

Update, July 23, 2020: Shortly after we posted the news of the Popeyes BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich, The Takeout’s Denver operative (who prefers to remain anonymous so they can continue to eat fast food chicken sandwiches in peace) found a Popeyes location where the new sandwich was being tested and tried it out. Here is the report:

Flavor-wise: The sandwich is good but I wouldn’t call it an improvement over the original two. They did not overdo it with the bbq sauce; it was applied judiciously. The bacon was nicely cooked—not soggy, and not burned. The bacon flavor was not overwhelming. I didn’t really notice the cheese though. If I hadn’t seen it on there, I might not have been able to guess it was there. The pickles provided welcome crunch and brine flavor to offset the sweetness of the sauce.

If you love the flavor of bbq sauce, then I suppose this sandwich will appeal to you. Since the flavor of bacon and fried chicken go well together, I think the bigger news is that you could probably special-order one of the two regular sandwiches with bacon now. Otherwise, this sandwich, while not bad, seems like a solution in search of a problem. The two original versions are still better.

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A Popeyes BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich
A Popeyes BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich
Photo: Anonymous Denver Operative

Original post, July 10, 2020: For the past six months or so, there hasn’t been much to report about the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. It still tastes as delicious as it did when it debuted last year. Now, you can go through any Popeyes drive-thru at any time and get one. There are no long lines, no violence, not even any bad art. This is the sort of peace that happens after a decisive victory.

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But there are always new worlds to explore and bold new territories to conquer. The website Chew Boom reports that Popeyes has been test marketing a new chicken sandwich in the Denver area, the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich. It costs $5.49 and contains all the elements of the original that we loved so much—the buttermilk-battered white meat filet, the toasted brioche bun, the pickle so obviously ripped off from Chik-fil-a—plus cheese and bacon, which make just about anything better.

The one downside, according to Chew Boom’s informant, a Denverite named Josh, is the “sweet smokey barbecue sauce.” There was so much of it, he reported, that he couldn’t taste anything else. It’s unclear whether this is a feature of the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich or if the person who made his sandwich just had a heavy hand with the sauce. If anyone in Denver or any other test marketing area happens to try this sandwich, please let us know how it is. Last year I got kind of tired of writing about Popeyes all the time, but now I’m very nostalgic for those kinder, simpler times.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

A butcher’s trick to move product that’s nearing its “best before” date is to slather the meat in sauce and spices and then pack and sell it as “marinated”. Hides any potential off-taste or coloring.

I’m not saying that’s what’s happening in the 2.0 Chicken sandwich but I’m immediately suspicious when I’m being sold over-sauced meat.