Taste test: Popeyes Chicken Waffle Tenders
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is playing matchmaker this month, and its sights are set on chicken and waffles. These two clandestine ingredients, both mainstays of down-home comfort cooking, have been seen together before. Chicken with a side of waffles. Waffle sandwiches stuffed with chicken. Old news. But a waffle chicken tender? That's a different matter entirely. (The tenders, as an article in AdAge comically explains, "were inspired by the dietary habits of jazz musicians in Los Angeles during 1940s and '50s.)
Unable to resist the new fast-food hybrid, we ordered a basket from Popeyes, which boasted "hand-crafted tenders" with "chicken and waffles in every bite." As the overwhelming scent of fried breakfast filled the office, a few staff members dug into the $5 meal, which included a side of biscuits and a redundantly named "Sweet Honey Maple" dipping sauce. Here's how we reacted:
Brent DiCrescenzo It doesn't taste like waffles, but it is a sweet batter. It's like a chicken cookie.
Jake Malooley Popeyes is taking off where McDonald's Chicken Selects left off. It definitely was fried to order. It's fried better than Parson's chicken.
Amy Cavanaugh This is more enjoyable than the chicken at Parson's.
BD As far as fast food chicken tenders go, they're actually good. The chicken was surprisingly moist.
Erin Delahanty They're still just sweet chicken tenders.
JM [Taking off his jacket] I'm sweating from eating that shit.
AC The sauce is disgusting. There's a weird fake maple flavor that's in the batter. The sauce has an awful aftertaste.
AC It's almost vinegary.
ED My whole face feels greasy after eating that.
We didn't think it was possible to capture all of the magic of fried chicken and fluffy waffles in a single handheld tender. And we were right. But once you get past the bad marketing, it's a pretty tasty snack.