Taking a bite into Popeyes’ ‘sold out’ viral chicken sandwiches


Popeyes’ classic chicken (left) and spicy chicken sandwiches are no longer available at the restaurant, according to Popeyes’ online Twitter post in August. Interest in the sandwiches went viral over the summer after a rapid increase in popularity. Photo taken by Accolade sports editor Andrew Ngo.

For three weeks during August, Popeyes’ chicken sandwich craze went viral over the internet before, according to the restaurant’s social media posting, the meal suddenly sold out.

Released across the country Aug. 12, millions of mentions of Popeyes’ new $3.99 chicken sandwich hit the internet on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. By Aug. 27, the national fried chicken chain’s Twitter announced that “The Sandwich” had sold out in all 3,102 stores across the country.

Or so it seemed.

Even four days after the sandwiches had “sold out,” the Popeyes at the Source in Buena Park still had the lucrative meals.

At The Source Aug. 31, a moderately sized line stretched outside of the Popeyes, but nothing significant compared to the social media images of lines stretching outside of the restaurant that went viral. It only took about five minutes for Popeyes to release my orders — one classic and one spicy.

The classic sandwich contains a piece of Popeyes’ fried chicken, two pickle slices and a drizzle of mayonnaise sauce all between two brioche buns. The spicy chicken sandwich substitutes the mayonnaise for a spicy cajun sauce and a piece of Popeyes’ hot chicken.

Looking at the meals, the brioche buns that the patty comes with usually are fluffy, but these look more mashed, causing the pickles inside to stick out.

The classic sandwich feels plain and empty on first bite. However, the second one contains much more flavor as the creamy mayonnaise sauce begins to gush out from the sandwich.

The juiciness of the chicken cannot be deniable. Popeyes’ flavorful sandwich easily competes with other chicken sandwich competitors like McDonald’s $1.15 Original McChicken and Chick-fil-A’s $3.05 Chicken Sandwich.

Although “The Sandwiches’” flavor and moistness are impeccable, it lacks in crunch and texture. The chicken does not have the iconic crispiness associated with fried chicken and pales in comparison to similar meals offered at chains like Church’s Chicken.

After trying the classic sandwich, the spicy taste is underwhelming.

It seems as if Popeyes forgot to incorporate its spice into its signature spicy chicken sandwich.
The cajun sauce, intended to be a complement to the chicken, is rather flavorless and detracts from the overall flavor of the sandwich. This attempt at making the sandwich spicy leaves the sandwich in an awkward middle ground of not enough spice and not enough flavor.

The Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich offers a far more filling and satisfying meal compared to Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Sandwich and Raising Cane’s Chicken Sandwich in terms of flavor and juiciness, while the spicy mayonnaise Chicken Sandwich misses the mark completely.

Popeyes’ last message was sent in an Aug. 28 tweet: “We hear y’all. We’re working to get The Sandwich back as soon as possible. If you want to be first to know when it happens, download our app and turn on those push notifications. Thanks for sticking with us!”

Popeyes has yet to confirm when the limited-edition chicken sandwiches will be coming back. What is known, however, is that the wait will be worth it.

The nearest Popeyes from Sunny Hills High School is located at 1005 N. Magnolia Ave. in Anaheim.