Review: Chicken Waffle Tenders from Popeyes
Fresh off my last glowing review of the Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla from Taco Bell, I figured things would settle down and go back down to average with my next assignment. The odds weren’t in favor of too much of a sharp decline into mediocre fast food when a place like Popeyes has been racking up a solid amount of positive reviews here on GrubGrade through the years. We recently brought you news of the next interesting new product innovation from Popeyes and today is the is day we get a taste. The best of both worlds collide when chicken and waffles meet harmoniously in the middle with new Chicken Waffle Tenders from Popeyes.
New Chicken Waffle Tenders are all-white meat chicken tenders marinated in Louisiana spices and a light, crispy waffle coating. For the price of $4.99, Popeyes new Chicken Waffle Tenders follows most all their promotional products with a package deal for a solid value. The combo box comes with 3 Chicken Waffle Tenders with Sweet Honey Maple Sauce, Cajun fries and a buttermilk biscuit. In typical Popeyes form, there was more like 3 1/2 Chicken Waffle Tenders, or just one was so big it broke off in the cooking process… bottom line, a lot of grub.
Take a look at those Chicken Waffle Tenders… they are huge. Each tender easily encompasses the size of three or more typical chicken nuggets so I’d count my box as a ten piece if these were in nugget form. That translation is just to give you an idea of the size of the tenders. The waffle batter coating is crisp and crunchy in all the right areas while light enough to not overwhelm the weight of the chicken. There isn’t a heavy crust of armor enveloping the chicken and I’d equate the areas of delicate coating more in line with Chick-fil-A chicken while keeping a tight, harder edge around the ends and corners. The thought of waffle batter isn’t too apparent as there is barely any similarities in texture, but the subtleties of sweet flavors separate this chicken from the typical Popeyes fried chicken offerings. The Chicken Waffle Tenders have an almost addicting quality when paired with the Sweet Honey Maple Sauce.
Ah yes, the Sweet Honey Maple Sauce… it’s aptly named. This stuff is thick and sweet, almost candy sweet, yet it complements everything else in the box quite well. Of course you’re supposed to dip your Chicken Waffle Tenders in it, and the sweet /savory combination works about as well as you’d expect. Even though this sauce was meant for the chicken tenders, it was just too good to let the chicken get all of the attention. Here’s where my only real problem with this combo box comes into play… there just isn’t enough of that Sweet Honey Maple Sauce. It’s a tease of a condiment because you’re getting a lot of food, but you’re surely going to run out of the dipping sauce. Even if you were sneaking some of your Cajun fries into the sauce, there’s hardly enough for just the chicken. The thickness of the sauce also has a way of getting stuck to everything and not letting go so once you dip your food in it’s stuck on there. So with this thick magnetic sweet sauce, it’s gone before you know it. Note to Popeyes: Your sauce selection is tasty and inspired, give us more.
Like I mentioned before, $4.99 is a solid deal. When you consider how many fast food places are now offering burgers and other sandwiches for around the same price, you come to realize that Popeyes is still doing fast food right. I really loved Chicken Waffle Tenders and this product is now added to my growing list of successful Popeyes creations. Some may find it to be on the too-sweet side, but I found it to be a nice change of pace and you’re in control of the sweetness with how much the dipping sauce appeals to your taste buds. Can the Chicken Waffle Tenders still stand alone without the sauce? Absolutely. This is a versatile product and I can see a future where a Chicken Waffle Tender Sandwich using toasted waffles as the bread becomes a reality. Popeyes has the core ingredients down just right to make any future incarnations a welcomed addition.
Pros: Awesome value, lots of grub. Crisp, delicately sweet and subtle waffle batter breading. Sweet Honey Maple Dipping Sauce.
Cons: Just not enough of that Sweet Honey Maple Sauce... borrow an idea from Checkers and utilize a bigger, wider sauce container. I'm afraid to look at the nutrition facts... not available... phew.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10
More Info: http://www.popeyes.com