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.

Chicken Waffle Tenders PopeyesNew 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.

Popeyes Chicken Waffle TendersTake 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.

Chicken Waffle Tender PopeyesAh 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.

Popeyes Chicken Waffles

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.

Taste: 9.25/10
Value: 9.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10

More Info: http://www.popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
Not available

32 comments on “Review: Chicken Waffle Tenders from Popeyes

  1. Alex K. says:

    Solid value. It sucks that there isn’t a Popeye’s near me.

  2. Dustin says:

    Popeye’s has always been stingy with the sauce in my opinion. Really? I get one cup of ranch for a 5 piece tender? C’mon, don’t make me beg for it now…

    • TJ says:

      My local Popeye’s is the opposite, they always give me as much sauce as I want for no extra charge… it must vary from franchise to franchise I guess. As for this item, I thought it was okay, but I’m not a big fan of mixing sweet and savory tastes very much. I’ll stick with their shrimp meal while it’s around.

  3. zxGriffin says:

    I now have a Popeyes 10 minutes from my house. I haven’t gone there in over a year now. Only reason is I don’t each much fried food- but I do enjoy fried chicken. A lot of the KFC locations closed in my area too- Which I found to be an odd occurrence all over Western Massachusetts. I will try these on my Payday Thursday. Looks like a really tasty good deal. I will be asking for an additional Maple sauce as well as a Buffalo Sauce Pack – *Or one of those mini Tabasco bottles which would work better*. Im Surprised you didn’t review this with a side of hotsauce I think it would round off the sweetness of the Chicken and Waffle idea. Like you said they stand on their own and I think that has something to do with Popeyes spice mixture within the batter most likely. Great review.

    • ahecht says:

      A rare trip up to New Hampshire brought me to a Popeyes yesterday, and I got to try these. The packets of Louisiana hot sauce are always available, and are wonderful with the waffle tenders in combination with the honey maple sauce. Reminds me of good chicken and waffles (and I grew up near Rosco’s in LA).

  4. Justin ST says:

    Great review, thanks, I have yet to try these yet. My local Popeye’s employees didn’t seem to grasp the idea of those mini tabasco bottles. They were lost when I asked for one.

    • Ryan says:

      I think those mini Tabasco bottles are only available when the Wicked Chicken is being promoted. I’d love to see them offered all the time.

      • Justin St says:

        Yeah! That’s when I asked for one! I was like, doesn’t it come with a bottle of tabasco sauce? They were like, “You can have a hot sauce packet!”

        Uh, thanks.

  5. BigBelly says:

    so they taste as good as they look, that’s good news
    the Popeye’s I go to is always out of sauces, I can’t quite make out the ingredients on the sauce label, but aside from honey & maple syrup, are there any spices listed? perhaps I will create my own :)

    • Dannielle says:

      Soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, honey, corn syrup, water, egg yolks, maple syrup, sugar, distilled vinegar, and salt.

  6. Ray says:

    I was also impressed with this new product offering. Is this what chicken and waffles are supposed to taste like? If so, I am on board:)

  7. jason says:

    i tried these yesterday too in great anticipation. however i was not a fan even though i still say popeyes has the best chicken fingers of the numerous establishment i check periodically in order to maintain their no 1 ranking.

    it wasn’t crunch per se but rather i found the batter to be a little too crispy vs that cakey texture of waffles. maybe i just needed more batter? the taste of the batter was fair and im sure they did a ton of testing but for me i was envisioning something liek corn dog batter, different tasting though, where its almost wrapped around the chicken vs it being a dipped creation. ok im blabbing but i do love their innovation and hope they continue to do well

  8. Brian says:

    Nice, will pick them up this week.

  9. Ross The Boss says:

    Ryan hit the nail on the head with this review. These things were huge, and it’s especially true about the lack of sauce — I requested an extra packet and barely had enough for the chicken…

    But all in all, Waffle Tenders were absolutely delicious and might be my new favorite thing on the Popeye’s menu (yes, and that includes the Zatarain’s Shrimp).

  10. I went to one today and to my surprise they did not have it!?^&^&^&&^&^&$#@@#$#@!@?!?!!?!?!!?

  11. Nate says:

    I had these for lunch today. They were delicious, but I didn’t dig the sauce nearly as much as you did. It was just too goopy for me, and the strips were great either plain or with hot sauce.

  12. Yuck says:

    I hated these. The batter reminded me of chick fil a, in appearance. It was way more crumbly though and didn’t really stick to the chicken well. The chicken was bland and the batter made it so unbelievably dry. I tried it with the candy sauce, bbq sauce and chick fil a polynesian sauce and none of them made this chicken taste good. Usually I love their special promotions, but sadly this was a big miss for me.

  13. Julie T says:

    WOW, slam dunk, Popeyes! I’m eating these for lunch right now. What a fantastic combination! The honey maple sauce kind of reminds me of the honey butter spread you can get at buffets like Golden Corral. I hope they make these chix strips a permanent addition to their menu. I think I would order these quite often!

  14. Donnelle says:

    If they ever get rid of these, I am joining a monastery. My boyfriend did not oversell these one tiny bit. And neither did this review. They are the best fast food item I’ve ever had in my life, period, full stop.

    • BigBelly says:

      I don’t know about in my lifetime, but I’d give it best of the year so far..
      both of us loved the crunch (It’s a 15 minute ride home, and they were perfect in every way, the fries unfortunately didn’t fare so well LOL) I saw someone describe them as “greasy” in another review, and was fearful of this given the length of the drive, but they weren’t at all.

      as for the sauce, I found it incredible, it’s reminiscent of when butter starts to melt on a hot waffle, and you pour cold syrup on it so it “sets up” again.

      they screwed me on the blackberry pie, got 2 apples instead of one of each :(

  15. nick says:

    they were large and tasted good but i got no dipping sauce. total bummer but i’ll get them again and be sure to check the box before driving through.

  16. Mark says:

    tried today and surprisingly liked it, but I didn’t really taste the waffle in the batter. I don’t know if i just got messed up taste buds or what. Also the maple sauce lasted for maybe on strip.

  17. gerard says:

    they are really good with the blackened ranch sauce as well

  18. J.MILLER says:

    BEST CHICKEN I EVER ATE WAS THE WAFFLE TENDERS. WE TRULY ENJOYED THIS WONDERFUL NEW ITEM. HOPE IT REMAINS ON THE MENU. I ALWAYS GET CHICKEN FOR ELDERLY PERSONS IN NURSING HOME AND THIS IS PERFECT BECAUSE IT IS NOT SPICY AND VERY SOFT. THANKS..THANKS THANKS.

  19. Chicken and waffle into one meal? Well that’s wonderful, isn’t it? I’m craving it as I type this comment. We covered this from a more serious perspective at http://superhuman.ly (and still really want to try it). However, as much as we’d love to have some junk food every once in awhile, there’s no denying that it’s a huge contributor to obesity and the related illnesses that come along with it.

  20. Chuck says:

    I tried these a couple days ago and got tired of it after the first tender and threw the rest away. It’s sickeningly sweet. Yuck. Would not recommend.

  21. Kim says:

    Today I tried these for the first time. Chicken is OK, but that sauce is seriously AWFUL. It’s just a maple flavored mayo that’s somewhere on the culinary sale between gross and vile.

  22. […] Popeyes Chicken Waffle Tenders […]

  23. […] I really loved Chicken Waffle Tenders when they were first released at Popeyes last summer so I’m pretty excited that they are making a return.  Chicken Waffle Tenders were the most successful limited time offer ever for Popeyes and starting May 26th, they are back on the menu through June 29th. […]

  24. […] a side of maple syrup for dipping. There are a few favorable reviews of these at The Impulsive Buy, GrubGrade, and Brand […]

  25. […] Chicken Waffle Tenders has ended its limited time run and it’s on to the next.  Popeyes today introduces new […]

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