Review: Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp from Popeyes

There are some fast food places that are just so consistently good that I can almost guarantee my satisfaction.  Popeyes rarely lets me down and on this day I’m happy to say I’ve got another smile on my face. I just tried the new Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp combo box and it reminded me that a great $5 fast food meal still exists.

Popeyes Cracked Pepper ShrimpPopeyes new Cracked Peppercorn Butterfly Shrimp is described like this:

Our premium, juicy, butterfly shrimp marinated in Louisiana seasonings cooked with a light and crispy sea salt and cracked pepper crust, served with regular fries and a biscuit

The combo box is priced at $4.99 and comes with 8 Butterfly Shrimp, fries, a biscuit, and Blackened Tartar Dipping Sauce.  When you think of all the “premium” fast food sandwiches being released these days around the 5-dollar mark, you’ll come to really appreciate how much food Popeyes stuffs into the combo box.

Cracked Pepper Shrimp PopeyesI reviewed Popeyes original Butterfly Shrimp Tackle Box over 5 years ago and in 2012 I covered Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp.  Both products earned high marks with me and Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp is right up there with them.  I’ll put the Cracked Pepper style a slightly above the original and slightly below Zatarain’s.  The reason why Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp doesn’t quite reach Zatarain’s is the seasoned crust not having quite the same punch of flavor.  Because the cracked peppercorn seasoning is applied too lightly to the breading to be a true standout, it wouldn’t be able to stand alone without dipping sauce as well as Zatarain’s.  With that said, the crust on the shrimp still has a great crunchy texture that stays delicate enough to complement the meaty shrimp. 

Blackened Tartar Sauce PopeyesPopeyes really knocks it out of the park with their dipping sauces and Blackened Tartar Sauce is another one to add to the stellar list.  This sauce complemented the shrimp really well and one dunk coats the shrimp perfectly.  It’s thick and creamy with spicy Cajun flavor hints of paprika, garlic, onion and vinegar.  Blackened Tartar Sauce is perfect for fried seafood like Cracked Peppercorn Butterfly Shrimp, but I think it’s good enough to go well with anything at Popeyes. 

Cracked Pepper Shrimp Popeyes collageThis combo box hit the spot with the accompaniment of Popeyes Cajun fries and buttermilk biscuit.  The value is solid if you can avoid paying nearly 2 bucks extra for the added drink.  Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp doesn’t have a lot of room for improvement because it does most everything right.  There was some minor disappointment that there wasn’t more noticeable impact from the peppercorn crust on the shrimp, but all was forgiven once Blackened Tartar Sauce entered the picture.

Pros: Great value for a combo. Meaty shrimp with excellent breading texture. Blackened Tartar Sauce.

Cons: Cracked peppercorn seasoned crust didn’t stand out enough. Closing in on 1000 calories for lunch.

Taste: 9.00/10
Value: 8.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Price: $4.99 for the combo box with fries and biscuit

Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10

More Info: http://www.popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
Not available, but as compared to the original Butterfly Shrimp + reg fries + biscuit + comparable dipping sauces you're looking at about 950 calories, 50 grams of fat, 19 grams of protein.
http://popeyes.com/menu/nutrition

11 comments on “Review: Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp from Popeyes

  1. Ryan says:

    Just noticed I actually got 9 shrimp. I think since one was kinda small, another small one was thrown in the mix.

  2. TJ says:

    Definitely pretty cool overall, I think they do a very nice job on shrimp and can’t complain about the biscuits. I would say their fries are a weak imitation of Rally’s offering, I’ll take KFC’s potato wedges over them any day, but maybe it’s just my location. Great review though.

    • Raiders757 says:

      Popeye’s is one of my favorite fast food chicken chains. That said, the one thing they don’t seem to do ten times better than KFC, is make a decent fried potato side. I always substitute fries for mashed potatoes instead. We have several Popeye’s locations in my area, and not a single one of them produce a decent french fry.

      • Sascha says:

        The few times I’ve had Popeyes, since they are not in near proximity to my house, I’ve had some of the best fast food fries in the business. Disappointing to hear they’re not a consistent potato.

      • TJ says:

        Yeah I can’t deny Popeyes does better chicken overall than KFC and the fact they have these cool shrimp deals once in a while takes it way over the top. I don’t think KFC is all bad though. Things I like at KFC:

        1. Chicken Littles. Even the new ones, it’s a decent if pricy snack and I like something simple with pickles.
        2. Most of the non-vegetable sides.. Okay I get it potatoes are a vegetable but I think it’s obvious what I mean
        3. I don’t think the strips or pot pies are that bad.. maybe not excellent but reasonable for something fast.
        4. Locally at least.. the service.. my KFC always asks if I want sauce, butter, honey etc. My Popeyes treats my like they just want me to get out of their way. But I’m sure that varies.

        The bone-in chicken is admittedly weak at KFC which is unfortunate, but at least they have a redeeming point or two.

  3. sortov says:

    This **** looks dumb good.

  4. Diane says:

    They’re pretty good and they’ve got a bit of spice to them due to the pepper I guess? But you know what? They didn’t give me that dipping sauce or any for that matter. I didn’t notice until I got home. I would definitely order this again and this time with the dipping sauce!

  5. scram says:

    I love Popeyes funky seafood offerings, like Zatarain’s and this. The shrimp was good but the Blackened Tartar sauce really knocked this meal out of the park. I couldn’t tell where the heat was coming from, the shrimp or sauce. Very good meal.

  6. ahecht says:

    I don’t know why Popeye’s keeps doing special dipping sauces on their promotional items if they can’t keep them in stock. With the Waffle Chicken they only had the maple sauce in stock about 25% of the time.

  7. thehottoddy23 says:

    Just tried this tonight… fantastic and a great value. Not to mention, they gave me 14 shrimp, and none of them were small! Lucky day I guess (doesn’t take much to make me happy as you can see). Definitely good stuff as per usual from Popeye’s.

  8. […] 9 out of 10? Shall I danger the prospect of getting hives? YOLO. (by way of Grub […]

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