Review: Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp from Popeyes

Popeyes has never failed me with their Butterfly Shrimp offerings.  The average overall score for the four I’ve reviewed so far comes out to nearly 9/10.  There’s the original Butterfly Shrimp 8.75/10 with Cocktail Sauce, Buttermilk Biscuit Butterfly Shrimp  8.25/10 with Blackened Tartar Dipping Sauce, Cracked Pepper Butterfly Shrimp 9.00/10 with Blackened Tartar Dipping Sauce, and my favorite… Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp  9.25/10 with Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce.  The newest flavor is Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp… let’s review.

Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp 1 Popeyes Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp comes with 8 Butterfly Shrimp in a Hushpuppy cornmeal crust and served with Cajun fries a biscuit and new Cajun Cocktail Dipping Sauce.  Like all the combo boxes that came before it, the latest is also priced at $4.99.

Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp 2For those unfamiliar with what a hushpuppy is, it’s basically a fried or baked cornbread ball that you’re likely to find as a side item at seafood or barbecue restaurants (sometimes Arby’s).  It’s a popular food in the American South so it’s right up Popeyes’ alley.  Kind of hard to believe hushpuppies aren’t a standard side dish at Popeyes, but I guess Louisiana isn’t far east enough.  A little background on my taste; I love cornbread, but I just like hushpuppies.  I’ve always found the sweetness of the cornmeal to be lost in the hushpuppies I’ve had.  If the sweet flavor of the cornmeal is lost in the cooking process, there’s likely going to be a need to dip my hushpuppy in a sauce.  A big identifiable characteristic of hushpuppies is that golden brown crust and I’m always hoping there’s a soft cornmeal center that doesn’t get dried out or overwhelmed by the crust (it usually does).  With new Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp, my worry is that this is a cornmeal crust coating shrimp so what are the chances of finding that sweetness?  The crispness of the crust is important, it’s just that the crust of a hushpuppy doesn’t usually hold the bulk of the corn flavor.

Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp 3I’m happy to say the crust on my Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp was exceptional.  It’s a thick, crisp crust and it tastes like a hushpuppy… a good one at that.  In the frying process there can sometimes be an overwhelming taste of cooking oil that gets in the way of the cornmeal batter and that didn’t happen here.  There’s a little hint of corn sweetness to get that hushpuppy flavor without taking away from the fact that it’s just a coating for the shrimp.  The breading also has some spicy kick from the traditional Cajun spices Popeyes uses so there’s a balance of peppery heat and cornmeal sweetness. Although the crust is thick and uneven in some spots, it doesn’t take away from the meaty shrimp.  The new Cajun Cocktail Dipping Sauce is your standard cocktail sauce but a little spicier.  So you’ve got the typical tomato paste, horseradish, worcestershire sauce concoction with some more impact from accompanying ingredients like paprika.

Hushpuppy Shrimp CollageOn the cost side of things, Popeyes is known for great value with their LTO combo boxes so there’s no mystery this is a great value.  Eight shrimp, a load of fries and a biscuit for $4.99.  I got lucky and scored 9 shrimp instead of 8.  This is the promo price of just the food so if you add a drink, the value drops as the total price closes in around $7.  It was hard to find something to gripe about with this meal.  I’m rating Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp high and right about on average with the Butterfly Shrimp line of products that came before it.

Pros: Awesome value. Meaty shrimp with thick, crunchy cornmeal batter crust. Breading replicates the hushpuppy flavor well.

Cons: Around 1000 calories for lunch.

Taste: 9.25/10
Value: 8.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10

More Info: popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
not available

22 comments on “Review: Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp from Popeyes

  1. ruckus says:

    sounds really good!

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    interesting, the idea of this didn’t seem very appealing to me. Though imo even when Popeyes tries random or uninspired new things, they’re still at least as good as their usual standard.

  3. scram says:

    Ryan, I think you secretly work at Popeyes. Your reviews of their food are always glowing. I’m at the point where I don’t even need to read your writeup, because I know it’s always going to be a 9-10 on your rating scale. I love ya bro, but not every Popeye’s LTO is a winner. lol

    • Ryan says:

      IMO they’re just consistently very good. I thought Beer Can Chicken was just average, but beyond that, they put out solid grub. I don’t secretly work for Popeyes but I secretly wish for them to release a really bad LTO to break up the monotony.

      • scram says:

        lol. I’m just messin’ with you man. I like Popeyes, but some of their LTO’S are “meh”. I thought their Buttermilk Biscuit Shrimp was nothing special. I actually liked their Beer Can Chicken breading/flavor, but hated the Cayenne sauce.

    • Justin ST says:

      I completely agree, scram.

  4. cs says:

    Scram, what do you expect? If he has had good experiences with most of Popeye’s LTO’s, then either he has an acquired taste for Popeye’s or the food is just that good. Either way, he gives what appears to be an honest opinion and a good review of everything he does. Without him, we would have hardly any reviews here. So, you can either make your own reviews or just deal with the fact that everyone has preferences in flavor and Popeye’s just might rub him the right way. It’s okay Ryan, I love popeye’s too.

  5. […] “It was hard to find something to gripe about with this meal.” (via Grub Grade) […]

  6. KFCisforphilistines says:

    Not a shocker that the pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar champ delivers again.

    • SPM79 says:

      This is one of their specials, order off of the regular menu at the those prices and they are hardly the dollar for dollar champ

  7. Beefonstick says:

    I think this was their best tasting shrimp style to date. And like you said, a suprisingly true to title flavor profile.
    It was available at my local store as a surf and turf combo with drink $6.59, thats a damn good value.

  8. JJJ says:

    It looks like you get a decent amount of food with this. Their last LTO, the smoky garlic chicken, seemed a bit lean to me, since you only got 4 pieces and they weren’t very big.

  9. Brent says:

    Can’t wait to try this out. Popeye’s has been killing it with their LTOs for some time now. Glad Popeye’s recently expanded into our area. The only sad thing is that this means the Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken is no longer available, and that was easily one of the best fast food chicken tender meals I have had.

  10. Michael says:

    I agree, Popeyes in my area isn’t as good. Last time I went on a review recommendation, the fries were soggyish and the chicken, fish were just alright.

    But these reviews always sound amazing. And everyone has their own experience. Plus for me, you have expectations going in. And a low price can also make things taste more delicious.

    • Ryan says:

      Definitely agree on the price thing. Ever since I started GrubGrade 6 years ago, Popeyes has consistently offered hefty combo boxes at either $3.99 or $4.99 while most other places seem to be all over the place with their LTO prices. I wonder how much longer Popeyes can keep these prices unchanged.

  11. Michael says:

    $5 Footlong still destroys me. I can’t imagine going to Subway and paying more because that campaign was so successful.
    I know prices go up. I just don’t care because it always was $5, even if it was years ago.

    • JJJ says:

      What, $5 six inces aren’t doing it for you?
      Huzzah! Jack in the box tacos are still 2/$1 though.

    • TJ says:

      I thought admitting liking Subway at all on this site was like saying you’re subhuman. I tend to agree, that was a good price point for them, it gets harder to justify still going there when their prices become similar to other sandwich shops.

  12. scram says:

    I tried this today, and “terrible” may be too harsh a term, but it was very underwhelming. This is probably my least favorite LTO of theirs.
    There was a miniscule amount of hushpuppy flavor, it might as well have been a fart in the wind. I thought the breading had a bland flavor, and there was such a piddling amount of shrimp, which were very small. At $4.99, for a biscuit, a side, and tiny shrimp, it was definitely not worth it. I love Popeye’s Zatarain Shrimp, so I’m not trolling here by bashing their lastest offering, in case anyone thinks that.
    It wasn’t a total loss. I still enjoyed my red beans and rice, which I love.

  13. Janice says:

    I was excited to try these because I really like their popcorn shrimp and love a good hush puppy. These, however, were AWFUL. Hard outer coating with no flavor and tiny shrimp.

  14. Tori says:

    These biscuits Are So Good. Use mima will cry.

  15. mike MD says:

    My shrimp was overcooked which may or may not be indicative of other reviewer’s experience. But for me, that ruined the dish.

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