Review: Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp from Popeyes

Popeyes gets a lot of love here at GrubGrade.  Just take a look at our Review Rundown and you’ll see a bunch of Popeyes menu items gracing the upper portion of the list. Among the biggest winners are Dip’n Chick’n, which was graded a 9.00/10 (mmm, Blackened Ranch Dipping Sauce…), Rip’n Chick’n received a 9.00/10 (crazy looking, but tasty), and Wicked Chicken also claimed a very strong 9.00/10 (who doesn’t love a mini bottle of Tabasco?).  While the chicken is sure to get lots of love, the seafood also is impressive at Popeyes and Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp is just the latest to win my affection.

Popeyes describes their new Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp like this:

Zatarain’s zesty New Orleans seasoning and Popeyes’ authentic Louisiana cooking come together with Popeyes Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp!

In 2009 I did a review of Popeyes Butterfly Shrimp and gave it a solid 8.75/10 GrubGrade score.  With the new Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp, you’ve got most of the same, but with a couple of welcomed improvements to bump the score to officially be my favorite and highest reviewed menu item at Popeyes.

As is obvious by the name, Popeyes teamed up with New Orlean’s based food and spice company Zatarain’s to give the already tasty Popeyes Butterfly Shrimp a new zesty flavor that should have most shrimp lovers hooked.  Everything about the shrimp remains the same except for the seasoning of the cornmeal breading which gets an added kick of flavors from Zatarain’s.  What you get from the Zatarain’s seasoning is a peppery blend with hints of onion/garlic and above all a tangy punch of lemon.  Everything is coated evenly and the crust really hugs the shrimp nicely.  Also a new addition to accompany the shrimp is Lemon Garlic dipping sauce, which I now want to dip everything in (try it with your Cajun fries).  It was great to have a dipping sauce that wasn’t another ranch variant or boring cocktail sauce.  The Lemon Garlic sauce complemented everything that flavored the shrimp breading and raises the bar in terms of dipping sauce.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of the same with this box of grub that you’re used to from Popeyes combo boxes… and that’s not a bad thing.  For $4.99 you get a complete meal of 8 Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp, a heap of Cajun battered fries and a buttermilk biscuit.  Popeyes is smart to promote their combo meals without a drink to keep the price range normally in the $3.99-$4.99 area.  If you do grab a drink, (Peach Sweet Iced Tea is legit btw), you’re looking at a hefty upcharge and your fairly priced $4.99 filling box of deliciousness will turn into around 7 bucks in a flash.  Just a word of warning.

No drumroll and surprise on this one.  Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp is awesome and a welcomed addition to the Popeyes menu.  Although only available for a limited time, I hope that the partnership of Zatarain’s and Popeyes brings forth a bevy of new tasty concoctions to keep me happy.  I was already a fan of the regular Butterfly Shrimp box at Popeyes and with the Zatarain’s version, it will be hard to go back.  Here’s hoping this becomes the new standard.

Pros: Zatarain's seasoning. Amazing Lemon Garlic dipping sauce... dip everything in it! Filling meal for a fair $4.99.

Cons: Shrimp tails. The price of drinks.

Taste: 9.50/10
Value: 8.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Price: $4.99 for the combo box with Cajun fries and a buttermilk biscuit

Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10

More Info: Popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
Not available, but this greasy box of grub can't be good for you. 7-mile run at least and all is forgiven.

12 comments on “Review: Zatarain’s Butterfly Shrimp from Popeyes

  1. JF says:

    I’m not big on seafood, but I do like shrimp. Preferably popcorn, coconut or just breaded and fried.

    This looked appealing, and I love Popeye’s so I am sure I will give this try in the next week or so.

    Thanks Ryan, for the great review. I didn’t see how they could go wrong here and if I didn’t have dinner already I would run out and get some!

    And the dipping sauce sounds awesome as well. I hope I can get enough to try with the shrimp and the fries.

    I usually go for the cajun mashed potatoes, but I love thier fries too (close 2nd to McDonalds) but your comments want me to get the fries and hopefully extra dipping sauce to try them on the fires.

  2. M86 says:

    I’m lucky enough to have a Popeye’s just under 2 miles from where I live… Although I rarely eat there. I think I’m going to skip cooking dinner tomorrow night!

    • M86 says:

      Also wanted to add: I wish they’d update their website with their new products. If you click through the menu, it doesn’t list everything.

  3. ljay says:

    Yeah, I’m in for a Popeyes run on Sunday. Every time I eat their catfish or shrimp I’m pleasantly surprised at how well they do both.

    (But I must say that a local FF place called Wishbones Famous Chicken Fingers and Wings does catfish just a bit better)

  4. Chefprotoss says:

    Hmmm… well now I know I want some Popeyes today. But should I snag this instead of my beloved spicy fried chicken thighs? Either way, mash with Cajun gravy will be involved haha

  5. Alex says:

    Wish they had a Popeye’s near me, because I’d try these in a second…

  6. Biff McGee says:

    This country needs more Popeye’s and less KFC’s! My nearest location is 2 hours away. :(

  7. Mike N. says:

    You must be making Justin at animmovablefeast jealous! He got cheated out of his lemon garlic dipping sauce and thus has sworn to never go to Popeyes again: http://animmovablefeast.blogspot.com/2012/06/popeyes-zatarains-butterfly-shrimp-my.html

  8. AwkwardMoment says:

    Tried it yesterday… was disappointed: hard as a rock and the breading lacked kick.

  9. JF says:

    I had this for dinner tonight and thought it was great. I never had their regular butterfly shrimp before, so can’t really compare these to their normal ones. I’m not sure if they are supposed to have a spicy taste, but at least to me I didn’t notice any hint of spice.

    The size of the shrimp and the breading was just right. And the sauce was great too (and yes, even as a dipping sauce for the fries).

    If you’re a fan of Popeye’s shrimp, I’d definately recommend these if only for the sauce.

  10. Lauren says:

    I went to Popeyes to try this yesterday and i was given the regular butterfly shrimp. The guy actually argued with me and said they were zatarans. Unbelieveable!!! A phone call was placed to their customer hotline.

    • JF says:

      Just curious, how did you know they weren’t Zatarains? I only ask as I never had their regular butterfly shrimp, but in an earlier comment I posted, if there was supposed to be some kind of spice or kick to them, I didn’t notice any. So now wondering if I may have gotten the regular ones.

      Either way they were good, and sorry they gave you such a hard time. Popeye’s is probably the only FF place I can think of that I never had a problem with an order.

  11. pasu says:

    Nice review. As you said, it’s hard to go back to the regular butterfly shrimp after trying the zatarain’s butter shrimp. Now that Popeyes no longer sell it, I really wish it will sell it again soon.