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.
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.
For 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.
I’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.
On 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.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10
More Info: popeyes.com