11 Secrets You Never Knew About Poppies – Eat This

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen may have its roots in the South, but it has become a fried chicken favorite with everyone. That signature orange logo is a beacon for fried food lovers everywhere, where you know you’ll always find well-executed comfort food brimming with Cajun flavors. Of course, like every chain restaurant, it’s worth noting a few secrets and hacks—if for no other reason than to keep expectations realistic or save a few bucks. Before you bite into that fried chicken sandwich, read up on the secrets at Popeyes Restaurant You Rather Didn’t Know. Plus, 11 Secrets of Arabic You Shouldn’t Know.

Poppies Spicy 3
Kelly Roberts / Eat This, Not That!

Look, if you’re craving fast food you know you’re getting into a high-calorie situation, but the famous Spicy Chicken Sandwich contains 700 calories and 1,473 milligrams of sodium. The FDA recommends you eat no more than 2,300 US sodium meals a day.

buffet fried food

Apparently, at one time, many Popeyes places actually had all-you-can-eat buffets. They have been tragically phased out over the years. The last man standing in Lafayette, LA was made famous by Anthony Bourdain, who ate at the location for three straight days while enjoying the $8.99 price tag. Sadly, according to Eater, the location is still there but didn’t survive the buffet epidemic.

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Poppies Cajun Sprinkle
Kelly Roberts / Eat This, Not That!

Skipping fried foods but missing all the flavors? Ask for the chain’s Cajun sparkle spice, which is used on tots and some fried chicken, and placed behind the counter, according to Mashable. The Cajun sparkle, which contains garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne and black pepper, tastes savory and spicy and really elevates the chain’s grilled options—it’s also good for anything fried!

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Poppies Ghost Pepper Wings
Courtesy of Popeyes

“One of the hallmarks of Popeye’s chicken is the amount of flavor we get from marination, whether it’s a sandwich fillet, a fried chicken piece, or a tenderloin,” Amy Alarcon, head of culinary innovation for Popeyes, told Forbes. Follow her recipe for roast chicken, then fry it in very hot oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable shortening or peanut oil.

Popeyes Exterior
Courtesy of Popeyes

You might think that Popeyes was named for a cartoon character, but founder Al Copeland was a fan of the classic film The French Connection, and Popeye was a character played by Doyle Gene Hackman. Copeland reportedly just liked the character’s style!

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Popeyes Interior

Although the name of the restaurant reads as proprietary, there is not an apostrophe anywhere. As Thrillist reports, Copeland joked that he was “very poor” when he started, and later, even after the restaurant’s huge growth, he kept the branding consistent.

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Poppies Chicken Sandwich Combo
Bill G. / Yelpie

According to Thrillist, a few years ago, Popeyes made news nationwide for spending $43 million to buy his secret recipe for fried chicken. Even though Copeland relinquished control of the company in 1992, he was charging an annual royalty fee of $3.1 million for using the recipes to the chain. Now, Poppies still has to pay the Copeland estate for the spices, but they got their hands on the recipes.

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Popeye's Kitchen
Kelvin NH/Yelpie

Poppies’ bright orange sign signifies many resting places across America, but don’t get your hopes up for a chicken sandwich when you see that sign late at night. We’re not sure why, but most relaxation areas Popeye’s offer an abridged menu, as people have noted on Reddit and TripAdvisor, and for some states, like Maine, those are the only places.

RELATED: 6 Secrets Popeye Employees Don’t Want You to Know

Poppies Cajun Fries
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen / Facebook

While most fast food places do not offer gravy, Popeyes does offer gravy on their mashed potatoes. Just order whatever size fries you want, and nicely ask for a side of gravy. Add your spicy Cajun fries (or dip, do you) and there you have it, disco fries!

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Poppies Blackened Chicken Tenders
Courtesy of Popeyes

Yes, Popeyes is always a little extra, and they went on top for their 3,000th store opening, Eater reports. In 2018, in just four places, they smothered their boneless chicken wings in champagne before tossing in a bunch of 24-karat gold – for the low price of $5!

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It’s probably the best benefit ever, Beyonce apparently has access to an endless supply of poppies. “Wherever I went, people would buy me Poppies like fans, and Poppies listened, so they gave me a lifetime membership,” the singer told Oprah in 2003. The singer confessed at the time that she was too embarrassed to use the card.

A previous version of this article was originally published on December 25, 2021.

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