Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Popeye's Caper

We'd considered going to the Morelia en Boca 2011 affair, but family matters took us to the U.S. 

We were compensated with a flying visit to a favorite fast food spot at Houston International Airport. When we lived in Little Rock, AR, I’d visited Popeye’s Fried Chicken on a few occasions for chicken and buttermilk biscuits.

But at that time I was not a big fan of the local Popeye's. Once, while heading home from work, I wanted to buy some biscuits only, but the counter person couldn't figure out how to do that.

On a previous trip from Morelia to Houston Airport, we arrived early and nearly the first food place we saw was Popeye’s. An order of freshly cooked Chicken Tenders, a hot biscuit and a side of mashed potatoes with Cajun Gravy looked to be just the thing; and it did hit the spot.

On our recent trip, we were rushed heading north but had plenty of time coming back. We definitely wanted some Popeye’s chicken.

Problem was, we weren’t sure where Popeye’s was located. We left Terminal C and took the Terminal Link train to Terminal B. There’s a food court at the hub, including Chile’s, Harlon's BBQ (just fair) Panchito's, a Tex-Mex place, McDonald’s, Shipley’s Donuts (a Little Rock favorite as well), and best of all, a Peet’s Coffee; but no Popeye’s.

It was then that Sra. Cuevas mentioned that we’d passed a Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen back in Terminal C, but she'd thought it was some knock off of the real thing. We contemplated the nearby dining options, few of which appealed. But as we had over 3 hours until our connecting flight, we decided to retrace our steps through the maze to Popeye’s.

Our cave exploring experiences served us well. We sniffed out the trail to the Terminal Link Train, and before long, after passing the notable Echo Dome Junction, we found Popeye’s with little difficulty. It’s behind a Z’Pizza and some juice joint.

This time, we got the Spicy Tenders, as modest 3 piece traveler’s combos, powerfully seasoned with cayenne, and the Mashed Potatoes with Spicy Cajun Gravy (lots of black pepper). They included a side (mashed, what else?) and a medium soft drink. (Dr. Pepper, a weird soft drink originating in the American South, but appropriate accompaniment to certain foods.)

While the meal was satisfactory, it didn’t quite rise to the level of that first meal. In fact, the spicing level contributed to a later digestive malaise. But I don’t blame Popeye’s. I could have ordered differently.

But we’d return. We’d just get the Regular Tenders, or maybe, try the regular chicken on the bone.

(If your companion doesn’t like Popeye’s, there’s a Subway immediately adjacent.)

(Suggested dessert, if you are still hungry: a Shipley’s Donut and a cup of Peet’s Brewed Coffee. Peet’s is great! Good tables in the Food Court near Shipley’s, and there’s wi-fi, but it’s paid. If you subscribe to Boingo, you’ll connect.)

For more info on Houston International Airport, visit


Food: ***1/2
Service: ***
Ambiance: Noisy and crowded at peak times
Price: (in dollars): $+ Our 3 piece combos ran about $8 each, with tax.
Cleanliness: Acceptable.


Anonymous said...

Popeye's biscuits are spectacular.

-- Felipe

Tancho said...

Oh,Oh, Popeye's? And a food gourmand like yourself?
Soriana carries Dr Pepper but it gets sold out quite often. Dr. Pepper and Moxie are one of my favorites. I sometime am able to snatch up the syrup and mix my own, because of the rarity of the product.
Chicken Tenders, isn't that made from parts of the chicken that are not identifiable?

Steve Cotton said...

"Powerfully seasoned." I like that. About as southern as can be.

Don Cuevas said...

Felipe: Popeye's biscuits are of the short, flaky type and are very good. I made some Angel biscuits at home this week. They are the light, ethereal typpe, and also very good.

Tancho: good food is where you find it. I like to believe that chicken tenders are made from only the finest selected cuts of breasts of specially bred and raised chickens.

Steve: I love spicy food, but as I get older, it doesn't agree with me as it once did.