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Restaurant Admits to Serving Popeyes Fried Chicken After Getting Called Out on Yelp

popeyes chicken
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

When it comes to controversy-courting fast food brands, Popeyes typically floats above its hyper-tweeting competitors like Wendy's. But the beloved chain found itself embroiled in a bizarre saga this week after a California restaurant was accused of disguising Popeyes fried chicken as its own, sparking a longwinded melodrama that largely unraveled online. 

But on Wednesday, the Long Beach, California restaurant, Sweet Dixie Chicken, admitted to selling Popeyes chicken and toying with the palettes of its clientele. In a since-deleted Facebook post, the restaurant vehemently defended the practice of serving re-heated Popeyes. Eater managed to capture the statement though, which somewhat proudly claims: "We use a ready made chicken -- and always have -- even before we decided to go with a certain chain as opposed to a food distributor brand fried chicken." 

There's nothing like transparency. 

The controversy, which came to bear the annoying title "Popeyegate," started when a Yelp reviewer named Tyler H. posted a scathing takedown of the restaurant's underhanded tactics earlier this month. A food media pile-on ensued after Tyler accused the restaurant of sneaking Popeyes into its kitchen and selling it for an elevated price point. A chicken and biscuits dish was $13, according to a report by Food & Wine.

The whole thing is made even more bizarre by claims on the restaurant's website, which trumpet the practice of cooking from scratch and adhering to the strict standards of traditional country cooking. There's no indication that Sweet Dixie Kitchen has plans to change its ways, but judging by the barrage of angry reviews currently swarming its Yelp page, it might be a decent plan to never set foot in a Popeyes again. 

[h/t Food + Wine]

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster
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