I’m a fried chicken junkie.
I’ve been trying to go to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen since the chain opened its first restaurant in Snohomish County in December. But every time I’d head down Evergreen Way, instead I’d go to Kentucky Fried Chicken, which consistently delivers my fix.
Finally, on a dark and rainy evening, I said no to the colonel and turned into Popeyes (which, by the way, is named after a movie detective character, not the animated spinach-eating sailor man).
A line of a dozen cars snaked through the sole drive-thru lane and it was hard to navigate a parking space. When I finally made it inside there was a line of about a dozen people. I was tempted to bail for KFC, but stuck it out. I was at the counter in five minutes. Too soon, really, as I still hadn’t decided what to order from the alluring menu board of chicken, fried shrimp, biscuits and sides.
A polite order clerk helped me decide. I chose the 10-piece meal ($26.99) with large sides of rice and beans and Cajun fries, and two “tackle” boxes ($5 each) of eight butterfly shrimp with small sides of macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy.
He rang up my order and told me I was a “special guest.”
Me, a special guest? I walked away smiling and smugly took a seat among others waiting in the bright, pleasant dining room with tables, booths and a TV.
I felt honored. That is, until I heard the lady at the pick-up counter call out orders that were ready for “special guest 267.” Then “special guest 268” and ….
OK, so everybody is a special guest.
My special guest number was called soon and the pick-up lady handed me a bag of orange boxes.
Backing up to get out of the parking lot was difficult. A worker taking out the trash noticed my distress and stepped in to guide me, in the rain. I was impressed with the friendly service inside and now this guy, who made a special effort to help me.
I came home and announced to my family, “I’m a special guest.”
Then I discovered my two large sides were not in the bag.
We made do with the chicken and two small sides.
“It has crispier skin than KFC,” my son said.
“It’s juicy, not oily,” said my daughter-in-law, who is from Japan where, oddly enough, a bucket of KFC fried chicken is the traditional Christmas celebration dish. “The spice is just right.”
My baby granddaughter expressed via body language that the mashed potatoes were finger-licking good (to steal a phrase from KFC).
The mac and cheese was creamy and savory. The flaky biscuits were tasty.
The next day I went back to Popeyes for two reasons: 1. Buy more chicken, because it was so good I wanted it for dinner again. 2. Get my sides. I really wanted to try the rice and beans for this story.
I showed the cashier my receipt for $36.35 and told him about my two missing sides, which were listed on the bill.
“Did you call?” he asked.
Never occurred to me.
He said he’d have to get manager approval to give me my sides.
The manager came to the counter and I repeated my plea for sides that weren’t put in my $36 bag of food.
“Did you call?” she asked.
I said the place was super busy. She said I should have called anyway. “They keep a log book,” she said.
She said she’d give the sides to me, “This time.”
It was worth the trip back. The chicken was excellent. The rice and beans were delicious. My husband loved the Cajun fries.
I’ll go back again. If they forget my sides, I’ll call.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com.
If you go
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, 6504 Evergreen Way, Everett; 425-512-8881; www.popeyes.com.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Don’t miss: Fried chicken. Cajun fries. Red beans and rice.