LONG BEACH, Calif. — One California restaurant took the slogan “Love that chicken from Popeyes” quite literally after a Yelp reviewer accused the establishment of using the popular Louisiana kitchen’s chicken in several of its dishes.
Tyler H. called out Sweet Dixie Kitchen, a “southern inspired” restaurant in California, in a scathing Yelp review on Oct. 9.
Here’s the review:
“Before my friends and I got seated we saw them quickly bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen. I wanted to believe that this was just a snack for the workers, but alas it was not. I ordered the Chicken and Waffles to see whether or not they were serving Popeyes to their customers. I thought the chicken tasted suspiciously like Popeyes and was also rather stale. I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken. After checking he admitted that they do in fact use Popeyes.”
Sweet Dixie Kitchen owner Kim Sanchez responded to the review, saying the restaurant “proudly serves Popeyes’ spicy tenders.” She continued to say Popeyes has the “best fried chicken anywhere.”
“We promote usually small batch local producers in our menu,” she wrote. “The exception is Popeyes – we can’t fry at this location – and it the fried chicken I love so much and I ate a ton of it in the ATL. So I serve it.”
Sanchez told Fox News that she started using Popeyes chicken two months ago and claims she’s been upfront about it ever since.
“We wrote it on our board in the restaurant, ‘Imported from Louisiana this week, thank you Popeyes.’ It wasn’t a secret. We use the chicken as an ingredient in a menu item we made, we don’t use their sauces or anything else,” she said.
Sanchez posted on Facebook Tuesday morning a strongly worded response to people questioning her decision (the post has since been deleted). The post said:
“The owner of Sweet Dixie has a message to share with all our customers.On our menu- roughly 95% is house made- starting with a potato lets say- which we cut, season and cook- and make potato salad. We make quiche- as in crack each egg and measure spices and cream, and I put it in a pie crust that was made elsewhere (isn’t made here) We use the best product I can buy to make the items on the menu- some of them again, come from other companies, vendors, establishments just like any other place you eat at. Because that’s how the chicken works too. 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.Your local coffee place in Long Beach maybe selling you (does sell actually) Rossmore pastry or Babettes pastry and breads you had that lunch sandwich on and if you ask where it comes from they tell you- but it isn’t on their menu. We have sold biscuits to places and those places used them as their ‘made from scratch’ biscuits. Integrity- despite this wave of ‘Popeyegate’, is what my food is about – no matter what you want to say. I outsource very few items. Outsourcing is when a restaurant brings in a fully cooked or ready made product which if you count all the frozen things Sysco provides to pop in an oven and serve, is alot. The things we say we make from scratch, we do and that is most of what we serve. We always have said where we get the things we don’t make here- who ever is claiming we didn’t isn’t being honest. And we have never claimed we make each and every item. We do use some ready to go products as ingredients for items on our menu.The yelp person was not only told where we source our chicken from, when he said he didn’t like it, we bought his meal. As for ‘plastering it on the menu’, we don’t, just like every other place you eat – that doesn’t mean it isn’t transparent- we don’t list the ready made Kielbasa or hot links or puff pastry or pie shells or baguette- I could go on – because we bring the items in- ready made- and then use them as ingredients in a dish – like the chicken – and make something that is then made here – an original dish we thought up- like the chicken slider with a head of cabbage we grated to make the wasabi cole slaw and the raw tomatoes we cooked down for 3 hours to make the tomato jam and flour that went into a mixer and became a biscuit and the chicken we bring in to put with all that.And we charge for the ingredients and labor that goes into that dish. We will continue our business the same way we have always done- honest that we make nearly all from scratch, saying what we do make from scratch, and when we can’t, we will use the second best thing available to us. And we will be glad to let you know which is which- just like we always have.”