It’s just a chicken sandwich. How good could it be?
That’s the question many Canadians have been asking for the last month, amid the viral United States-only craze over the new Popeyes chicken sandwich.
August saw several over-the-top headlines like “The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is Here to Save America,” and “The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is a Masterpiece,” after the sandwich launched to viral fanfare on Aug. 12. The sandwich is completely sold out in the U.S. now, and Popeyes has not announced any plans to bring it to Canada.
So it must be pretty good. But is it worth risking a criminal record?
Obviously, the answer is no.
However, police say a group of customers — including a man with a gun — stormed a Popeyes Chicken restaurant in Houston, Texas, on Monday night to demand the sold-out sandwich. Three women, two men and a baby tried to get into the restaurant’s drive-thru window and even threatened the employees with a gun, witnesses told ABC13.
The group didn’t get into the restaurant and no one was injured, but police are investigating the case and looking for witnesses or footage that might help them identify the man with the gun.
“It was more of an aggravated assault because he was displaying a weapon and threatened employees,” said Lt. Larry Crowson of Houston Police.
Popeyes ran out of the sandwiches last week and people have been losing their collective minds over it.
In Chattanooga, Tenn., one man is now suing the company for alleged “false” advertising because the sandwiches are sold out. The man also blames Popeyes for damage his car sustained when he drove to a Craigslist user’s house to buy one of the leftover sandwiches for $25. He found out when he got there that it was a hoax.
“I can’t get happy. I have this sandwich on my mind,” Craig Barr, of Chattanooga, told the Times Free Press. “I can’t think straight. It just consumes you.”
Popeyes encouraged fans last week to download its app in order to get up-to-the-minute notifications on when the sandwiches may become available again.
Celebrity DJ Diplo got a taste of the otherwise unobtainable sandwiches at Burning Man this weekend, and he was quick to brag about it on social media.
“Popeye’s heard I wanted to try their sandwich so they sent me some in a jet,” he wrote on Sunday. “Wendy’s, your move.”
The sandwich has sparked a so-called “Chicken War” on social media, where many Americans have spent their summer comparing Popeyes’ new sandwich to alternatives such as Wendy’s, KFC and Chick-Fil-A.
The Popeyes recipe is deceptively simple. It’s a breaded Popeyes chicken filet on a brioche bun with pickles and spicy or regular mayo, depending on your preference. Aside from the fillet, you could probably make it at home.
The company is still trying to keep up with demand for the sandwich in the U.S., and has not announced any plans to roll it out in Canada.
“Do y’all get tired of people tweeting you about the new chicken sandwich on every post?” one user wrote to Popeyes Canada on Twitter.
“We never get tired of how passionate our fans are about chicken,” Popeyes Canada replied.
The account has been flooded with requests for the new sandwich, and it always issues the same reply: “This sandwich is currently only stateside but we will let our team know there is interest!”
All the buzz has started to wane over the last week with a flurry of stories declaring the Popeyes sandwich overrated.
The controversy is perhaps best summed up in one tweet from Twitter user @cHolidaydds.
“There’s nothing more American than being divided over something,” the user wrote. “This week it’s a chicken sandwich.”