TASTE

A SoCal Brunch Spot Was Caught Using Popeyes Chicken In Its Dishes

"We saw them quickly bring in two large boxes to the kitchen."

10/19/2017 17:38 EDT

One trendy restaurant is bringing a whole new meaning to the term “sourced locally.”

Sweet Dixie Kitchen, a highly-rated brunch spot in Long Beach, California, is taking heat after a Yelp reviewer outed them for using Popeyes fried chicken in their dishes.

Local blog FoodBeast first posted the news after spotting a review from Yelp user Tyler H.

“Before my friends and I got seated we saw them quickly bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen,” Tyler wrote last week. ”...I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken. After checking he admitted that they do in fact use Popeyes.”

Yelpcom

The restaurant’s owner responded on Yelp, saying they “proudly serve Popeyes spicy tenders” in their chicken and waffles and chicken and biscuit dishes.

“We’ve always let it be known that we serve Popeyes,” supervisor Devon Lee told HuffPost, saying the fast food chain’s name doesn’t appear on Sweet Dixie’s menu because of copyright laws. 

The eatery reportedly bragged about using Popeyes on Instagram and Facebook, though their Insta account has been turned private and their Facebook page says “this content isn’t available right now.”

Controversy aside, the fried chicken meals do look pretty delicious. 

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Sweet Dixie has been open for four years but has only serving fried chicken for about two months, Lee said, adding that the restaurant doesn’t have a deep fryer because it’s located in a historic building with residents living above. Getting city approval to install a deep fryer could take years, and getting the proper fan systems to accommodate the residents would cost at least $75,000, she added. 

“People came in all the time asking about fried foods, because when you come to a Southern restaurant that’s what you expect on the menu,” she said. ”[Popeyes] was the easiest and best option, because Popeyes chicken is actually really good.”

Since the news came out, Yelp users have complained about paying $12.95 for Sweet Dixie’s chicken and biscuits when it’s really just Popeyes (which, to be fair, often wins out in taste tests of fast-food fried chicken, but costs $5.99 for five tenders, according to a worker at a local franchise). Lee said Sweet Dixie’s homemade biscuit and coleslaw, its tomato jam and the time it takes to order and pick up Popeyes from “around the corner” are worth the price.

She said Sweet Dixie plans to cite Popeyes on their menu, but is waiting on approval from the local franchise first. For now, she said, waiters are telling customers who order fried chicken that it isn’t fried in-house, so they can choose something else if they want.

The Popeyes where Sweet Dixie buys its chicken is less than a mile away. A worker at the location declined to comment and told HuffPost to contact Popeyes’s corporate office, which has yet to respond to a request for comment. 

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