SEVEN: the coleslaw. Fast food creamy coleslaw is always, always the worst thing, you guys. Like, creamy coleslaw is already pretty bad – if you need an excuse to eat sour cream, maybe you can just tell people your doctor said you need to eat it or you’ll die, you’d have more dignity that way – but fast food creamy coleslaw is never anything else than gross. If you put this next to KFC’s creamy coleslaw you would not be able to tell the difference. I think there is just one factory that makes all the fast food creamy coleslaw in the world and they, like, freeze it into giant bricks, and then the individual restaurants just chip off some of the coleslaw brick and let it thaw out each day.
SIX: the Cajun fries. They’re just spicy fries, and they’re not even good spicy fries, because good spicy fries are good on at least one of two levels: either they are really nice and spicy or they are really good fries with spice on them. Popeye’s fries are White Person Spicy (i.e. they are not really spicy at all, unless you think onion powder counts as a spice) and they are kinda stringy and not good fries in the “yes, this is definitely some nice fried potato” sense. Chicken places never have good fries so I’m not really surprised by this. I think the angry souls of the chickens have something to do with it. The reason McDonald’s fries are good is probably because McDonald’s “chicken” isn’t actually chicken. Or maybe they converted to McWorship, those chickens. (Coming soon to a church near you. McWorship: all the spirituality in one-fifth the time! The prayer you need for your busy schedule.)
FIVE: the green beans. They actually don’t do the green beans in Canada but I had them once in America and they are not particularly good, but on the other hand you’re eating green beans in a fast food restaurant and that is definitely something of a novelty, and green beans don’t really go below “eh” unless they are burned to a cinder, so you can do worse. Of course, the reason they aren’t that good is because Popeyes decided – probably not incorrectly – that people wouldn’t eat green beans when they go get fast food, so they smothered them in really bad bacon. Actually I just looked at Popeye’s website and it’s not even real bacon, it’s turkey bacon, that is like counterfeit bacon to people who care about bacon. (I don’t really care about bacon.)
FOUR: the mac and cheese. It’s not bad at all. It’s mass-produced mac and cheese. It’s better than Kraft Dinner, but it’s not proper mac and cheese, but you knew coming in this wasn’t going to be proper mac and cheese anyway so what are you complaining about? You probably eat pizza with a fork, don’t you, Mister Special. Anyway, when you pour some of Popeye’s hot sauce on the mac and cheese it becomes quite good, because Popeye’s has decent hot sauce and decent hot sauce makes any mac and cheese nice. And besides I like Kraft Dinner.
THREE: the mashed potatoes and gravy. The mashed potatoes are above-average fast food mashed potatoes in that they actually appear to have been real potatoes at one point, but nobody gets this for the potatoes. You get this side dish for the gravy, which is actually proper slightly lumpy slightly spicy gravy; it is REAL GRAVY and in fast food that is distinctly rare. FUN FACT: If you just ask for some gravy, they look at you weird. Then they ask “are you sure you don’t want the potatoes?” Then they try to give you the potatoes and the gravy separately. Then, when you say “no I just want a little cup of gravy so I can dip things in the gravy” they look at you weird like when you said that you meant things other than the other items of food that you ordered. Which you didn’t. Because that would be weird. What is so wrong about wanting to dip your biscuit in gravy? Nothing, that’s what I say.
TWO: the Cajun rice. It’s good. More restaurants should offer rice dishes as sides, really. I don’t have anything else to say about the Cajun rice though because of the next item on the list.
ONE: the red beans and rice. The rice is only okay – it’s just plain rice without the nice seasoning and whatever the little bits in the Cajun rice are, it doesn’t have those. But who cares? You order this for the red bean goop. The tasty, tasty red bean goop. It is like primordial DNA, the stuff that Life Itself emerged from, except it is edible, nay delicious, and you are creating new life by eating it because the bacterias that live in your stomach (don’t worry, they’re supposed to be there because of science) get the red bean goop and then they start inventing algebra. You can even pretend this side dish is healthy because it is protein, that is how good the red beans and rice are, they let you lie to yourself convincingly. And also you get an algebra stomach and probably that has real-world applications of some kind.
NOT RANKED: the biscuits. Because even if Popeye’s wants to call the biscuits a side dish, they aren’t a side dish. They are the reason you go to Popeye’s.