In which the hype, somehow, is real

I am fully, 100% aware of just how behind the times I am, that it is April of 2021 and I am about to use precious space on Beyoncé’s internet to talk about the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich. But yes, somehow I managed to wait a year and a half from the launch of the sandwich in August of 2019 to finally eat one. But there really isn’t a Popeye’s anywhere near me, and it’s not like we’ve been able to eat in restaurants lately. But I have dinner with my dad every week or two, and generally the way it works is that I bring something over, and he said yesterday that he was in the mood for chicken sandwiches and didn’t specify where from.

And there is a Popeye’s near Dad’s place. Now, it’s a shitty Popeye’s– but then, they all are, right? But if he wants chicken sandwiches anyway, and there’s one by him … well, what the hell, let’s gird our loins for disappointment and try the damn things out. Surely they’ve been out long enough that I can just go get a couple of them, and they’ve probably been scaled back from what they were when they were first out and people were literally murdering each other for the damn things.

Ha.

This particular Popeye’s is a freestanding restaurant that is basically in the middle of a parking lot. It’s not really built to have a lengthy drive-thru line, and when I got there not only did the line completely wrap around the building– let me remind you again that it is April of 2021 and this damn sandwich has been out for nearly two years— but they had someone in the parking lot fucking directing traffic, so that Popeye’s customers could get in line for the drive-thru while still at least theoretically allowing people access to the Subway (this Subway) fifty feet away.

I was in line for maybe fifteen minutes. Given the number of cars, not bad. I ordered three Original sandwiches– Dad had said he wanted two, so I figured I’d get two as well– and one Spicy.

Do not order two of these damn things, and do not try to eat both at a sitting unless you are a giant fat man like me.

Look at that fucking sandwich. That’s the spicy one. The chicken patty was an inch thick. The other one didn’t overhang the bun like this one did but holy hell, this much food for $4.50 or whatever they were charging me– it’s less than that, I think– is madness. The damned sandwiches were delicious; they weren’t overwhelmed with sauce (mayo for one and spicy sauce of some sort for the other,) the pickles were tasty and crunchy although there could have maybe been a couple more of them (I think they slid to the one side of the sandwich during transit?) and the patty itself in both cases was fucking great. This is 100% the best fast-food chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, bar none, and other than a particular sandwich served by one single restaurant in Chicago that obviously I can’t get any longer, it’s probably the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, period, and it’s not close. Even the spicy sandwich was, for me, balanced more or less perfectly. It’s probably not hot enough for people who genuinely like super-spicy foods, but for me it hit the sweet spot where I was definitely feeling it but it wasn’t overwhelming.

I finished the damn things nearly two hours ago and my mouth is still kind of watering. That good.

But seriously, don’t order two of them, especially if you want any kind of side. I’ll have more of these– they’re worth going out of my way for– but it’s an enormous amount of food. If, like me, you didn’t want to battle crowds to get one of these when they were all over the news and then just sort of let it fall off your radar, make a trip. It’s worth it.

On coffee and customer service

You know this already, if you’ve been around for a while: I moved to Chicago in 1998 after graduating from college, and lived there until getting engaged and moving back home to South Bend in 2007. I loved living in Chicago, and one of the things I miss most about it even after all these years is the food. Chicago’s one of the biggest cities in the country, and (especially once you got used to getting around) you could find anything there, and most of them delivered. Thai food at 3 AM? No problem.

South Bend is not like that. Most of South Bend’s restaurants, for better or worse, are regional or national chains. We’ve got some gems sprinkled here and there (Nedderman’s Steak Place, some good teppanyaki, and a really good hole-in-the-wall Venezuelan bistro) but in general if you’re looking for quality cuisine outside of what you would expect to find in a mid-size Midwestern city you’re going to be disappointed.

I found out yesterday that we’ve recently acquired an Ethiopian coffee business. How did I find out? They brought a bunch of free coffee to work, and the secretary emailed everybody that there was free Ethiopian coffee so come get some free Ethiopian coffee, and I wasn’t at work to go get it, so the email just sort of sat there and teased me. Interesting fact: they don’t appear to have a retail footprint, but they’ve got the website, and if you’re local they bring you your coffee. If you aren’t, they’ll still ship for you.

I ordered some coffee yesterday evening at around 6:15 PM. At 6:38 I got an apologetic text message that due to the blizzard taking place outside my coffee would not be delivered that evening. So their usual standards are pizza-delivery speeds, which I feel like isn’t completely necessary for coffee. I replied to make it clear that they could take as long as they needed to; I don’t need someone sliding off the road into a ditch so I can have novel caffeine the next morning.

At any rate, I did get my coffee today, and had a weird moment with the delivery guy when we both realized the other one looked kind of familiar, but it was dark and bloody cold outside and also COVID and neither of us were masked up (side note: “masked” can autocorrect to “naked” if you aren’t careful with your typing, which would have altered the meaning of that sentence somewhat) so we did not stand outside and chatter at each other long enough to figure out where we might have known each other from. Have I consumed coffee yet? No, which might make this post premature, but I figured the whole apologetic about not bringing me coffee during a blizzard thing probably warranted its own post. Plus, dear God, I know better than to have coffee at 8:15 at night, and that’s, like, Folger’s and shit. I assume this is probably going to be a little stronger.

I’ll report back tomorrow, of course.

Because capitalism

It is May the 4th, Star Wars Day, and I find myself not in the talkiest of moods. So I will do something I haven’t done on here in a while, which is to say that if you enjoy Star Wars you will very much enjoy my Star Wars-inspired series The Benevolence Archives, and that you should give me 99 of your American pennies and buy the first book. Then, once you’ve read that and you like it, you can get the other two! It’s also available in paperback at just $7.99, same link. Go forth, then, and I’ll be back tomorrow.


5:42 PM, Monday, May 4th, 2020: 1,177,784 confirmed cases and 68,387 deaths.

STATION IDENTIFICATION: Infinitefreetime.com

I’m Luther Siler.  I’m an author.  Welcome to my blog, infinitefreetime.com.

I’ve written several books you might be interested in, ranging from short story collections to near-future science fiction to fantasy space opera to nonfiction, all available as ebooks or in print from Amazon.  Autographed books can be ordered straight from me as well.

I can be found in several different places on the Internet.  Here are the important ones:

  • Support me on Patreon!  Just a dollar a month gets you access to exclusive stories, early access to new books as they come out, and more!  $2 or more a month gets you access to CLICK, an entire exclusive book!
  • You can follow me on Twitter, @nfinitefreetime, here or just click the “follow” button on the right side of the page.  Warning: Twitter is where Politics Luther hangs out, and Politics Luther is usually angry and profane.  I generally follow back if I can tell you’re a human being.
  • My author page on Goodreads is here. I accept any and all friend requests.
  • My official Author page on Amazon is located here.
  • Feel free to Like the (sadly underutilized) Luther Siler Facebook page here.  It’s mostly used as a reblogger for posts.
  • And, of course, you’re already at infinitefreetime.com, my blog.  You can click here to be taken to a random post.

Thanks for reading!

Prostetnic hi-res cropped

STATION IDENTIFICATION: Infinitefreetime.com

I’m Luther Siler.  I’m an author.  Welcome to my blog, infinitefreetime.com.

I’ve written several books you might be interested in, ranging from short story collections to near-future science fiction to fantasy space opera to nonfiction, all available as ebooks or in print from Amazon.  Autographed books can be ordered straight from me as well.

I can be found in several different places on the Internet.  Here are the important ones:

  • Support me on Patreon!  Just a dollar a month gets you access to exclusive stories, early access to new books as they come out, and more!  $2 or more a month gets you access to CLICK, an entire exclusive book!
  • You can follow me on Twitter, @nfinitefreetime, here or just click the “follow” button on the right side of the page.  Warning: Twitter is where Politics Luther hangs out, and Politics Luther is usually angry and profane.  I generally follow back if I can tell you’re a human being.
  • My author page on Goodreads is here. I accept any and all friend requests.
  • My official Author page on Amazon is located here.
  • Feel free to Like the (sadly underutilized) Luther Siler Facebook page here.  It’s mostly used as a reblogger for posts.
  • And, of course, you’re already at infinitefreetime.com, my blog.  You can click here to be taken to a random post.

Thanks for reading!

Prostetnic hi-res cropped