Buffalo, meet Popeye’s Chicken. Some transplants already familiar with the national chain swear it was worth the wait.
“Wouldn’t classify Popeye’s as fast food. It’s something else. It’s like a culture, a way of life, a cuisine I guess,” Buffalo resident Rob Fussell said.
But, even the owner didn’t expect this kind of reception. Drive-thru traffic lined up into the city’s busy Elmwood Avenue, Tuesday evening.
“We keep up. We’ve got enough food already for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, so the truck is coming to bring the food,” Lal Sultanzada, the location’s owner, said.
But for some people it appeared the anxiety got the best of them.
“They were just swearing and yelling and then everyone started beeping the horns and the cops came and took care of it,” Guido said.
Witnesses said a fight broke out after somebody attempted to cut in the drive thru line.
I was thinking of when a Panda Express opened up in my old hometown. They went apeshit for Panda. Drive-thru lines around the block, people running out of stuff, etc. Stories on the local news. It was the restaurant equivalent of a celebrity showing up.
Now, you could argue pure novelty; this was the first Panda in town. And I love me some Panda. This isn’t snobbery, I love that greasy, sugary, deep-fried trash food. It’s designed to be delicious and addictive and it works.
But this town already contains the best Chinese restaurant I’ve ever been to and that includes eating in the Chinatowns of three major cities. So why is there no line out the door every weeknight for Whey Chai? Why the fuss? It’s not like the denizens of our sleepy hamlet were unaware Chinese food existed and OH MAH GOD ETHEL EXOTIC FOREIGN FOOD. What does a chain place have that a bazillion locals don’t, besides a friendly mascot?
Part of me thinks it’s something to do with the safety of a strip mall, with the safety of a line and a recognizable brand and a drive-thru window. You know what you’re getting with a place that’s next to an Arby’s and a Buffalo Wild Wings. You don’t have to speak to someone unfamiliar and you don’t have to go to a neighborhood you’ve never been to and you know for sure the menu’s in English and goes chicken, beef, shrimp, spicy but not too. You know there’s a parking lot.
And when you only have X amount of dollars, do you want to take risks? Our economy is not exactly encouraging adventurousness these days.
I don’t know. What do you guys think?