ASHEVILLE, NC—Calling it the greatest threat to the restaurant’s ideals since the Butterfly Shrimp Tackle Box was added to the menu in 2009, strict Popeyes originalist Ryan Malburg spoke out Thursday against the chain’s plan to begin serving chicken nuggets, calling it a stain on the founder’s vision. “In 1972, when New Orleans entrepreneur Al Copeland brought forth on this land his first fried-chicken establishment, he never envisioned the institutional decline and moral decay that would one day lead the restaurant to offer such a pedestrian food item,” said Malburg, a regular patron of the Popeyes near his North Carolina home, explaining that the sale of bite-sized, boneless chicken nuggets violated the very principles of down-home Cajun cooking upon which the franchise was founded. “Now, there are those who say that a half century onward, it is necessary to adapt recipes to meet the needs of a changing clientele. But surely this argument neglects the indispensable role Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen plays on the fast-food stage. It is, and has always been, a mouthwatering chicken-and-biscuit restaurant upon a hill, and we turn away from this conception of the chain at our peril.” Malburg later claimed there was no hypocrisy at all in his plans to leave work early so he could try the new nuggets on the day they came out.
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