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Long Beach Brunch Spot Unabashedly Reheats and Serves Popeyes Fried Chicken

Sweet Dixie Kitchen sells chicken and waffles for $13 using Popeyes tenders

Sweet Dixie Kitchen
Gabriela B., Yelp
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Long Beach restaurant Sweet Dixie Kitchen is in deep water after customers found out a few weeks ago that they were essentially re-serving Popeyes Louisiana Chicken on the menu. The brunch specialist offers several fried chicken options, and did not disclose on their menu that they use Popeyes chicken tenders.

According to local Long Beach blog Longbeachize and Orange County’s FoodBeast, the restaurant’s troubles started after a customer allegedly saw Sweet Dixie employees carrying Popeye’s chicken boxes into the kitchen. A Sweet Dixie employee confirmed they sourced the fast food fried chicken for their chicken and waffles, for which their charge $12.95. The customer then wrote a Yelp review relaying his dissatisfaction with having to pay a premium for fast food fried chicken.

Sweet Dixie Kitchen, Yelp

Sweet Dixie Kitchen owner Kimberly Sanchez responded directly to the Yelp review, and later explained further on the restaurant’s Facebook page, defending their use of Popeyes spicy tenders. In fact, Sanchez is apparently proud that they service Popeye’s chicken:

On our menu- roughly 95% is house made- starting with a potato lets say- which we cut, season and cook- and make potato salad. We make quiche- as in crack each egg and measure spices and cream, and I put it in a pie crust that was made elsewhere (isn't made here) We use the best product I can buy to make the items on the menu- some of them again, come from other companies, vendors, establishments just like any other place you eat at. Because that's how the chicken works too. We use a ready made chicken - and always have - even before we decided to go with a certain chain as opposed to a food distributor brand fried chicken

It is common practice for restaurants to use outside vendors for certain ingredients. But Sweet Dixie’s lack of disclosure on the menu isn’t just misleading for customers — it’s also a potential health code violation. In addition, Popeyes probably wouldn’t allow this kind of blatant resale. Sweet Dixie Kitchen opened in 2013, and touts, “Stay local, be happy and always, eat well!” as their mantra. Perhaps they stayed a bit too local by using pre-made fast food fried chicken for their dishes.

Eater reached out to Sweet Dixie Kitchen for further comment but has not heard back.