Yelp user Tyler H. thought he was calling out Sweet Dixie Kitchen when he left a review for the Long Beach, California, restaurant last month.
“The chicken they use is from Popeyes,” he wrote, in all caps.
According to the review, he questioned the origin of the chicken because of the taste and because he had seen employees coming into the restaurant with boxes of Popeyes chicken.
This kind of review would normally send a restaurant into PR apology and/or denial mode.
Sweet Dixie Kitchen wasn’t having it.
In a reply on Yelp, the restaurant’s owner admitted to outsourcing some of its food, including its chicken, according to Food Beast.
“We proudly serve Popeyes spicy tenders,” the owner said on Yelp.
It’s delivered twice a day.
And the restaurant, which has been known for promoting small batch local producers, doubled down on the honesty in a lengthy Facebook post this week.
“Integrity, despite this wave of 'Popeyegate' is what my food is about – no matter what you want to say,” the owner wrote in the post. “I outsource very few items. Outsourcing is when a restaurant brings in a fully cooked or ready made product, which if you count all the frozen things Sysco provides to pop in an oven and serve, is a lot,” the Facebook post said.
Most of the dishes at Sweet Dixie are made on-site, including a chicken slider with wasabi cole slaw and tomato jam that takes three hours to make, according to the post.
Prices on the menu range from $7.25 for biscuits and gravy to $12.95 for fried chicken and biscuits.
“We charge for the ingredients and labor that goes into that dish,” the restaurant’s Facebook post said. “We will continue our business the same way we have always done – honest that we make nearly all from scratch, saying what we do make from scratch, and when we can't, we will use the second best thing available to us. And we will be glad to let you know which is which- just like we always have.”