Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A California restaurant is defending its practices after customers reacted angrily to finding out the eatery re-serves Popeyes chicken in two dishes.
The controversy at Sweet Dixie Kitchen in Long Beach began when customer Tyler H. posted a review on Yelp that accused the eatery of re-serving fast food from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
"Before my friends and I got seated [at the restaurant] we saw them quickly bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen," Tyler wrote.
The customer wrote he ordered the fried chicken and waffles, which tasted "suspiciously like Popeyes."
"I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken. After checking he admitted that they do in fact use Popeyes," he wrote. "The manager compensated us for the entire meal."
Restaurant owner Kimberly Sanchez responded to the review.
"We PROUDLY SERVE Popeyes' spicy tenders -- the best fried chicken anywhere and from New Orleans -- which are delivered twice a day. We also in case you need to know buy our gumbo from a friend who sells it at a local farmers market," Sanchez wrote.
"We promote usually small batch local producers in our menu. The exception is Popeyes -- we can't fry at this location -- and it the fried chicken I love so much and I ate a ton of it in the ATL. So I serve it," she wrote.
The owner's response said eatery employees also "don't mill our own flour" or "grow our own veggies."
The original Yelp post led to a flurry of criticism against the restaurant on the website.
Sanchez said she started serving Popeyes two months ago as ingredients in two Sweet Dixie Kitchen menu items, the chicken and waffles and a fried chicken sandwich.
"I tried Costco chicken, I tried Restaurant Depot chicken, and then I went to dinner at Popeyes and knew this was the chicken we had to use for the store. It's the best chicken," she told Fox News.
Sanchez said she has reached out to Popeyes for permission to use the franchise's name on her menu.
"My kitchen is not set up for frying. We're an old building. I don't actually have a proper kitchen back there," she told KABC-TV. "I love Popeyes chicken. I love it. I think it's the best chicken out there."
Sanchez said the criticism has been difficult to handle.
"I'm in tears at my house, like inconsolable," she said. "We didn't do anything wrong. I did something I thought was the best product I could bring in. You don't want to eat it, don't eat it."