Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thoughts: My Virginal Chick-Fil-A Experience

Chick-Fil-A is the best. You have no idea what you are missing. I can't live without Chick-Fil-A. It will change your life. It's the In 'n Out of the South. It is better than sex.

For years everyone I knew kept raving about this mysterious Southern fast food chicken sandwich franchise. As a chicken sandwich connoisseur to the eighth degree, I must admit total and utter dubiousness. I mean, it's fast food -- how good could it be? But, year after year, conversation after conversation, people kept insisting. Chick-Fil-A! Chick-Fil-A! I finally said what the hell. But, drive all the way to Redondo Beach for freaking Chick-Fil-A? I don't think I would drive to Redondo Beach for the birth of my firstborn...

Luckily, one finally opened in Los Angeles Proper near USC (which may or may not be FARTHER than Redondo, but whatevs...), so on a beautiful early Fall day my buddy Trevor and I trekked down to Trojanland. Here are my observations:

This picture is so metaphorical it makes me want to puke... in a good way.

- Appearance: Very clean. Very happy medium. Not stupidly contemporary like some Jack in the Boxes are trying to pull off these days, while also not a Carl's-Junior-When-Did-Someone-Die-In-This-Booth-Last-chic either...

- Customer Service: Stupidly friendly. I mean, your Aunt Helen Kate from rural Tennessee friendly. Everyone smiling, addressing with "sir" and "mam," "thank you," "you're welcome," "How are you, today," etc. FAST FOOD EMPLOYEES WHO ACTUALLY APPEARED HAPPY TO BE AT WORK! So cordial it makes you sick. I honestly would not be surprised if it came out later they were all on hallucinogenics.

They have six freaking dipping sauces!

Sorry, this is the last picture I could take before I rapidly gobbled it all down.

The Food: Straight up, the best fast food chicken sandwich I've ever had in my life. The same can be said for the "nuggets." First, the Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich -- perfectly breaded, perfectly cooked and perfectly spicy. Many compare it to the spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy's, but honestly they aren't in the same league. The Chick-Fil-A sandie has a plump, oozing (they cook in all peanut oil btw) white meat breast with a fresh bun. The "Deluxe" of it all also enables you to add a slice of cheese and fresh tomato and lettuce. If someone can find a better chicken sandwich for the money (three dollars plus), then please holler at your boy. The nuggets were also very good because, get this, they weren't traditional "chicken nuggets." The McDonald's nuggets we all grew up on are a mishmash of crappy scraps of the chicken. Chick-Fil-A's version are all white meat, breast chunks. They come with SIX dipping sauces as well. All very solid for fast food standards.

The only downside of the whole meal, in my opinion, were the waffle fries. Get this straight: I love waffle fries. But these were very bland and boring. Much like Umami Burger, it seems like the CFA brass simply focuses all their attention on the entree and not the sidedish. That said, they weren't so bad I didn't eat them all...

Overall: Very enjoyable first experience and will definitely go back. Would love for a new location to open on the Westside. In the Los Angeles chicken fast food pantheon I would rank Chick-Fil-A behind only Zankou and California Chicken Cafe.