This week’s guest post is from none other then Drew!
Having already earned a year’s supply of Chik-fil-a (as told previously) last winter, you might think that we don’t see a need for additional free chicken. You might think that, but you’d be wrong. We’re always up for free Chik-fil-a!
And so, for this year’s Cow Appreciation Day, Virginia and I and our friend Lucy cobbled together some cow costumes and drove to four different Chik-fil-a’s in order to indulge our desire for free chicken combos.
The bulk of our costumes were made by cutting cow-pattern-holes into white garbage bags, then pulling those over black shirts. Cardboard horns taped onto headbands completed the look, though it gave us a bit of a Viking look that may not have been ideal. Virginia added some nice cow ears to her costume with cow-colored folded construction paper.
With the exception of Chik-fil-a #4 (near the airport) all the stores let us have any combo we wanted just for being cow-like. Thus (after eating some of Virginia’s food) I had a golden opportunity to sample every single major item from Chik-fil-a, in rapid succession. All ratings are from one to five, sorted by taste and (my extremely vague) health benefit.
Chik-fil-a is the only restaurant I know of that offers both Coke Zero and Diet Caffeine Free Coke. Coke Zero (and the nigh-identical Wal-Mart version, Sam’s Zero) stands as the single best “diet” drink currently in production – flavored by delicious aspartame. I place “diet” in quotes because no one loses weight drinking these things. I know I don’t, anyways; but the lack of calories means I get to stuff my craw with more chicken instead of filling up via my caffeine vehicle.
Health: 3 [neither harms not helps much]
Later in the night, I switched to Diet Caffeine Free Coke because I like the fizzy soda experience but want to be able to sleep a few hours later. It tastes marginally better than water, and that’s all I ask.
Taste: 2 [I don’t spit it out]
Health: 4 [it’s fizzy water – water’s good for you!]
Fully 40% of the reason I go to Chik-fil-a. Seriously, these things are awesome. Their only downside is that they are highly unstable, like radioactive isotopes, and their flavor decays quickly. Flavor half-life is approximately five minutes in the open air; maybe twice that if carefully wrapped.
Also, reheat-ability is as close to zero as you can possibly get.
Taste: 5 [when fully charged]
Health: 1 [deep fried and covered in salt]
Spicy Chicken Sandwich / Spicy Chicken Club
This is a new item on the rather limited Chik-fil-a menu, and although I intended to order it at some point, I ordered it that night first thing by mistake.
So my review is tinged by the fact that for the first ¾ of the sandwich, I didn’t even realize I was eating it – I thought I’d ordered a regular chicken club. However, the entire time I ate it, I kept thinking “weird, what’s wrong with this sandwich?”
So how spicy is it? Well, it was hot enough that I kept swallowing my bites of food before fully chewing them. I’m sure people used to spicy things will find it rather mild, but I have to say that since the spice overwhelmed all the “club” items’ tastes completely, I’d consider it too hot. Thus there seems to be no difference between the ‘regular’ and ‘club’ versions of this spicy guy.
Taste: 2 [too hot, but I finished]
Health: 2 [I think spice is supposed to be good for you, sort of]
Chicken McNuggets – er, Chicken Nuggets
What can I say? Nuggets are nuggets, pretty much wherever you go. These are excellent examples of the type, but that might just be because they serve as crispy vehicles for Chik-fil-A Sauce – which is itself superb.
However, it leaves me wondering if I could just walk into the restaurant, get a water, ask for Chik-fil-a Sauce packets, and lick them dry for a similar taste experience. So they get a 4. They also don’t quite give you enough nuggets for your buck (If I’d paid for it, which I didn’t).
Grilled Chicken Club
It’s grilled chicken! It doesn’t taste as good as the crispy chicken, but it’s less artery-clogging!
Plus, it adds bacon and a few vegetables.
Join the Club! The Grilled Chicken Club, to be precise. There are many members, and we all like sandwiches.
Health: 3.5 [4 if you remove the bacon]
First, chickens don’t have fingers. Second, I think they’re actually called Tenders, which makes less sense. That’s like somebody inventing a slightly different kind of burger and calling them Burger Tasties. They’re really just Nuggets Plus, if I may coin a term. Or Large Nuggets.
Anyway, they’re pretty good. They’re a little easier to screw up than Nuggets, so I give Chik-fil-a some credit here. And they’re even better when you chop them up and put them on a delicious salad, like we did!
Taste: 4.5 on a salad [less when naked?]
Health: 4, although that’s mostly the salad [probably 1 when naked]
Chargrilled Chicken Cool Wrap
This was quite possibly the single healthiest thing one can get from Chick-fil-a that is not a salad. Thus, this had to be balanced out by a hefty dose of the gigantic packet of salad dressing it comes with (mmm, ranch). The restaurant seemed to be quite prepared for the onrush of people in cow costumes, meaning that things that could be prepared ahead of time, were. This did not bode well for the chicken wrap – the tortilla was a bit on the soggy side. Aside from this, the ingredients were fresh and tasty.
Taste: 3.5 [Would be higher without that pesky soggy tortilla.]
Health: 4 [The ranch dressing might have brought it down a tad. Then again, every diet needs a little fat in it!]
Original Chicken Sandwich
We are blessed to have won a year’s supply of the Original Chicken Sandwich combo. People told us we’d get sick of it – but we never really did. Despite this, we were excited this Cow Appreciation Day to have an opportunity to sample the rest of the Chik-fil-a menu.
And you know what? It was pretty much all inferior to the Regular #1 combo. This sucker is just about the best fast-food chicken you can get, and better than many restaurants.
When that dark day comes where we run out of free chicken, I’ll probably continue to pay for this bad boy right here.
Taste: 5 [off the charts when you add Chik-fil-a Sauce!]
Health: 3 [I think I read somewhere it was better for you than the average fast-food burger]
So what’s the moral of this story? Sometimes you don’t need to look very far to find love – when love was right nearby all along! Also, cow costumes get you lots of free food. Maybe next year Burger King will let you dress up like a chicken to get free Whoppers.
We can only dream.