June 14, 2008


People don't just like Chick-fil-A. They don't just love Chick fil-A. They're crazy about Chick fil-A.

Today was the first time I ate there, and before stepping in the door I didn't understand the fuss. What's the big deal about a fast-food joint that only serves chicken entrees? If variety is the spice of life, Chick-fil-A looked like a bland trip to meat-and-potatoes-ville.

But now I get it. The beauty of Chick-fil-A is that it doesn't try to do too much. It just does what it does extremely well.

A char grilled chicken club sandwich and waffle fries made up my order. The sandwich was as close to fresh as I've ever seen in a fast food joint. The bun was wheat, which is always a plus, and it was fairly hearty. Provolone cheese was draped over the chicken, which is a nice break from the mundane normality of cheddar and American cheeses in most fast food eateries.

Grease wasn't dripping off the sandwich either. The chicken was juicy and flavorful without being deep-fried, and even the bacon was tasty without throwing off too much fat.

Yet the waffle fries really won me over. Novelty fries are less of a novelty than they are an important way to prepare a potato. Arby's gets bonus points for its curly fries, and Chick-fil-A becomes a great place to eat because of it's waffle fries. They're prepared just right -- they have enough grease and salt without going overboard.

Plus, they're easier to eat than the usual stick French fries. No more grabbing a fistful to cram into you mouth while they poke the inside of your cheeks at odd angles. Pick up a single, chip-sized waffle fry and take a bite. It's marvelous.

So Chick-fil-A is just what it looks like it is: A meat and potatoes place. But it's also a meat and potatoes place that knows how to make good meat and serve it with potatoes that are to die for.

The restaurant doesn't baffle me anymore. Call me crazy, but I like it.

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