Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A and waffle fries

Chick-fil-A and waffle fries

During those very rare moments when I find myself faced with no other eating options but a glowing fast food menu (road trip, 4AM airport layover, colossal hangover) I almost always go for the chicken product. Grilled chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, chicken nuggets, spicy chicken breast—I figure it’s usually more filling than a salad and a relatively healthy option if you omit the mayo, the bun, the fried coating and the fries on the side. But when a friend reminded of the only Chick-fil-A near Chicago (until an-Aurora location allegedly opens sometime in 2010), which is hidden away in a random mall in Racine, I knew a trip there would entail more than just another rubbery chicken sandwich or boot-shaped nugget, but hand-breaded, peanut oil-cooked masterpiece on a grilled bun that my 12-year-old self would trek to Milwaukee’s now defunct Northridge Mall food court to experience almost every weekend, waffle fries and all. 20 years later it was just as divine. Totally and completely worth the 80 mile trek (I have a friend who dons a Chick-fil-a T-shirt and takes a group road trip up there every 3 months). It’s fast food, but it tastes fresh, with a juiciness that only comes from thick, hand-breaded chicken breast that isn’t stamped into a circle or subjected to heat-lamp rubberizing. The lightly toasted bun is slightly sweet, buttered and laced with thin, juicy, dill pickle slices. Of course the skin-on waffle fries are a must, and rival any bar version I’ve encountered, and the made-from-scratch lemonade (with fresh-squeezed lemons and cane sugar) is also the only way to go. It may be hard for me to ever return to the Chick and not get the classic sandwich, but they do offer some pretty interesting items for a fast food joint, like a carrot and raisin salad, a chicken salad sandwich, a spicy chicken wrap and a peach milkshake “special” that seems to have found a permanent place on the menu. Besides the history this quick-service spot has affixed into my own childhood, I love how the Georgia-based company has been around since the 60s and pretty much was the mall-restaurant pioneer, and in my opinion, has reached chicken sandwich cult status today. And the fact that the locations are so few and far between make it that much better when you do actually stumble upon one. Unless, of course, you were founder Truett Cathy’s grandchildren who, according to a friend who grew up in Jonesboro, GA, had an actual full-service Chick-fil-A in their basement. Can you say lucky? Regency Mall, 5812 Durand Ave., Racine, WI 262.554.5009

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3 Comments

Filed under ..and more, random spottings

3 responses to “Chick-fil-A

  1. Alicia

    I love that you, like me, have a very special place in your heart for the fried wonder that is the Chick-fil-A sandwich. Next time you are in the ATL, I’ll have to take you to the Dwarf House. (Chick-fil-A with table service! And a lunch counter! And white tablecloths!)

  2. Monica

    don’t forget to try the chicken biscuit next time!!

  3. Pingback: Best eats of ‘09 « ELIZABITES

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