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Mar 9, 2011 08:55 PM


I found comments on this fast food restaurant added amidst other subjects, so I have chosen to enter a separate one for this comment on the restaurant alone.

Due to a promotion for its chicken sandwiches found in a local magazine, I thought it wise to try its chicken sandwiches again after many years of absence.

What impressed me most about the basic grilled chicken sandwich was the quality of the sandwich and the ambience of the restaurant (for a fast food place).
The sandwich consisted of a very large chicken breast slice topped with a thick slice of tomato, pickle slice, and a large piece of a very green-colored lettuce which looked like anything other than iceberg lettuce found at other such restaurants. The roll was not the typical airy kind.

What also impressed me were the various sauces (I still prefer ketchup!! the one sauce accompanied on the tray with the sandwich just doesn't agree with my digestive system, probably due to the vinegar content) available for the sandwich and the ambience of the place - many tables has some sort of a flower centerpiece and the background music was relaxing, of a more adult nature, meant to create a calm atmosphere vs. creating an upbeat high energy place.

The menu features various upscale varieties of chicken sandwiches. I did not have the potato "waffles," but did see a customer with them and they left me longing for Arthur Treacher's "chips," the large steak fries.

Years ago I had the cole slaw at Chick-Fil-A and enjoyed it. This time all I had was the grilled chicken sandwich and it was satisfying for what it was. (My memory of McDonald's grilled chicken sandwich from years ago is that it didn't have the "plain" taste but some peppery flavor to it which wasn't pleasant. Chick-Fil-A's version is more plain, allowing the patron to add their own seasonings.)

I recommend this place (I visited a stand alone restaurant, in the suburbs not a location in a mall which this chain also operates) to anyone who wants a more mature environment to eat their food in peace. (This restaurant had a playground for young children and the area was intelligently sealed off from the restaurant area so as to not have that activity interfere with patrons. eating inside the restaurant).

For a more exotic treatment of a chicken sandwich, I have thought of going to the Mexican-American chain Baja Mexican Grill (I think that is their name), whose ads for their chicken "sandwiches" look interesting and tasty. For the plain thing, CFA will suffice.

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  1. One thing I enjoy about CFA is that, unlike McDonalds, they don't have a problem w/giving you multiple sauce packs.

    And one thing that I hate about CFA is their unsweetened icetea still tastes sweet (at least at the one location that I ordered it at).

    4 Replies
    1. re: viperlush

      This place is just gross. So incredibly bland. Basically, white chicken breast (most flavorless part of a chicken) and the usual tasteless bland breading. The nonexistent lines are telling. As much as it's fans try to create a stir, this is not the next-In-N-Out phenom.

      1. re: david t.

        Chick-fil-a is a regional chain with very strong roots in the Southeastern US, much like In-n-Out has very strong roots in CA. Both were founded in the 1940's (thought CFA didn't adopt their current name until the '60s). Both are well established regional chains, neither is a phenom at this point.

        They are trying to expand to other parts of the US. CFA may not be catching on in your area, but I assure you they are doing quite well in other parts of the country. There are 3 CFAs on campus at the university I work for. The one closest to my office routinely has a line 10-15 deep.

        1. re: david t.

          THe nonexitent line could be a regional deal or possibly a mis managed CFA. I have never been to a CFA without a line. Everyone on in my area is consistantly crowded. I can not say that CFA is a phenom of any sort, but gross would never come to my mind.. You might have had a bad experience.
          What is nice about CFA is I know I am eating a piece of lighly breaded chicken. The other food chains do not give me the same feeling.

          This thread made me go try thier nuggets and sandwich again ( first time in about 5 years) Not my favorite place (wont lie) but taste NOTHING like fast food. Seems to be always fresh and real.( if that makes sense)

          1. re: Augie6

            I think you hit on an important point. CFA breading is really light. This seems to make it crisper than the competition and not nearly as greasy. Compare that with something like KFC's Chicken Wraps where there's almost as much breading as chicken. It's also particularly salty/peppery, and they seem to be trying to drown the greasiness with even more horrible gloppy ranch/spicy sauces. At CFA, you just taste the chicken.

      2. The "mature" environment you compliment is present on a location by location basis. I actually dislike going to any of my local CFA's evenly slightly before the lunch rush because I feel like I've walked into a day care on steroids. The locations with indoor playgrounds are particularly loud and raucous. It seems like all the stay-at-home moms congregate at CFA and tend to let their kids run wild.

        However, I really admire CFA's business practices. Their hiring process is apparently stringent as all their employees are pleasant, well-trained, and appear to be genuinely dedicated to customer service. They really go out of their way to make your life as easy as possible. And although I am not a religious Christian (or any other kind of Christian, for that matter) I truly respect the Truett family's commitment to keeping the stores closed on Sunday.

        Unfortunately - and this is just a matter of personal taste - I really dislike CFA's food. I'm the only one in my family who doesn't like it and I hate when I get dragged there. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that I don't like, but there's nothing on the menu that I like, and I've tried most of the menu. And I love chicken.

        Oh, and they've got the best advertising. I buy their calendars every year, even though I don't use the attached coupons.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rockycat

          I won't buy anything at CFI. I was treated rudely by the "supposed manager" after complaining about the attitude of the person taking my order.

          I sit in the car if my husband goes to buy a 'soft' ice cream, but that has been years go now.

          I mentioned this just the other day to someone who recommended a certain sandwich. But, I'll not be trying it.

        2. Chick-fil-A is one of my favorite fast food restaurants. The quality and consistency is always there and the service is top notch. For breakfast their Chick-n-Minis (their great nuggets in a mini yeast roll with honey butter) are tremendous as are their sausage or chicken breakfast burrito.

          Chick-fil-A is controversial in that offends certain posters on this site for a variety of non-CHOW related reasons. That alone makes me want to spend even more of my fast food dollars there.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CDouglas

            I've found CFA to have a consistently good quality product, but the reason I return is that the staff are prompt, courteous, well trained, with a superior command of the English language, all qualities I have found lacking at many similar chains. Even if I have a craving for those other chains, if there's a CFA nearby, I end up going there instead.

              1. re: Naco

                Here's my usual drive thru conversation at a non-CFA fastfood window:

                Speaker: [unintelligible buzz]

                Me: I'd like a burger, small fries, and a medium coke.

                Speaker: May I take your order?

                Me: Yes, I'd like a burger, small fries, and a medium coke.

                Speaker: Do you want fries with that?

                Me: Yes. Small fries.

                Speaker: What size?

                Me: Small.

                Speaker: [unintelligible buzz]

                Me: And a coke.

                Speaker: Would you like something to drink?

                Me: Yes. A medium coke.

                Speaker: What size?

                Me: Medium.

                Speaker: [unintelligible buzz]

                I willingly pay a premium not to have this conversation.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  Aaaand yet another reason to avoid drive-throughs.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I've had that same conversation at the walk up counter. They're totally wrapped up in the script routine of what to ask the customer that they aren't even listening to what you just said. At CFA, I say what I want, they punch it in, get the food, and hand it over with a smile. Either they care about what they're doing or they're good at creating the illusion that they care. Either way, that's good training.

          2. CFA's Spicy chicken sammy...delicous!

            1 Reply
            1. re: joonjoon

              What's weird is that the breading has a completely different texture and is drier than the original. At least the 2 or 3 times I've had it. I wish they just added more heat to the original sandwich.

            2. It's the best fast food chicken sandwich.