“Chick-fil-A in Chicago? For real?”
What a beautiful headline in the paper last week! Especially since the answer is a pretty secure “Yes!”
For the past five years, when people ask me if I like Chicago (yes) and if there is anything I miss about the South, my answer has most often been that I miss mountains, real barbeque, abundant platters of inexpensive fresh (and fried) seafood, and Chick-fil-a.
You’ll note that three out of the four are food related.
So yes, I’m happy. It was nearly two years ago that I was teased by a friend in Wheaton who knew a real estate agent shopping Chick-fil-a around to find a location there, only to have that prospect delayed, presumably by the economic nosedive. So now to have real locations (in Aurora and Orland Park in 2010 with Wheaton soon to follow) announced in an as official forum as the Chicago Tribune is a bubble of happiness I only hope won’t be punctured again.
But back to the questions of Chicagoans…
The mention of Chick-fil-a tends to elicit moans of deprivation from fellow-devotees of the chicken sandwich that is practically-perfect-in-every-way. From others, it brings the question, “What’s the big deal with Chick-fil-a? It’s just chicken sandwiches, right?”
That’s like saying Wrigley Field is “just” a baseball stadium.
But it really is all about the chicken sandwich.
A simple bun, two dill pickle slices, and the best fried chicken breast ever. That’s it. You can add mayo, but it doesn’t need it. It’s perfect the way it is, and it’s actually healthy! (The original chicken sandwich comes in at 430 calories and 17 grams of fat.) Chick-fil-a knows what they’re doing. The keep it simple and do it best. They’re friendly and generous, and they have a great sense of humor. They’re keeping Southern, if ever a fast food chain has!
As far as fast food is concerned, Chick-fil-a is in a league of its own. The cows know it. So will Chicago soon.