#58: Chick-fil-a

Today I finally got to visit the new Chick-fil-a.  I’m a big fan of their food and until now I’ve always driven clear out to the one on E Bidwell St in Folsom for it.  No more flying down the back roads of Rancho or highway 50 and risking a speeding ticket for chicken.  Now it’s about 5 minutes away.  I arrived just before 11 and headed in.  They weren’t busy but it felt like a lot of people were scattered about the dining room waiting for to go orders, all watching the kitchen.  This Chick-fil-a uses the newer design that leads people from the front door to the resister, the condiment station and finally out to the dining room.  Older stores were a bit of a fuster-cluck (heh) with a ton of cross-traffic.

I think they’ve been open for around a month or so.  They delivered hundreds of free chicken sandwiches to my workplace weeks before they opened, I guess as training and as a form of marketing at the same time.  That said, the guy running the register when I walked up definitely felt like he was in training.  He seemed to be carefully following a script, although I threw him off when we got to the dressing.  I was ordering the Cobb Salad (Chick-fil-A® Nuggets, pressure-cooked, sliced and served hot on a fresh bed of chopped Romaine lettuce and baby greens, topped with shredded red cabbage and carrots, roasted corn kernels, a blend of shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, crumbled bacon, diced eggs and grape tomatoes. Made fresh daily. Served with Charred Tomato Crispy Red Bell Peppers and Avocado Lime Ranch dressing {or guest’s choice of dressing})[$8.25].

Other than the Asian Salad, this was the only one that had breaded chicken, and I love it on their chicken sandwiches.  I asked for the Avocado Lime Ranch dressing (which sounds amazing by the way), but he said he they ran out yesterday and that he’d check if they got any more in.  Unfortunately they did not, so our transaction, which had been chugging along somewhat slowly but surely, hit a brick wall.  I looked over their fairly large selection of dressings and asked about the honey sesame.  He said he’s had it on the Asian salad but nothing else, then mentioned that he wanted to try the spicy dressing.  I changed gears and asked about that, specifically if it was a creamy, ranch-like dressing, which he said it was.  So I went with that and now that we were back on track, added a small Dr Pepper [$1.49] to finish up the order.

I wanted to take photos of the nice new dining room but that’s dangerous territory with a bunch of kids running around.  Which reminds me, the customer base of this place was very interesting.  I usually see a heavy mix of white and blue collar workers out for lunch with very few parents/kids.  Here I would say that the majority were parents/kids, probably as much as 50%, with white/blue collars making up an equal mix of the remainder.  While I waited for my order, which took about 8 minutes, A Chick-fil-a employee came by and handed me a couple “after dinner mints.”  I’ve been going to Chick-fil-a ever since they appeared in Roseville back in ’06/’07 and I’ve never seen that before.  It was a nice touch.  If there’s one thing Chick-fil-a has over all the other fast food joints (and beyond in a lot of cases) it’s excellent customer service and unbelievably polite employees.

My salad was delivered by the manager, who was starting to stress out a bit with a line to the door that developed almost instantly after I sat down.  That never let up and I’m sure got worse after I left.  As for the salad, the Romain and mixed baby greens were nice and fresh.  The tomatoes were plump little guys, perfectly ripe.  As for the rest, it was a fairly light layer over the greens that disappeared into the salad once I tossed it up a bit with the dressing.  The chicken was not hot like I was expecting, merely a bit warm.  Flavor-wise it was not as wonderful as the breast they serve in the sandwich.  It seemed to have a bit of the same flavor but it was subdued quite a bit.  The spicy dressing was probably the best thing about this.  It was creamy and had a smokey roasted flavor to it with just a little bit of spice that hit your lips after a while.

Kind of surprised that I didn’t enjoy this that much.  It was very mediocre.  Oh well, I will continue to return for their sandwiches and great waffle fries!

Website: http://www.chick-fil-a.com/

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