Today, in a “two steps forward, one step back” sort of maneuver, I underwent a minor personal regression and ordered a REGULAR Chicken Sandwich. You know, just to see how it felt. I considered telling the cashier to give me a “Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and hold the spicy!” but, after some soul-searching, decided that I’d rather be able to look at myself in the mirror for the next few months. Ordering just a “chicken sandwich” with no descriptor still felt a little off, though - couldn’t that refer to half of Chick-fil-A’s menu? I felt halfway compelled to qualify my order by specifying that I wanted my chicken sandwich fried, but that idea gave me pre-order-anxiety sweats. What if I found myself talking to that same unlucky cashier who had to field my botched “no pickles” order? That might be too much for either of us to bear, and I’m not interested in being cast aside like some sort of sad-sack Chick-fil-A pariah based on my inability to order with confidence. After waffling just outside of the line for a thoroughly unjustifiable length of time, I strapped on my big-boy pants (they’re Dockers with an elastic waistband) and shouted, “REGULAR CHICKEN SANDWICH PLEASE WITH FRIES AND A FRUIT CUP A SMALL FRUIT CUP NOT A MEDIUM.” My cashier - no older than twelve, probably, which for all I know makes her a sophomore at Truett Cathy’s University of Horrors - graciously chose to ignore my sudden bout of voice immodulation disorder and handed over the goods without comment.
Biting into a Regular Chicken Sandwich is like biting into the year 2001. Suddenly, I’m terrified of girls again, my patchy (sexy) beard is even patchier (...sexier?), my hair is full and curly like a voluminous mushroom, and I have to get to soccer practice as soon as school is over. Once those confusing feelings and physical transformations faded, though, I was left with an undeniably delicious but still somehow inferior sandwich (and way less hair). In 2001, I would have punched you in your nosebone if you’d tried to tell me there was anything better than a regular chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A, but I was also prone to hormone-induced fits of rage back then and, more importantly, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich hadn’t been invented yet. Now that it has been invented, all that I can think about when I ruminate on the Regular Chicken Sandwich is how good it could be if only it would man up a little and crank that heat-crank. All that untapped spicy potential, squandered! It makes me sick.
But that’s not true. It doesn’t make me sick, because it’s actually tasty as hell. Just as with the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, the bun is buttery, the chicken is delicious and juicy and perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the pickles are mysteriously on holiday. To make sure my food regression was as historically accurate as possible, I substituted my 2015-era ranch topping for ketchup, which now comes in a handy spork-like hybrid package that lets you squeeze it onto something or open it up like a mini-ketchup-pool. I haven’t determined if ketchup is a normal thing to put on a chicken sandwich - when I think about it too hard it seems weird, as if what I really want is a burger but I don’t have one so I’ll play make believe with this chicken sandwich - but that’s the way my parents raised me, and who am I to throw that kind of life lesson away? The sweet ketchup complements the salty chicken in a way that makes my taste buds dance and sing, especially on those frequent occasions that jagged sandwich edges find their way to an open container of Chick-fil-A sauce for dunking purposes.
You might remember from earlier in this post that I loudly demanded that a small fruit cup accompany my order. If so, kudos to you, my friend, you’re a close reader. Your prize is in the mail. It’s a year-long subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club. The Chick-fil-A fruit cup, no matter what size you order, is a hell of a thing. In a world where the vast majority of fruit cups promise you the world but deliver only honeydew and cantaloupe, the Chick-fil-A fruit cup stands apart. This is no Melon Salad. There is no Infinite Sadness. Instead, you get strawberries, tangerines, apples, and blueberries. That’s top-shelf shit! Not a hobo melon to be found anywhere. Honestly, there’s not really a whole lot else to say about the Chick-fil-A fruit cup - it’s fruit. But it’s good fruit. And Chick-fil-A should be proud of itself. Go ahead, give yourself a round of applause, Chick-fil-A. Oh, what’s that? You’re just a non-corporeal entity with no hands? You can’t applaud? Sucks.
Regular Chicken Sandwich: 7/10
Fruit Cup: 7/10
Weather: Hot as balls.
Drive-through: I walked, man. Not much of a line. I...I walked the line.
HBITSCTAS: This sandwich is an inch or two shorter than a blue highlighter and way less blue.