After sleepy-worm-dancing my way out of my tangled sheets and onto the floor on Wednesday morning, I padded into my kitchen to discover that my cupboard was as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s that one time that she wanted to give her dog a bone but then didn’t end up having any bones to give him. Full disclosure: I just had to look up that nursery rhyme to double-check the plot because I thought it might have involved curds and whey. But that’s “Little Miss Muffet,” and, frankly, her meal sounds disgusting. “Old Mother Hubbard,” it turns out, is way longer than the one stanza that everybody knows, and it’s really damn weird: the dog who doesn’t get a bone DIES (of starvation?) after OMH runs off to buy him a loaf of bread, but then he miraculously comes back to life and engages in a slew of distinctly un-dog-like activities while OMH keeps leaving to buy him shit. If you’re curious, you can check it out here; if you’re not, just know that the dog reads the paper, smokes a pipe, feeds a cat, rides a goat, and plays a flute; he eventually kicks it for real, and OMH erects a monument in his honor. The 1800s were awesome.
Anyway, I didn’t have any food or bones or anything in my cupboard, so I was faced with either certain starvation (the nursery rhyme taught me that much) or food-hunting en route to the office. Giving into my primal instincts, I hitched up my loincloth, grabbed a spear from the spear rack, and set off on the hunt. I killed about four hundred pounds worth of meat (mostly bear) but couldn’t haul more than one hundred pounds back to my wagon, so I ended up abandoning the whole effort and going to Chick-fil-A. Seemed like an easier plan, and one that wouldn’t require me to pay to have all that bear meat professionally cleaned out of my leather seats. Having tackled Breakfast Burritos already, I decided it was high time I got acquainted with a newer addition to the Chick-fil-A menu, and one much beloved by the coveted millennial demographic (I don’t know, probably): the Chick-n-Mini. I don’t like the way that “n” is taking over the hyphen-ed spot usually occupied by the “fil,” so I’m going to refer to this particular breakfast item as a “Mini” from here on out.
So, the MINI. What is it? Where did it come from? Who is buying these? What are they doing with them? Are they used as currency in some countries? How long will one float if you tie it to a balloon? Did the dog in “Old Mother Hubbard” ever try one? I’ll attempt to answer at least a few of these pertinent questions, but I’ve learned to accept that some mysteries are bound to remain mysterious. When asked to describe the Minis, a source close to your intrepid writer has gone on record as saying, “This shit is bananas.” That source was Gwen Stefani, and I may have pulled her quote from an unrelated song from 2004, and I may not have her permission to use it in this context, but I think she’d agree with me if I could find a way to ask her. Mailer-Daemon keeps returning the emails I send to email@example.com.
You can order the Mini in a set of three or a set of four, which strikes me as an odd distinction - is four really so much more than three that it needs to be a separate menu item? I can’t imagine a situation where I could eat three of these but not manage to force down four. A two-or-four option - or even a three-or-six option! - would make more sense to me, but hell, it’s not my menu; I’m just one more spear-wielding proto-Neanderthal looking for some breakfast. Feeling optimistic, I decided to go with the four-pack, and I think it was the right move. The Mini is another Chick-fil-A item that deserves some plaudits for its stupefying simplicity: this is, quite literally, a chicken nugget ensconced in a Sister Schubert’s roll. If you like both of those things - and I do - then you’ll probably like Minis. If you’re for some reason unfamiliar with Sister Schubert’s rolls, here’s what’s going on: Sister Schubert was this super-hot nun from the early fifteenth century who lived in a monastery somewhere in south Florida that shared a parking lot with a bakery, and she used to sneak over after bedtime to cook epically poofy rolls for her dirty nun friends. One untrustworthy nun started selling Schubert’s rolls as a side business to nunning, word of mouth spread the good news around the country, and BOOM - Sister Schubert is an overnight celebrity, she moves to Hollywood, she gets caught up in a frenzied wave of fame and drugs and sex and alchemy, her tour bus flips over one night between Austin and New Orleans, and that’s that.
I made sure to write all of that before clicking on “Our Story” on the official Sister Schubert’s website, and I’m glad I did - the real story is pretty lame. And actually, the rolls Chick-fil-A is using are almost definitely not Sister Schubert’s brand, but they’re very similar. Small, yeasty, and buttery, they’re perfect pig-in-a-blanket material if you’re into sausage rolls, and perfect chicken-in-a-blanket material if you’re Chick-fil-A. I defaulted to oozing a little honey on mine, just because that’s what I do with Chicken Biscuits and I tend to stick with what’s comfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed my four Minis, but let’s be honest: there was never any real likelihood of them standing up to the Chicken Biscuit. And they don’t. The strongest emotion they instilled in me was “I feel like I’m eating appetizers at a dinner party.” But they’re way better than the Breakfast Burrito, and really, the Mini is just one more miniaturized version of the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich, so there’s nothing particularly negative to say. Four rolls plus four nuggets equates to a substantial-enough meal, especially if you pair them with some Hash Browns, and it’s all perfectly tasty.
Wait, wait...I haven’t said anything about Chick-fil-A’s Hash Browns yet? Ay Dios mio! I don’t speak Spanish, so I don’t know what I just said. I hope it wasn’t offensive. My off-the-cuff ode to Chick-fil-A Hash Browns:
Oh flying discus, battered and fried;
Full of potatoes and warm inside;
You come in a box that has lots of vents;
You’re salty and crunchy, you’re ninety-nine cents.
Hash Browns: 8/10
Date: 6/3/15, 8:40 AM
Drive-through: Morning breakfast rush. Girl with headset taking orders outside pre-drive-through. High pressure situation.