Due to the unstoppable march of time, the descriptions of weather in this post are no longer applicable to the present day. Don't let me fool you - it's warm outside now.
The last week in Atlanta has been like an excerpt from that Mr. Freeze supercut where Arnold Schwarzenegger spends a few minutes uncontrollably rattling off every single cold weather-related pun that the doomed Batman & Robin writing team could crap onto a piece of paper. Atlanta has been wildly gravitating between two equally shitty poles: at Pole 1, it’s dumping rain and just far enough above freezing to prevent the fat, sloppy raindrops from metamorphosing into fluffy, luscious snowflakes; at Pole 2, it’s miles below freezing but insultingly, maddeningly sunny, and icy winds rip telephone poles out of the ground, send stealthy ice-cube-bird-missiles rocketing towards earth, and otherwise create sentient, erratically roving herds of inside-out umbrellas.
What I’m trying to say is that maybe my Chicken Salad Sandwich was a little less-than-toasty due to severe external conditions. I’d imagine that it’s pretty hard for any object that isn’t generating its own heat to stay warm for more than ten seconds in the arctic wasteland that has become my outdoors. I’ve already (mostly) come to grips with the likelihood that I - badass, raging, hairy-bodied mammal though I may be - would probably be dead within fifteen minutes if I went full-on scarecrow outside my office building with no clothes on. If a human being can’t last fifteen minutes, how is a toasted sandwich going to make the jump from drive-through window to car to office?
The short answer: it’s not. At least, not really. It was obvious the bread had been toasted at some point in the past, but it was unclear how far distant that point was, and the chilly chicken salad had rendered the toasty bread straight-up freezing by the time it entered my mouthspace. I’m guessing the chicken salad came from a refrigerator (no way are those Chick-fil-A employees hand-crafting my chicken salad to order), so it probably started out cold, and, because I'm a scientist, I fully understand that the First Law of Thermodynamics dictates that some sort of heat exchange is going to happen. So I get it. Temperature (and internal) struggles aside, the sandwich was...fine. Chick-fil-A appears to have opted to go creamy with the chicken salad, a move I fully support since few things can throw me off my chicken salad game more than the surprise appearance of an errant purple grape. Chunky chicken salad can take its business to some other mouth. The flavor here is tangy and almost definitely mayonnaise-based, and the consistency is nice and smooth, if a little dry, but even with the dryness the bread picked up some definite sog-notes, probably due to over-canoodling with the chicken salad. My fault, maybe, for not eating immediately and instead insisting on transporting my lunches across town.
The bottom line is that the Chicken Salad Sandwich is thoroughly edible - you’re not going to starve to death if you crash-land your Chicken Salad Sandwich cargo plane on a desert island (at least, not immediately) - but it’s probably not something I’m going to intentionally revisit. In fact, the most memorable part of the meal, the part that I’ll recall fondly and tell my grandkids about when I see them this afternoon, was a friendly cameo on my takeaway bag from whom I initially thought was America’s sweetheart, Burt Reynolds. It wasn’t Burt Reynolds, but try and tell me that doesn’t look like him if you’re peeping the bag sideways with a sandwich in your mouth.
According to the caption next to the tasteful yet peculiarly Wall Street Journal-esque charcoal portrait, that smiling face actually belongs to one Arturo Nimajuan, a THRIVE Farmers coffee producer. Whatever. You don’t fool me, Arturo. I saw you in Boogie Nights. You were good.
Arturo Nimajuan: Two thumbs up
Conditions: Freezing WINTER
Time: 12:43 PM
Weather: Sunny, 21 degrees
Drive-Through: Workable crowd. Earth mostly deserted due to weather.
HBITSCTAS Test: Substantially bigger than a staple remover, which is itself shaped kinda like a mini-sandwich with vampire teeth.