Today, I took what I thought would be a baby step (sorry for mentioning babies) in a different direction and ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. In my brain, the GCS is a close cousin - maybe even a first cousin - to the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, seeing as how they’re both indisputably chicken sandwiches, only prepared differently. Like, my cousin Kerry and I are related human beings, but we were prepared differently.
Due to a few curveballs from Chick-fil-A, however, the GCS turned out to be a slightly different monster than I was expecting. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I was expecting, although I guess I didn’t truly believe the difference would be any more significant than an easy 1:1 substitution of the fried chicken for the grilled chicken. A classic patty-swap. Chick-fil-A being what it is, though (a Paragon of Poultry-Delivery, if you’re wondering), they went ahead and tweaked everything. The bun is different, for starters. Whereas the SCS bun is basically perfectly circular Sunbeam bread slathered in butter - cool with me - the GCS bun is dark and wheaty and studded with little seeds, and it’s got those big gashes ripping through the top of it to let you know it started its life as a roll or something. It seems that, in the quietly judging eyes of CFA, ordering something grilled paints you as a bleeding-heart health-conscious yogi, so to accommodate your sissy sensitivities you get punched in the face with as much healthy shit as they can cram into one sandwich. Lettuce and tomato come standard, too. Somewhere, a buck naked SCS is blushing in shame.
Uncomfortable deviating from my usual order, and like some kind of asshole, I ordered my GCS with no pickles, only realizing about halfway through that the picture on the menu didn't actually show any pickles peeking greenly out of their bun-bed.
CFA Girl: “Welcome to Chick-fil-A, may I take your order?”
Me: “Yeah, um. Just - just a second.”
CFA Girl: “Okay…”
Me: [without pausing] "Can I get a grilled chicken sandwich and a medium fry? With, ah, no pickles on the sandwich. If that-”
CFA Girl: “Sure, my plea-”
Me: “If that even comes with pickles on it. I’m not - I’m not sure.”
CFA Girl: “It does not come with pickles, sir. Please drive-”
Me: “Oh, okay. Great.”
CFA Girl: “My pleasure.”
Me: “Wha - okay.”
CFA Girl: “Please drive around, sir.”
Now CFA Girl thinks I’m some kind of n00b at this ordering thing, which isn’t ideal for future orders, but I did make off like a bandit with sandwich in hand.
The GCS is pretty good, but a few things are holding it back from posing any real threat to the throne or otherwise becoming a major contender in the heated contest for my mouth. First, my tomato was a little pale and mealy. And that’s not CFA’s fault, I know - if it’s not tomato season, it’s not tomato season, and even with God supposedly in its corner, CFA can’t do much about that. Next, the chicken was perfectly adequate, but it didn’t blow me away. Probably because it was grilled and it’s stupid-hard to grill chicken that blows anyone away.
The Honey-Roasted BBQ Sauce. Oh, shit. The Honey-Roasted BBQ Sauce is the dankness. This is one of those secret sauces that CFA doesn’t feel compelled to promote for some reason, I have to assume because honey-roasting barbecue sauce is a skill passed down through the Cathy family for centuries that takes a thousand years to master and requires perfect heat and roasting conditions and it’s the real reason Truett died and they can’t just hand these packets out like they’re buttermilk ranch or a stack of napkins or something, can they? Whatever, it’s nuts, and it's apparently assigned to the GCS as a saucy way to do blandness-control. It’s like a tangier, slightly sweeter version of CFA Sauce. My takeaway: when Truett Cathy takes the reins and acts as lunch curator and suggests a pairing, you listen, and you listen well, goddammit. Although, now that I think about it, he also included three packets of mayonnaise with my order, and that’s gross.
So that’s that. Per the “How Big Is This Sandwich Compared To A Stapler” (HBITSCTAS) test, which conveniently also applies to other office equipment, you can see that this sandwich dwarfs a wireless Amazon mouse.
Sandwich, sauceless: 4/10
Sandwich, sauced: 6.5/10
Sauce, solo: 9/10
Time: 1:15 PM
Weather: Sunny, 55 degrees
Drive-Through: Near empty??? Everyone’s at the park???