Well, Memorial Day has come and gone. It was a day to remember, and I remember it. It was pretty memorable. That has little-to-nothing to do with Chick-fil-A, blogging, or the internet in general - I didn’t eat any Chick-fil-A on Memorial Day, I didn’t write anything, and I only spent ten hours on the internet - but it still seems like a fitting way to open this post. After all, I’m willing to bet there were at least a few hundred thousand outdoor family gatherings that featured nug-trays in starring roles. I wasn’t invited to any of those, though, so I spent the vast majority of my non-internet-time planting snow crocus bulbs in a sunlit corner of an abandoned MARTA station and watering them with my tears. None of that is true, but it sounds dramatic, and it’s a nice, patriotic image, so I’m letting it stand.
Sometime last week, during a fairly routine workday - in other words, not one where I found myself inexplicably in Florida - I shoved off for Chick-fil-A to apprehend myself some lunch. So far, nothing out of the ordinary, and really, that may be the theme of this post, since nothing particularly noteworthy transpired at any juncture of the trip. My order was relatively mundane, so that could’ve been the culprit. To cut to the chaise lounge, I ordered and consumed…
...wait for it...
...I said, WAIT for it…
...goddammit, you will WAIT FOR IT!!!
...a Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap. “Cool” seems like an optimistic, borderline misleading word to apply to a grilled chicken wrap, but I’ve decided that the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap is only “cool” in the sense that Cool Ranch Doritos (or Cool Ethan) are cool. To me, the type of “cool” employed in both situations is indicative of the preparer of each supposedly “cool” food object coming to the sad, head-shaking realization that the food object in question is actually quite boring and nondescript and trying to find a vague way of punching it up. Because that’s how the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap is - a little dull. That being said, it’s still a substantial upgrade from the last tubular object from Chick-fil-A that I forcibly inserted into my mouth, the Breakfast Burrito, and it’s heavily enhanced by the inclusion of yet another secret sauce. Before we get to that, though, let’s tackle the wrap itself.
Unless I’m crazy, there used to be a wider selection of wraps at Chick-fil-A, at least one of which I used to order on the quasi-reg. I believe it was called the Chicken Caesar Augustus Wrap, and it had a Caesar ‘do and was truly the Lunchtime Emperor of its era, or at least of its wrap brethren. As long as I’m pouring one out for deceased menu items, the dessert menu also once included Lemon Pie, and I ate so much of it that it eventually showed up all smiley and porcupined with candles at my fourteenth birthday party. Thanks, Mom. I can’t think of a single good reason to justify Chick-fil-A’s premature retirement of the Lemon Pie, except that no one else on the planet liked it or ordered it.
Anyway, whatever wrap options might have existed in the past, there’s only the one now. In fact, if you go to Chick-fil-A’s online menu, you may find yourself awkwardly directed to the “Wrap and Salads” section. I’d bet money that, once upon a time, that “Wrap” was plural, and some Chick-fil-A code monkey hacked his way in there and deleted the “s” after the other wraps were executed like Ned Stark. With a huge sword. The remaining wrap is basically a grilled chicken salad all bundled up inside some “flaxseed flour flat bread” like it’s going somewhere. Like it knows something. You’ve got your grilled chicken, your lettuce, your cabbage, your carrots, your jack and cheddar cheeses, and that’s it. I actually appreciate the simplicity of it (in terms of simplicity, it’s the polar opposite of the Grilled Market Salad), and I’m a big fan of the overall crunchiness of the whole enterprise. The flat bread doesn’t taste like much, but maybe that’s the point - it hands over the heavy lifting to the ingredients wrapped up inside, all of which are fresh and tasty, and, perhaps most important of all, just plain make sense. For the record, that’s, again, very unlike the Grilled Market Salad, where the ingredients - however fresh and tasty they may be - all orbit menacingly and confusingly around a lightning-bolt-ridden nucleus of uncontrolled chaos and evil LOST smoke monster whispers.
The star of the show in the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap, as tends to be the case in a weird number of Chick-fil-A menu items, is the Avocado Lime Ranch dressing. This shit is GOOD. If I could fill a Camelbak with Avocado Lime Ranch dressing and go hiking across Southwest America, I...wouldn’t do it, probably. But I’d for sure dip my Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap into a little pool of it. This dressing’s origin story probably goes something like this: Truett Cathy, burning the midnight vegetable oil in his dark woodgrain office full of globes and precious magnifying glasses, pored through ancient menus and dictionaries until he stumbled across three random words that he knew people loved - “avocado,” “lime,” and “ranch” - whereupon he smashed those words together and commanded his army of Chick-fil-A imagineers, “Make it so.” And they did. He could have just as easily created “Steak Baseball Vacation” dressing - he just found those other words first.
One last important thing to note about the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap: it’ll cost you. This is luxury lunch shopping in that upper tier of the menu reserved for the elite few that don’t mind dropping extra pesos for the fancy shit. In fact, I’ve heard rumors that the purchase of a Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap gives you automatic lifetime access to the Delta Sky Club at Hartsfield-Jackson - just bring your wrapper and receipt and the bouncer will hand you a pina colada with a little umbrella in it and unhook the cordon to let you in. The Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap is not actually prohibitively expensive, but it is one of a very few menu items that’ll run you into the eight dollar range if you spring for a combo. Spring judiciously.
Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap: 6.66/10
Date: I don't know, sometime last week.
Weather: Abundant Sunshine
Drive-Through Rage Factor: Exponential
HBITSCTAS: The Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap is about the same length as a really greasy standard office telephone receiver with a shoulder prop thing attached to it. If you use one half of the wrap to talk into and the other half to listen, you can pretend it’s an old timey telephone.