It is my strong belief that the classic sandwich at Chick-fil-a, the (mostly) Southern fast food chain, is just about perfect. It's just a chicken breast, breaded and pressure-cooked, served on a white bun that's been toasted and buttered. Garnished with dill pickle chips. Between the seasoning, which is excellent, and the contrast of the soft bun with the snap and acidity of the pickle, it's just terrific. My mouth's watering writing this, I kid you not. Given that the nearest Chick-fil-a outlet is 40 miles away from me, what am I to do? McDonald's has a new solution: the awkwardly-named "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich." It's clearly an homage (rip-off?) of the Chick-fil-a version, consisting of a breaded chicken breast, a "buttery tasting" bun, and garnished with dill pickles.
A former boss and I have spent years bemoaning our lack of Chick-fil-a access, so when this sandwich was announced, we wondered if it might just be good enough to satisfy our desire. You can check out his review on his blog.
I finally had one yesterday. How was it? Actually, pretty good. I would imagine if you had never had a Chick-fil-a sandwich, you'd be impressed. The breading is much heavier than a Chick-fil-a, and the seasoning isn't quite as strong (a quick check of the nutritional information shows that the Chick-fil-a packs a whopping 1300mg of sodium, while the McD's makes due with a paltry 1090mgs).
And the bun doesn't measure up to the toasted, buttered Chick-fil-a bun. "Buttery tasting" (which comes from liquid margarine) isn't a substitute, although it has the same soft texture.
But overall, it's tasty. Good, even. Given the number of food scientists that McDonald's employs, I guess it's unsurprising that they can ape a competitor's dish well.
If the Chick-fil-a is an A, it's a B for sure. Good enough, in fact, that I'm thinking of heading there right now.