Almost everyone’s been to a Chick-Fil-A at the mall and experienced the tic-tac-toe shaped fries, but did you know there’s more to the franchise than its small presence in American food courts? Turns out there are HUGE free standing Chick-Fil-As.
I’d heard so much about the closed off, glassed in Chick-Fil-A tot lot overlooking North University Drive, I decided to check it out—it’s just around the corner from my new house. As soon as I walked in, I noticed something odd. Not bad odd, just this surge in the 5 senses that came over me like an undulating wave.
Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Actually, Dorothy…we’re in Utah.
Entering the perfect Chick-Fil-A climate, free of even the faintest fingerprint on the glass façade, I thought I’d stepped into a teleporter and walked out into a Salt Lake City strip mall. My extended family hails from Bountiful, UT and most of its establishments, dwellings and venues have something in common with this Chick-Fil-A: they are SPOTLESS!
I go to a lot of fast food restaurants, so I know…Taco Bells do not have a floor you’d want to eat off of; McDonald’s is not a place you’d say ‘I’m McLovin’ it” should a hair find its way into your parfait. Chick-Fil-A, on the other hand, was so sparkling clean, I let my kids handle the money they returned to us in change, and then looked the other way when grubby fingers went directly into their mouths; and, as another first, I didn’t cringe when they touched the toilet seats or licked condiment stains from our booth.
I shared the Mr. Clean phenomenon with a friend, and she said, “Oh, yeah, Chick-Fil-A is run by a Mormon guy. It’s closed on Sundays.”
I did some research to see if her story checked out; actually, the Chick-Fil-A CEO—while a devout Christian—is not a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints—at least not according to what I read. But maybe they share cleaning tips. I saw it on Wikipedia.
I just love Wikipedia (as a content hungry blogger you can’t get anymore “in a nutshell” than them) and saw that Chick-Fil-A had major production involvement in a movie called Fireproof, which, believe it or not, ties into this article.
My kids attend a Christian daycare in Coral Springs (I’m Catholic, but they still let us in). Anyway, the Chick-Fil-A I patronized to write this review was because of the word of mouth it got from the kids’ Coral Springs preschool. Last spring the school advertised free screenings of the movie Fireproof, about Kirk Cameron—who for the purposes of the film was a firefighter—and how he saved his struggling marriage. Apparently, he offered the love of his life chicken soup from Chick-Fil-A at some point in the movie.
That chicken soup, by the way IS FABULOUS! The rest of the food on the Chick-Fil-A menu ain’t gonna set the world on fire (and because he’s a good actor, Kirk Cameron’s portrayal of a firefighter must have known this)—still, good ol’ Mike Seaver (I’m really dating myself from his Growing Pains days) took a real chance with this soup—it’s all the clichés and then some. It IS something to write home about—all that and a bag of chips….
Oh my God. Thick, creamy, chickeny comfort with lots of carrots and celery. This doesn’t happen to me all that often anymore now that I’m adult, but I was actually really sad when my soup bowl was empty.
But now you want to hear about their tot lot, right? It provides as much entertainment as A Latte Fun (see my article on that in the Examiner archives), and comes out to the same price when you consider what you laid out in food costs: about $15 for 3 people. Might have been $11 without the soup.
It was an a la cart expense. But I had to have it.