Chick fil A Introduces Fresh Made
Salads and Wraps to their Menu
Thanks to Mom It Forward, I had the opportunity to gather a group of my blogging buddies to try Chick-fil-A ’s new salads. Unfortunately, Mother Nature threw a wrench in our Girls Night Out plans with her gusty winds, flashes of lightning, bursts of thunder and threats of tornadoes. Since most of my divas were unable to attend as potential bad weather loomed, I recruited Jay, the youngest of Los Tres Amigos. He reluctantly accepted, well it was more of a bribe of Chick-fil-A nuggets. What can I say, the kid loves their chicken nuggets. I drove to our local Chick-fil-A figuring it’d probably end up just being he and I. However, when I pulled into the parking lot, I recognized the car in front of me, there were a couple of my divas, Ash and E.
We were a few minutes early for our scheduled 5:30 dinner but were greeted with a hearty “Welcome to Chick-fil-A ” when we entered the restaurant. The staff graciously summoned Dale, the manager, who welcomed us and offered to take us on a behind the scenes tour of the restaurant. We were excited as neither of us had ever been behind the front counter. E, however, stayed behind and chatted with Dale’s marketing rep, Mickey, while Ash, J and I embarked on an amazing journey which could be summed up in one word – FRESH.
From the milk wash they prepare each day to coat those delicious hand cut chicken filets to the hand cut chunks of fruit, and freshly chopped greens for the salad. FRESH.
We watched as one of the employees graciously dipped chicken filets into the milk wash and gently coat each filet with the special Chick-fil-A batter. FRESH.
Ever had Chick-fil-A lemonade?
It’s one of my favorite drinks. I was expecting to see batches of lemonade concentrate, but I saw a young lady slicing LEMONS in half so she could juice them. Slicing lemons in half by hand. Then she juiced them using this large juicer. After juicing she added a scoop of sugar and stirred. FRESH.
To truly appreciate this you'd have to see her in action and be in the kitchen amidst the aroma of freshly cut lemons. OMG!
Dale’s pantry reminded me of my own. It was full of products from companies like Sunkist, Heinz, Nabisco, … FRESH.
Focus. Focus. We weren’t there for their tasty grilled chicken filets or cookies or the Dreamcone, or even for a glass of lemonade, we had a job to do. My friends and I were there to sample the new salads and wraps but I didn’t see a single salad during our tour. That’s because each salad is prepared fresh. Those of us who’ve had Chick-fil-A salads before will immediately notice the absence of iceberg lettuce and croutons. Yep. Nada. No more. Chick-fil-A Fresh Made salads contain a tasty spring mix of radicchio, red cabbage and dandelion greens. Croutons? Crispier options now include delicious garlic ginger wonton strips, spicy red pepper crisps, spicy Thai mixed nuts or delicious honey granola.
Chick-fil-A Fresh Made salads have a heaping helping of fresh fruits, veggies, and You can still drizzle their signature Raspberry Vinaigrette over your salad, but why when there are three new dressings. Yes, all your favorite dressings are still available but trust me you don’t wanna miss out on the new Guacamole Ranch, Honey Sesame or Apple Cider dressings. Although each dressing had their own distinct flavor, the Honey Sesame dressing proved to be a winner among the divas. The honey sesame dressing reminded me of the miso dressing from one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. The honey sesame dressing was the perfect blend of savory and sweet. Oh, if only Chick-fil-A sold these dressings by the bottle. Each salad arrives in a trendy container and the portions are huge. Seriously, two persons could get their fill off one salad.
They've also added some awesomely delicious toppings. Gone are the boring croutons. Now you can top your salad with delicious Spicy Thai Almonds, Ginger Wonton Strips, Crispy Red Bell Peppers, Harvest nut Granola, and a few more surprises.
Calorie counters take note: For those who are calorie counting, the Fresh Garden salad (pictured below) only has 140 calories. Chock full of freshly chopped greens, strawberries and plump blueberries, the Fresh Garden salad is in a word…FRESH. We topped ours with grilled chicken but you can opt to have your Fresh Garden Salad with or without chicken.
The Cobb Salad is a winner with crispy bacon, finely diced eggs and bleu cheese.
The Oriental salad with its juicy Mandarin oranges is perfectly complimented with the saltiness of the Honey Sesame dressing.
Each salad features superb quality field greens, BUT you can ask to have your salad with Romaine lettuce if you like. Or if you prefer to have your salad sans cheese, Chick-fil-A will do it...just for you.
Gluten free? Well, no worries, the Market Salad is perfect for those who prefer gluten free and it can be topped with Chick-fil-A's delicious gluten free grilled chicken nuggets. Options!!! Choices galore!!!
Priced in the $6 range, some may say the salads are priced a bit steep but trust me Chick-fil-A Fresh Made salads can hold their own against much pricier chain restaurants without the inconvenience of finding a parking spot or having to wait 30 minutes or more for a table. Their salads are also comparably priced to those convenient, "fast food" restaurants. However, Chick-fil-A Fresh Made Salads were fresher and much tastier.
Plus there’s that one thing about a Chick-fil-A that sets it apart from any other restaurant – community. Chick-fil-A s are active in their respective communities. Our local owner, Dale, frequently donates time, money and food to local charities. Whether it’s partnering with a local elementary school to buy books for kids, helping raise funds to help needy families in Kenya or donating food to participants of the local Cystic Fibrosis walk, Chick-fil-A owners like Dale Stock are the difference.
Sitting down with Dale was like having dinner with a dear friend. We laughed as we shared stories about our kids and his kids and grandkids. Surrounded by families sitting down for dinner, high school kids grouping tables together so they could sit together, dads and moms-to-be on date night.
Soon we were joined by his beautiful wife, Linda, who we’d seen only a hour or so earlier in the kitchen preparing sandwiches for a huge catering order. What an awesome couple. Dale shared stories of his beginnings with the company and when he spoke of Mr. Cathy, the founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A, there was a sense of pride. Clearly, Dale was proud to be a part of this organization and it showed. He believes in this company and is committed to excellence.
The divas and I watched as regulars coming and going, paused to greet Dale with hugs and high fives. There’s something special going on a Chick-fil-A which extends far beyond a meal which is why every Chick-fil-A welcomes you to go beyond the counter. I learned so much from Mr. and Mrs. Stock and am honored to have met them. They are truly an asset to our community and are making a difference that goes way beyond the doors of their Chick-fil-A restaurant. Chick-fil-A is committed to using fresh ingredients and making sure each guest feels welcome. So the next time, you're near a Chick-fil-A restaurant, forego the drive thru and go inside. Ask for a tour and check out your local Chick-fil-A, you're in for a delicious surprise.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post courtesy of Chick-fil-A and Mom It Forward. I received a behind the scenes look at how Chick-fil-A prepares their new salads and wraps and dinner for me and my guests in exchange for this post. Many thanks to Dale, Linda and the entire crew at the McCain Blvd. Chick-fil-A for the delicious meals, wonderful conversation and just an overall GREAT time. No monetary compensation was received. The views expressed below are mine. Many thanks to Chick-fil-A and Mom It Forward for this opportunity.
Many thanks to the Mom It Forward and the sponsoring PR firm for the opportunity to host this party. Opinions are my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. The opinions expressed above are mine. Click here for the Disclosure Policy of Three Boys and an Old Lady blog. The opinions expressed above are 100% my own. I received a product in exchange for this review and post. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.