Sunday, October 21, 2007


4465 Poplar

The last time we went to Chick-fil-A was after a failed attempt to go to Mama Fu’s. It is only memorable because Satchel (then age 3) had an “accident” and had to leave the store naked. Since then, every time we drive past, he happily points out the window and says, “Look! That’s where I sharted in my pants!”

After reading the Flyer’s Best of Memphis issue I was a bit awestruck by the winners in the kid-friendly category. Chick-fil-A came in second, right behind Chuck E. Cheese. I didn’t agree with it, but knowing how popular chicken nuggets are among the younger set these days, I couldn’t be too surprised. What I found more alarming was the fact that Chick-fil-A also scored second in the “Best Service” category.

We took a deep breath (and an extra change of clothes, just in case) and made another trip to Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago on our way to a birthday party at the Corn Maize. I just had to see for myself.

Once inside, the monkeys (Satchel, now 5, and Jiro, 3) asked if they could go to the playground and we sent them off while we perused the menu. The restaurant was quite full—it actually looked as though someone was having a birthday party there (eek!)—but there was no one in line.

“Hi, can I help you?” the woman behind the counter asked.

“Hi, can I help you?” the man behind the counter asked.

“Hi, can I help you?” the other woman behind the counter asked.

“Uh, yeah…in just a second,” we replied meekly.

Geez, maybe that service award was more well-deserved than I thought.

We ordered 4 piece nugget meals with waffle fries and milk for the kids and chicken sandwich combos for ourselves. Our total bill was $19.88 and I immediately started listing the 500 other places that I would rather spend $19.88 on food.

The monkeys had tired of the playground by the time we ordered, which was good. The food came out very fast and service wise, I had no complaints (other than the fact that they were a bit aggressive with their helpfulness). My sandwich was a wrap and it was cold, which I wasn’t expecting even though I believe “cool” was in the title. Warren seemed to like his chargrilled sandwich.

Both Satchel and Jiro declared the chicken nuggets “gross.” (I think Jiro may have liked them had big brother not made this designation.) Warren theorized that the grossness was probably because they were made from “real” chicken. My guess is that it was the tangy batter. The waffle fries were a hit, as was the milk and the DK birthday party “how to” book that was included in the meal rather than a toy. (I thought the book was okay—a little weird, but not nearly as weird as the Taco Bell book!) I was also impressed by the choice of fancy condiments, which included Texas Pete’s hot sauce.

Like most fast food places these days, Chick-fil-A has incorporated café lighting and the place has a “Starbucks” feel to it. I can’t help thinking all these places—specifically Back Yard Burger, Taco Bell, and Chick-fil-A--are owned by the same corporation, or at least share the same decorator. I like the new feel of fast food restaurants, but the feeling is fading the more I see this “look” done over and over and over.

But whatever, what I really want to know is how they came up with the ridiculous Chik-fil-A name, or more specifically, the ridiculous spelling of that name. (Wikipedia doesn’t know.)

Satchel did of course have to go to the bathroom before we left and Warren reported it was quite nice.

Chick-Fil-a on Urbanspoon

As we walked to our cars Warren asked me if I thought the people inside seemed weird or if that is just what people in East Memphis looked like. I have to say that I am really not sure! There was definitely something strange going on with the birthday party/very dressed up folks inside.

I’m pretty sure Chick-fil-A does a “kids eat free night” on Tuesdays, but Team Oster is going to spend their hard earned bucks elsewhere.


oliviaarriola said...

Next time you're in Collierville, you should try the BYB on Houston Levee, or the Red Robin at the new mall. Great kid-friendly places.

Chip said...

Yes, East Memphis folk have a certain look about them. Like we've all been in the car too long.

mrchrishill said...

When will we see a "best of" list from Dining with Monkeys. Everyone wants to know the best places to go when and what for and then again the best places not to go and best not to eat items with and without monkeys.

Thanks for sharing.

Sassy Molassy said...

Isn't the name supposed to be a phonetic spelling of/abbreviation for "Chicken Fillet"? Still dumb, but I think that's it.

I think their batter is slightly sweet (and of course I do not like that). I've never understood the fixation people have with their food.

Neilpilot said...

From the company's web site: Founder S. Truett Cathy registered the “Chick-fil-A” name in 1963, and the logo has changed very little since. The name/logo is a creative take on “chicken fillet,” with the “A” standing for top quality.

I personally do not and will not eat there.

Unknown said...

What a snob! Chick-fil-A happens to be a great Christian values based company founded by Truett Cathy. It is definitely not owned by the same corporation as Taco Bell, BYB or any other fast food business. I have worked there for over three years and I never get tired of the food. Perhaps you would find the restaurant more "kid friendly" if your children were more "public friendly". Train your five year old to use the bathroom instead of his pants. Moreover, don't knock the name of our restaurant when your kids are named Satchel and Jiro. Urban anthropologist must be a synonym for egotistical snob.

Stacey Greenberg said...

Jessica, for the record, Satchel was 3 when he had his "accident."

Chilly...a best of list...hmmm...

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