Chicken Filet

So I’ve read there are three Chick-fil-A franchises opening in New Orleans, and that traffic congestion is anticipated, because people love Chick-fil-A.  

The concern about traffic congestion seems to be largely from people on Reddit, which is not the sort of thing one should cite as evidence, but I am going to assume that these concerns are correct and that for some reason people here want food from this particular fast-food chain enough to line up for it to the point they block traffic. 

I have a child who likes Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches. I have tasted their food and I found it to be more or less like any other place that serves chicken nuggets, patties and the like. The sandwich was ok for fast food, and I guess what they call “Chick-n-Strips” were what you’d expect if you want fried chicken “tenders,” but how can you trust a place that serves “fried chicken” if they do not actually fry chicken on the bone? 

And why would you wait in a line for the privilege? 

I know I’m no spring chick-n, but I don’t think my age is what’s driving my annoyance. 

I’ve said before and I’ll say again that if you like something you should eat it unless it is a baby seal or a kitten or something similar. You’re all smart enough to answer the question, “should I eat this?” 

And I am not immune to the allure of fast food. I am on record that the Sausage & Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s is one of my favorite things. I will eat fast food when that’s what’s to eat. I have also waited in long lines for fast food for my kids, but now we get to the bones of the issue, so to speak. 

I have probably only cooked fried chicken – by which I mean bone-in chicken, deep-fried – twice in the last 15 years. That is because it is a pain in the ass to make and it will not be as good as the fried chicken you can get from Popeye’s, among other vendors of fried chicken.

I do not include Chick-fil-A in that number, by the way. They do not serve fried chicken, they serve nuggets, patties and whatever they want to call tenders. It’s fried and it’s chicken but it’s not “fried chicken” as I define it. 

I know I’m in the minority here and again, if what they serve is what you want to eat then more power to you, but I am here to tell you there are better options just about wherever you are locally.  

Interesting fact: fast food restaurants came about largely as a result of the creation of the interstate highway system. As more and more people began to travel, chains like Howard Johnson’s sprung up to ensure that people could get consistently good food wherever they were. “Good” here is a relative term, of course, but consistency is not. Wherever you go in these United States, a Big Mac is going to be a Big Mac. You need not fear that your hamburger will be subject to the whimsical tastes of the local population.  

In some parts of the country, where people don’t take food all that seriously, this was probably a good thing. Why risk getting food poisoning at some local dive when you can eat something you know and which your kids will enjoy? 

That doesn’t apply in our neck of the woods, so much. It’s actually hard to find a bad meal here, and there’s some excellent food to be found in places that may look like you could get dysentery by entering. Your local po-boy shop won’t make you “chicken fries” like they make at Burger King, or a Chalupa Supreme a la Taco Bell, but why would you want that when you can get a po-boy? 

Then there’s fried chicken. You could make fried chicken as well as Popeye’s – or another fried chicken chain restaurant – but you’re almost certainly not going to and you’re sure not going to do it on a weeknight when the kids are hungry. You’ll also probably not be able to do it for the same cost, once you factor in the price of the ingredients (including the oil) and the amount of time it takes you to prep, cook and clean up afterwards. 

I still don’t like sitting in line at Popeye’s, but at least they serve bone-in chicken the way God intended. 

Which is ironic, I guess?

Digital Sponsors

Become a sponsor ...

Sign up for our FREE

New Orleans Magazine email newsletter

Get the the best in New Orleans dining, shopping, events and more delivered to your inbox.