McDonald’s Attempts to Bring Chick-Fil-A to Manhattan
While most typical fast food places (McD’s, BK, Wendy’s) are not considered for this site, there are a few chains that would be welcomed with open arms into the canon of acceptable Midtown Lunches if they were to decide to grace us with a franchise. In N Out Burger, Baja Fresh, and Panda Express would be my personal dreams come true, and I know for a fact that there are alot of you who feel the same way about Chick Fil A. As many commenters have mentioned, there is one in the NYU dining hall, but “technically” you need to be a student to check it out.
Last year, to steal business compete with Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s introduced the “Southern Style Chicken Sandwich” to their menu, which stealsis supposed to replicate the Chick-Fil-A experience. Well, after months of trying the sandwich out in various markets, Midtown Lunch’er Andre Mika (who writes one of my favorite blogs- www.forkny.com) has brought to our attention that the sandwich has arrived in New York City. I haven’t had Chick-Fil-A in over 20 years (and I freaking hate McDonald’s), so to investigate this one, I’ve turned the case over to Andre, who is not only from the south (Louisiana), he is also a huge Chick-Fil-A fan. Here is what he discovered…
The premise was too good to be true. McDonald’s, king of the “clone and sell a billion” fast food culture had introduced their new “Southern Style” chicken sandwich. To those of us who understand the McDonald’s mentality, it meant one thing. They had knocked off the famous Chick-Fil-A sandwich.
So let’s cut to the chase…
How is it? Well, that depends on your out of control craving for an actual Chick-Fil-A sandwich. If you are like me, a New Yorker who at one time lived with a few miles of Chick-Fil-A, and had access to the champion of all chicken sandwiches whenever you pleased, the sandwich is damn fine. If you get your Chick-Fil-A fill whenever you want it, the sandwich is a solid but failed attempt to dethrone the champ.
What They Got Right- The bun is soft and chewy, if not a bit sweaty like a real Chick-Fil-A. They give you a swipe of butter on the top bun, and 2 dill pickle slices, just like the real smack daddy. All “Southern Style” sandwiches I have tried have been hot, which is essential in either the Chick-Fil-A or McDonald’s versions.
What They Missed- Instead of the hot “foil” bag, McDonald’s uses their cardboard box. On top of that, the image on the box is that of a girl and a guy on a swing, with the girl’s leg slung over the guy’s. Strike 1. The chicken filet itself isn’t odd shaped and thick in places… like the Chick-Fil-A breast. Strike 2. The marinade is so light that they don’t capture the flavor of the original. Strike 3.
Final Thoughts: You could do a lot worse at McDonalds. Even though the sandwich has it faults, it is way above average for the chain, and the closest knock-off I have ever tasted. But in the words of Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing Baby…”
Written by Andre Mika from http://www.forkny.com/