Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 111: Eat Mor Chikin!

Chick-fil-A

I’m a Chick fil-A fan.  First time I ever had Chick Fil-A was when I pulled into a restaurant off Interstate 270 near Frederick.  You can imagine my delight when Chick Fil-A came to Montgomery Mall.  A little background first.

Chick fil-A was founded by Truett Cathy (That’s a dude’s name.  Remember the movie Talledega Nights with Will Ferrell?  His character’s name was Ricky Bobby.  What is it with southern names?).  Like many entrepreneurs Truett had his setbacks before “success” came calling.  His first restaurant failed in 1946.  His second restaurant burned to the ground.  But he didn’t give up.   Nearly 15 years passed since the fire when he trademarked the name “Chick fil-A” (a play on words for chicken fillet) and founded the restaurant that bears that name in 1966.

Chick fil-A Chicken Sandwich

Truett is credited with inventing and introducing the chicken sandwich to the fast food industry.  He opened their first restaurant in a mall outside Atlanta, GA in 1967, one of the early pioneers of introducing restaurants into malls (by the way, Montgomery Mall, now Westfield Montgomery, was built in 1968).  Sticking to a mall strategy worked and Chick-fil-A became a huge success.  In 1982 they introduced chicken nuggets to the industry.  In 1986 Chick-fil-A took on the free-standing restaurant chains by building a stand-alone restaurant in Atlanta.  Today half the 1,400+ restaurants are free-standing (By the way McDonalds has about 14,000 in the U.S.).

Charsky and Hoof

In 1995 some marketing genius came up with the “Eat Mor Chikin” advertising campaign featuring renegade cows urging consumers to move stop looking for “where’s the beef” (remember the Wendy’s ads?) and to go for chicken.  $3 Billion in sales revenue last year and one can say Truett’s company is a big success.

Fresh-squeezed lemonade

I hate to admit it but I take my boys to the Montgomery Mall  at least once a week.  The kids love the nuggets and waffle fries.  I love the chicken sandwich (don’t forget to order lettuce and tomato).  We all like the “hand-spun Milkshakes.”  Now I know what you’re thinking,  “fast food is bad for you.”  Well not all of it is so bad.  They serve great fresh-squeezed lemonade made daily from Sunkist® lemons, water and sugar.  Nothing else and it’s delicious.  They also brew fresh iced tea each day for their teas (my personal preference is sweetened, Southern Style of course).  They have fresh-cut vegetables for their salads prepared right in the store, and fresh fruit for their fruit cups.  If you want to eat healthier here you can. My suggestion is to try the chargrilled chicken and fruit salad combination. They’ve also got a Chicken Ceasar Cool Wrap.  “Slices of grilled chicken breast nestled in a fresh mix of Romaine lettuce served with Parmesan cheese tightly rolled in multigrain flat bread. Served with Caesar dressing. Made fresh daily.”  They serve breakfast here too including breakfast buritos, yogurt parfait with granola, and of course chicken biscuits.   Reminds me of Bubba Gump’s shrimp options except you substitute the word chicken for all the shrimp preparations.

Someone once described our Summer season in the Washington, DC area this way, “Summer arrives two weeks after the start of spring…”  That just cracks me up but it’s so true here.  This spring/summer head over to Chick fil-A and quench that thirst by ordering an Arnold Palmer, the drink made famous by the champion golfer, –half lemonade and sweet tea.  I’m calling it “fast-refreshment” vs. fast-food.  That’s my blog and I’m chicken to it. ~Brian

  1. Alan Gross

    Very creative writing. I hate to admit but I remember when they were building Montgomery Mall. Do you still go to Price Club?

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