I ate a lot of chicken salad in 2013. On purpose.
Since I’m no longer eating sandwich bread (bad tummy), I found that chicken salad is something I could order at a sandwich shop and not feel too sorry for myself. And so I thought it would be fun to order chicken salad from places other than sandwich shops and rate them. Why not?
Here are my results:
(In order of appearance)
1. Maryland Fried Chicken, Murrells Inlet, SC. Yummy! Fresh & Filling! Great to take to the beach and eat on a wind swept grassy spot at a weathered picnic table in the sun. No frills chicken salad, but a good deal for your money and satisfying. I give it a 4 out of 5.
2. Chick-fil-A. This is my standby fast food chicken salad for when I’m traveling. Consistently good. No worries of getting a naughty “travel tummy.” Nothing fancy about it, simply chicken salad. But yummy! The only problem I have with it is trying to communicate to the very helpful cashier that it would be MY pleasure to have the medium size order. Not the tiny one, not the group one. The medium one. Why is this confusing? 3 1/2 out of 5.
3. The Old Fourth Street Filling Station. Why would I waste a trip to the scrumptious Old Fourth Filling Station by ordering chicken salad? Because this is science! I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed in their chicken salad. It was prepared with a lot of pickle relish and very little love. Just okay I guess. I remember there being fruit with it on the side, and that was nice. 3 out of 5.
4. Food Lion (local grocery store). Blah! Ptooey! I actually had to spit it out. It wasn’t the flavor that was so gross, but the big globs of chicken fat. I had a lot of trouble eating any chicken salad for a while after that episode. 0 out of 5.
5. Arby’s. Big yummy chunks of chicken and apple! Sweet, but not too sweet. Summer yumminess on a fork! The only downside – it’s on the summer menu only. 4 out of 5.
6. The Varsity, Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, I ordered chicken salad at the Varsity. And yes, it was good. Very peppery, but nice. Shredded a little more finely than I’m used to. But that’s okay. The Varsity gets 3 1/2 out of 5.
7. Panera Bread. Wow, you want to be sad? Order chicken salad without the homemade bread at Panera. But once I got past the sadness, I really enjoyed it. They give you a nice little bed of lettuce and tomato, so it doesn’t look so lonely. The flavor is really good, too. Full of almonds. 4 out of 5.
8. Cagneys Cagney’s is a local chain ’round these parts. The chicken salad is so-so. You get a lot of it, but it’s pretty flavorless. 2 1/2 out of 5.
9. Omega House. Omega House is another local chain. I’m going to have to disqualify myself from rating it, since it nearly killed me. Apparently, they make their chicken salad with something from the dairy family. Yogurt? I don’t know. It tasted good, but very different. I hesitated finishing my plate, but was feeling lucky. Made it home, then three hours later, I could come out of the bathroom. So glad I didn’t eat that on a road trip. No score.
10. Costco. I had a friend of mine pick up a tub of Costco’s chicken salad for me since I don’t have a membership. Wow, what a lot of grapes it has! Very very sweet. Almost too sweet for me. But my son loved it. I’d eat it again. 3 out of 5.
So there you have it. 10 different chicken salads in 2013. The funny thing is, I never ranked the big name sandwich shop’s chicken salad. And I know there is much more chicken salad out there…
Guess what I’m going to be doing in 2014? Yup, more chicken salad, please. Hold the bread. And in the name of humanity, I beg you, hold the yogurt.