If you haven't heard, there's a new Chick-fil-A location in New York City. Today, we picked it up for our offices. Yup, that's right. We all had delicious, practically perfect chicken sandwiches for lunch.
The brand new Chick-fil-A is located at 37th Street and 6th Avenue. As our office is located just nearby on Broadway, getting to the new Chick-fil-A was extremely easy.
I crossed the street onto 6th Avenue, and right away I could see that the line stretched about halfway down 37th Street. I kept walking, looking for the end of the line.
Still walking, still looking for the end of the line, I panicked momentarily. Was I going to spend all day in this line?
The panic quickly ebbed though, because I found the end of the line sooner than I thought I would. Much, much sooner than I found the end of the line for the Global Citizens Festival, at least.
It was a lovely fall day out, so I didn't mind spending some time outside the store.
It was helpful that there were signs throughout the line reading "Twenty minutes from here until you're leaving with food," "Fifteen minutes from here," "Ten minutes from here," and so on. These signs were extremely comforting.
Chick-fil-A had speakers blasting Taylor Swift outside the store, and a guy wearing a tuxedo in a bow tie yelling into a microphone. It was unclear whether he was having a good time, or whether he was very good at pretending. There were also girls in red button-downs handing out menus.
After about twenty-five minutes of waiting, catching up on my text messages, and enjoying the debacle, I was able to enter the restaurant. Immediately a guy with an iPad asked me what I wanted.
I ordered five chicken sandwiches, one spicy chicken sandwich for our writer Jackie, two orders of nuggets, and three orders of waffle fries. He marked it all down on his iPad and gave me a brown marker, which I assume indicated that I ordered a lot of food.
I was then directed to the brown line all the way at the end of the cash register, where I paid and was given a buzzer. After three minutes or so, I was handed my huge bag of chicken. Victory was mine, and it felt so sweet.
There was a man standing outside the store who I assumed was homeless.
"Can you help me get some Chick-fil-A?" he asked.
I ignored him handily, like only a hardened New Yorker could. I wondered why he didn't try these food tactics at a place without a gigantic line.
In my journey back to the office, a guy on the street asked me how long the line was. I told him a half hour, and he seemed impressed. I felt like a badass.
When I walked back into the office, I was applauded by my co-workers. I felt like a hero.
Then, we chowed down. Jackie and I interviewed our co-workers while we stuffed our faces with nearly $45 of chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and waffle fries. This is what they had to say.
1. What are your first impressions before eating?
aswooldridge At the 15 minute mark!! Never thought I'd be this excited about getting @chickfila for lunch 😝 #nyclines #friedchicken #notpaleo #workinghard #milkshakes #sweettea #nyccfa
Pavel (CEO): It looks nice.
Pete (Staff Writer): Did they butter it? Or is that grease?
Jamison (Managing Editor): Where are the pickles?
Jackie (Staff Writer): The pickles are on the bottom. Don't panic.
Jamison: Aw yeah!
Pavel: Why is there Polynesian sauce?
Jamison: (reads Polynesian Sauce ingredients)
Pete: It looks like it's actually a breast fillet.
Pavel: The nuggets are actually real chicken.
Pete: The bun looks pretty basic whereas the chicken looks pretty official.
2. Was the hype worth it?
chrisfrich It's not even noon yet, and the lunch line is already WAYYYYYY up W 37th St.!!!! #NYCCFA #ILOVECHICKFILA #ActivatingIdeas
Pete: Yeah, for fast food.
Jackie: I don't know if I'd wait 30 minutes for a sandwich like this every day.
Pete: I wouldn't wait in line for 30 minutes for a chicken sandwich. Getting this chicken sandwich brought to me at my desk though, is very satisfying.
(You're welcome Pete.)
Jamison: It goes back to the entire purpose of the fast food chain. You want to get the same burger no matter where you are. It’s exactly the same kind of chicken sandwich I’d have in North Carolina. It kind of sucks that there’s nothing different about it, but hey, success.
Pavel: I had the Delux on Saturday, and it was the first time I tasted actual lettuce on a fast food burger. I was like oh, this is actual lettuce, not just some leafy sh*t.
Pete: You could probably judge a lot by the lettuce on your sandwich.
Pavel: I read that Chick-fil-A sources their lettuce and tomatoes locally from farms in New York and New Jersey. That explains the freshness.
3. How does Chick-fil-A compare to other fast foods you've had?
dustirhuston The countdown is over. #NYCCFA #PieceOfHome #ChickFilA
Jackie: This is higher quality chicken than I'd get at any other fast food restaurant.
Pete: This is so much better than Burger King's chicken sandwich.
Pavel: The chicken shack from Shake Shack was much more fried. It was different. I don't think I could say which one is better. The actual chicken is better at Chick-fil-A, though. When you take away the crispiness you can taste the chicken more.
Pavel: I would go to Chick-fil-A over Shake Shack for a chicken sandwich.
Pete: I am fascinated and impressed with the nuggets. You can actually see how these were breaded.
Jackie: It's not a patty, it's a fillet.,
4. Does New York need any more fast food joints?
spoiled_nyc yup, we got Chick-fil-A... and yup, it was amazing! 😍👅🐓🍗 #abouttime #longtimecoming #nyccfa #officechicken #bestchicken #chickfilanyc
Jamison: It could replace one. Burger King doesn't have a whole lot to offer.
Pavel: It doesn't necessarily feel like the fast food market is over-saturated. I don't think one more chain is too many fast food chains. A new, good fast food chain is very welcome.
Jackie: Chick-fil-A does things other chains don't. They don't have beef, and there's no other fast food chain that doesn't serve beef.
Pavel: Chick-fil-A's marketing is the coolest, with the cows misspelling "Eat Mor Chikin."
Jamison: Their breakfast isn't great. Bring in a Biscuitville and it's game over.
5. What do you think about Chick-fil-A's policy of closing on Sundays?
jake.cornwell NYC Chick-fil-a grand opening!! #nyccfa #chickfila
Pavel: I have a friend who said Sundays are when she wants Chick-fil-A the most. If you think about it, Chick-fil-A is the only fast food place that takes a day off.
Jackie: Sunday night has always been family night for me. If I want Chick-fil-A on a Sunday but it's closed, I have to go home and have dinner with my family. I'm also more likely to eat something healthy that way.
Pavel: When I went Saturday they had "Health Tips for Fall" on the bag, and I really appreciated that.
Jamison: People always had that craving for Chick-fil-A on Sundays, but that didn't mean we all bolted there for lunch on Monday.
6. How do you feel after eating politically-charged chicken?
ivazquez71 #NYC first #NYCCFA seems to be very popular already.
Pete: I don't want to support something I disagree with, but how many degrees of separation are there between me paying for my chicken and that money going toward an anti-gay organization? How many degrees of separation does there have to be for me to care? It doesn't seem like such a cause and effect thing.
Pavel: The question is, is our $7 going directly toward those groups? It's also worth nothing that Chick-fil-A is no longer donating money to anti-gay organizations.
Jackie: We also have to worry about whether the chicken is humanely killed. There are too many issues to worry about.
Jamison: If a chicken could write a book or have a conversation with me, I'd be more inclined to care... It does feel better eating sandwiches from a place that’s not picketed though.
7. What are your feelings about the pickles on the sandwich? Necessary?
allpetshops Oh god. Office chicken. #spoiledNYC
Jamison: What about the pickles? They're perfect.
We did videotape our Chick-fil-A experience, which you can watch on our Periscope here.
[Feature Image Courtesy of ABC News]