Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Homage to Chick-fil-a

Since moving to St. Louis, among many things I love, I have found 2 things I deeply dislike about this city: 1) the wretchedly cold winters and 2) the lack of Chick-fil-a's that requires that I drive for 30 minutes, fight for a parking spot, and walk into a crowded mall just to enjoy a delicious fried chicken sandwich. So today, I have decided to celebrate my favorite fast food restaurant (ok, the only fast food restaurant I dare eat at) in hopes that more Chick-fil-a's will migrate out west.

Here are a few fun tidbits about Chick-fil-a:

1. No sandwich on the menu exceeds the 500 calorie marker (a rare achievement for fast food restaurants)
2. They use whole breast meat in their sandwiches, nuggets, and strips -- not pressed or formed meat
3. The chicken arrives raw and each piece is filleted and breaded by hand
4. The menu is trans-fat free

Best Picks are...
1. Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich on a Wheat Bun -- 270 calories, 3.5g fat, 940mg sodium
2. 8 pack nuggets with BBQ sauce -- 305 calories, 13g fat, 1020mg sodium
3. Southwest Chargrilled Salad with Fat-free Honey Mustard Dressing -- 360 calories, 8g fat, 1170mg sodium

While I appreciate Chick-fil-a serving superior meat and providing healthy alternatives, such as a fruit side and wheat buns, I must admit that not every selection on the menu is exactly wholesome. Below are a few items to steer clear from.

Worst Picks are...
1. Hand Spun Cookies and Cream Milkshake -- 790 calories, 33g fat, 660mg sodium
2. Chicken Caesar Cool Wrap -- 480 calories, 16g fat, 1640mg sodium
3. Chicken Strips Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing -- 800 calories, 60g fat, 1745mg sodium

Don't be fooled by the salads at fast food restaurants. Often times, they comprise nutritionally weak lettuce and veggies topped with cheese and fatty dressings. You think you have made a healthy choice, but you would have been better off with the fried chicken sandwich! In comparison to other fast food restaurants, Chick-fil-a does use Romaine in their salads, so bringing your own balsamic vinaigrette can cure this substandard salad.

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