There have been so many times I would find myself in a Chick-fil-A to stock up on the essential dipping sauces they carry. Yup, I would slap Chick-fil-A sauce on pretty much everything in my 20’s including pizza, tacos, and hundreds of turkey sandwiches.
Looks like I will no longer need an excuse to order that sweet tea and ask for a handful of Chick-fil-A and Polynesian sauces to pair it with any longer.
The restaurant folks nationwide crave most on Sundays has announced they’ll be bottling two of their most popular sauces and selling them in stores.
In mid-November, customers can find the sauces in 16-ounce bottles in participating retailers such as Publix, Kroger, Walmart, and Winn-Dixie in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi. The sauces will become widely available to those retailer chains nationwide in early 2021.
Now I’ll only have to bear the massive drive-thru line if I want a sandwich or their mac and cheese. Man, that mac and cheese is bomb.
Pimento cheese has long been revered for its blend of creamy, cheesy, and spicy flavors and textures. In the United States, especially in the South, the spread has long been a favorite for biscuits, crackers, and veggies.
However, when it comes to fast food, it’s been hard to find outside of regional chain favorites like Bojangles or Krystal. That’s all changing, though, as Chick-fil-A is beginning to test pimento cheese on one of its fried chicken sandwiches.
Called the Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich, the sandwich plays both off of pimento cheese and the “hot honey” flavor trend seen in grocery stores and restaurants alike, especially paired up with fried chicken.
The sandwich features a fried chicken breast filet drizzled with honey, along with pickled jalapenos and some pimento cheese schmeared over the chicken. For those who love pimento cheese, the sandwich provides those creamy textures and spicy heat, but adds a sweet honey and fried chicken to give some complexity to what we know and love about the spread.
The sandwich is available as a limited-time test offer in upstate South Carolina (ie. Greenville) and around Asheville, North Carolina.
With restaurants around the world taking extreme precautions to futhur prevent the spread of COVID-19, fast food chains such as Chick-fil-A have taken the necessary steps to keep their employees hands as clean as possible.
The chicken sandwich chain just announced that they’ll be installing hand wash stations at every Chick-fil-A drive-thru and mall location nationwide beginning on April 11, reports NRN.
Employees working outside in the drive-thru will be required to wash their hands every 30 minutes and every time they interact with cold hard cash, on top of their already mandated disinfecting routines, to give themselves and customers that extra layer of protection against the virus.
Image Courtesy of Chick-Fil-A
The company is also encouraging customers to swipe their own cards during transactions to minimize foreign contact between employees. Some employees are even said to be wearing non-surgical face coverings while working in the restaurant.
As someone who’s been extra nervous about picking up food from restaurants, this extra precaution brings me some much-needed relief.
With Coronavirus news changing daily, little by little, our favorite bars, cafes, and mom-and-pop restaurants are all closing down, leaving us with the option of fist-fighting grocery shoppers for a pack of chicken, or taking our chances on a fast food restaurant.
A good amount of the larger quick-service restaurants have the luxury of staying open in this time of crisis, and a lot are taking more precautions than usual.
With the widespread uneasiness, it’s understandable to feel that going anywhere is a risk. Our favorite restaurants know this, and are doing their best to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
We can confirm that restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Subway, and Starbucks have all vowed to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitation.
Each restaurant’s statement is a little different, but they all communicate some form of:
“We are closely monitoring and following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure we are doing our part to keep you, our staff, and our communities safe.”
If you have gone to any fast food spot, there’s a good chance the employees are sporting latex gloves for your protection and theirs. Honestly, even that little wrinkle helps put your mind at ease.
Wanna keep y’all updated on what’s going on. Our drive-thru and pick-up are open. We also have free delivery available with Grubhub and Postmates. Click here for the latest: https://t.co/FwyQDvt9vd
Depending on your area, all of these restaurants also deliver to some capacity, with some offering pick-up options while dining rooms closures have become standard protocol. And of course, the drive-thrus are still open, allowing them align with the CDC’s advisement of keeping groups of people to 10 or less.
Chick-Fil-A has a practice of handing out physical menus to customers at the Drive-Thru, but that has been eliminated to keep interactions at a minimum.
KFC, Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and Del Taco are not only delivering, but as of now, those deliveries are free. Blaze Pizza’s delivery is free through Postmates and Door Dash through March 22.
Del Taco’s delivery is free through Postmates with the code: DelTacoNow.
Chipotle’s free delivery will run until March 31 using their fancy new Delivery Kitchen that includes a tamper-proof seal on your food and the ability to watch your driver’s route.
Now, KFC’s delivery is going above and beyond, being available until April 26. The order minimum is $12 and can be ordered through their site or Grubhub.
While most restaurant statements have mentioned employee safety being a priority, Starbucks really made sure to reiterate that they’re putting their “partners” AKA employees, first. Starbucks said their employees, “…Never have to choose between work and taking care of themselves.” Which aside from limiting social interactions, also means that if partners feel ill, they can take time off, and if that means that they have to relocate healthy employees or even temporary close down a store, that is what they’ll do.
Starbucks has also extended their “Catastrophe Pay” program, which is usually offered to partners during hurricanes and/or flooding. Partners will be given up to 14 days pay if affected by COVID-19. That time is in addition to possible sick pay, vacation pay or PTO that is normally offered.
In accordance with social distancing guidance from the CDC and public health authorities, we are temporarily closing stores in some locations, and moving the majority of our company-operated stores to a “to go” model across the U.S. and Canada. https://t.co/U5M01tcwDLpic.twitter.com/9Y9AD50pPw
So there are extreme measures that fast food restaurants are taking, and rightfully so. Any time you step out of your door, there’s risk, but it’s good to see that measures are taken to try and keep consumers and employees safe.
But above all, remember to have compassion toward any and all employees. While some Americans can work from home or have the luxury of taking time off to stay home in these times, restaurant employees are helping keep essential food businesses running.
Back in 2017, we at Foodbeast broke a story that caught the eyes of many outlets around the country that came to be known as #PopeyesGate. It involved a restaurant named Sweet Dixie Kitchen in Long Beach, CA that incurred some backlash from the public after being caught using store bought Popeyes chicken, and repurposing it to be served in their chicken and waffles dish. An angry yelper recounted his dismay when he saw the boxes being brought in, feeling bamboozled, especially for having to pay for a meal that would cost significantly less at Popeyes. That led to a sneering reply from owner, Kim Sanchez, who defended her actions on the premise that “Popeyes was the best chicken.” We even paid them an incognito visit, in hopes of getting a better understanding of the whole story.
The whole thing blew up, and long story short, the internet agreed that an ethical line was crossed. Without full disclosure to customers, Sweet Dixie Kitchen passed off someone else’s work as their own. It’s just like school, nobody likes the weak link in the group project that still gets the same grade as everybody else.
While food plagiarism is indeed controversial, the practice isn’t illegal, and who knows if this specific case is even grounds for filing a lawsuit? At the end of the day, Sweet Dixie Kitchen embraced their infamy, benefited from it and continued with operations as normal but with a bit of added transparency.
Fast forward to August 2019, after all was thought to be said and done: Sweet Dixie returns to the spotlight after two years, but this time, with help from an unlikely collaborator: Popeyes!
“To be honest, I thought they were calling to sue me,” detailed Sanchez. Instead, Popeyes invited them to debut their biggest product launch in thirty years! Apparently, the folks at Popeyes were so honored by the whole #PopeyesGate situation that they felt a little collaboration was in order. What better way to show their appreciation than to allow Sweet Dixie Kitchen the honor of launching the new chicken sandwich into the world? How odd is it that a series of strange moments of virality led to a neighborhood eatery having the Popeyes chicken sandwich before Popeyes itself. Nobody could have guessed that things would come around full circle, and we would end up with a sudden cultural phenomenon in our hands.
The internet is a wild place where things happen in the blink of an eye, and word just gets around real fast… like that one time you gave your friend a piece of gum during recess, and suddenly you’re surrounded by parasites with their hands out. On the day that Popeyes dropped their new chicken sandwich at all their stores, #BlackTwitter set social media ablaze, pronouncing a (chicken) coup d’etat set to dethrone Chick-Fil-A’s hold on the matter.
Honestly, I’m just glad we’re done with licking tubs of ice cream at the grocery store—that was a dark time for all of us.
Let’s be real, up until the past month, Chick-Fil-A was “Top Cow,” the heavyweight champ, the superhero (but the one everyone would be ashamed to be saved by…you know, cause of the homophobia thing). No one challenged the status quo until Popeye’s dared to rinse the pickle juice out of our eyes and showed us how to throw some Cajun into the mix.
Popeyes Initial Announcement 8/12
Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences. pic.twitter.com/14kXBv4jJw
It was at that moment, the dam broke, and any fast food chain who felt they had a say in the matter, did—which is why the Internet stays undefeated. From petty clapbacks to side-eyed comments, the “Chicken Sandwich Wars” between the nation’s top fast food chains had the internet at a standstill, with everyone and their mama trying to get their opinions in.
While the exchange between Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A was mild at best, Wendy’s wasn’t afraid to get into it, tweeting: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich.”
After just fifteen days of long lines, brawls, and countless “Come Back Later” signs, Popeyes just could not keep up with the demand and announced a temporary SOLD OUT sign on their beloved chicken sandwich. Like a bright comet, it came and went, with a brilliant flash that blazed through our timelines. Until it’s return, we wait (or just go back to contaminating tubs of ice cream).
There’s a certain devastation when a fast food restaurant discontinues a top notch menu item. Such a tragedy was felt when Chick-Fil-A got rid of its Spicy Chicken Biscuit, and doubled when Wendy’s Spicy Nuggets suddenly disappeared.
While those items are sorely missed, Jack In The Box is jumping in to rub some Vicks on our broken hearts with their new Spicy Chicken Tenders.
Can they fully replace the other spicy favorites? Probably not, but they are delicious in their own right, and hopefully stick around longer than your ex did.
Jack’s selling them in three and five-piece combos starting at $4.99.
Early feedback seems pretty positive, so far, as eaters have been digging the new spicy tenders:
Order the spicy chicken tenders from Jack In The Box, thank me later….
I gave them a shot myself, and I’m willing to co-sign these strips.
Having a fairly high tolerance for spicy, I wasn’t expecting these to light my mouth on fire, and they didn’t. That’s not a knock, though.
On a heat scale, they’re probably about three notches above “white people spicy,” and maybe a notch below continuously eating a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Mine didn’t have a crunch to them, but they also had to endure a 10 minute walk back to the Foodbeast office.
Jack is also positioning the strips as “Bigger, bolder and batter,” and they did seem to have some girth to them. Don’t expect them to be big enough to be used as a weapon, but they’re a decent size as far as strips go.
While our hearts will always yearn for the chicken of spicy past, these can fill the void quite admirably.
Last October, it was discovered that Chick-fil-A restaurants were testing a Key Lime Pie-flavored drink in the Austin, TX, area. A take on the popularized Florida dessert, the beverage was met with a pretty positive reception from customers. So much so that it’s becoming official.
Chick-fil-A has just announced that the Frosted Key Lime will be making a national release beginning Monday, March 18.
A hand-spun combination of the chain’s vanilla IceDream, Lemonade, and a natural sugar-free lime flavoring, the beverage will be sold in stores across the country.
Fans of Key Lime, just be sure to savor this slowly. Brain freeze is no joke.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on this frosted beverage, make sure to hustle. The limited-time drink will be available through May 25 or while supplies last.
Chick-fil-A is out here breaking fans’ hearts with their newest item, as it comes ever so close to being a Spicy Chicken Biscuit… but falls just short.
Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A
Sure, you can argue that the difference between the OG Spicy Chicken Biscuit and this new Spicy Chicken Strip Biscuit is subtle, but come on, it’s just two strips inside of a biscuit.
It seems like a complete tease that Chick-fil-A would make something that not only looks, but tastes just like their coveted discontinued item, but is just so slightly different that it can’t be called the same thing.
Is this a sign that we’ll never get the fan-favorite item again? Perhaps, but at least this Spicy Chicken Strip Biscuit can provide some temporary, muted reprieve.
For those looking to get a hint of the beloved breakfast biscuit, you can find the chicken strip version of it at participating locations in Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona. It’s currently being tested in these locations alongside some other spicy sandwiches for a potential nationwide launch.