Fine Dining In the Big D

Every now and again, I enjoy eating out at a fine dining establishment. This is something I learned as a kid eating at such establishments as Pizza Inn, Pancho’s Mexican Buffett and the five-star rated Pete’s Grill in Gladewater, Texas. As we say in Oklahoma, “it’s just don’t get no better than that.”

So the other day, I was out and about working and I started getting a little bit hungry. I pulled over at one of my favorite places of the finest of dining, Chick-fil-a.

Chick-fil-a is a great place to grab some haute cuisine consisting of chicken, buttery buns and two pickle slices. It’s heaven on earth really. If for whatever reason I one day found myself facing my last meal, I’m pretty sure that if I had a sack of Chick-fil-a, I could die a happy man.

So, I went in to one of the best Chick-fil-a’s in the nation and ordered the best item on the menu: The Number One combo. “Make it a large,” I said. The number one combo is the classic Chick-fil-a sandwich, waffle fries and — for me — a large Coke Zero.

I grabbed my condiments — two mustards and two ketchups — and a couple of napkins and found my seat at a table for one. A couple of minutes later, my plate of deliciousness arrived and I began the preparations for my meal. My preparations are a little different than some maybe. I like to put the mustard on my sandwich first. I make sure to get a little on the top bun and a little on the chicken too. It is a precise art that I have perfected over the years.

I remember eating my first Chick-fil-a back in the 1970s at the Town East Mall in Mesquite, Texas. Back then the only Chick-fil-a restaurants around were in malls. They didn’t have the stand-alone stores. All of the stores were still closed on Sundays, which makes me sad to this day. But I get it. The founder of Chick-fil-a, which I believe was Benjamin Franklin, made sure to honor his God by closing down on the sabbath. I’ll just have to find a way to satisfy my lustful craving for Chick-fil-a on the other six sinful days a week.

Back to the presentation and preparation. For my waffle fries, I like to spill the fries out on my tray, on a single layer, and spread a commodious amount of ketchup on each and every waffle fry. I love the waffle fries. I love the ketchup on the waffle fries. What I don’t love is trickery.

Let me explain (and I will include photos).

Waffle fries at Chick-fil-a are delicious. Probably the best in the world. Certainly the best in the United States and Nebraska. But there are some rules that Chick-fil-a needs to abide by. These rules are what constitutes a waffle fry and what does not constitute a waffle fry.

First off, a waffle fry must have waffles — holes in the fry. The proper waffle fry should look like tennis racket. I like to put ketchup all across the “strings” if you will. Ketchup should fill at least 60 percent of the holes in the racket.

The fry on the left is the perfect waffle fry. IMG_3291

Unfortunately the fry on the right is some type of communist propaganda trying to pass itself off as a waffle fry. There are no holes. There is no tennis racket. There are no waffles.

In every batch of waffle fries from Chick-fil-a, a couple of the fries will be intruders. I know the good folks at Chick-fil-a — including old Ben Franklin himself — do what they can to prevent this type of calamity from happening. And I appreciate the effort. But when I accidentally bite into one of the interlopers, I almost throw up a little bit in my mouth. They are all wet and gooey and gross. Wet and gooey and gross might be perfect for fries at a Wendy’s or something, but not a waffle fry.

How did I get off down this rabbit hole. Anyway, I enjoyed my sandwich, my Coke Zero and all of the actual waffle fries with the perfect amount of ketchup. The fraudulent fries went in the trash can, where they belonged.

IMG_3292

All in all it was a good day for fine dining and I can’t wait to get back to my favorite Chick-fil-a restaurant again. What is today? Oh crap, it’s Sunday.

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