Business Insider published a map of the United States showing each state’s favorite fast food restaurant. It’s the header picture but for ease it’s also reproduced below. So why is it ridiculous? It’s ridiculous for two huge reasons: 1) Chick-Fil-A is not that good and so presumably the respondents were not basing this solely on food quality; and 2) Texas really disappointed me.
I want to begin by saying that I like Chick-Fil-A a lot. I probably ate Chick-Fil-A once a week or so in law school because the closest dining hall to the law school had a Chick-Fil-A in it and the food was all premade and sitting in warmers so there was rarely a line. And Chick-Fil-A Sauce? Oh, man. I love that sauce.
But when you get right down to it, Chick-Fil-A is good chicken, good french fries, and nothing else, really, in the way of food. I don’t think anything at Chick-Fil-A has ever just completely knocked me out. The service, however, is outstanding. You get the feeling that any given Chick-Fil-A employee would gladly take a bullet for you if it meant you got to enjoy even one more bite of your spicy chicken sandwich. And they almost never screw up an order, and the employees are always friendly, and until recently they looked the other way if you took ten or twelve sauces with you so you could use them with other meals later on.
But the chicken is good, but not great. And the fries are interesting because they’re novel waffle fries, but you don’t really get that many in an order and there are definitely better fries out there. As for the chicken sandwich, Popeye’s is better. Chick-Fil-A is better than the chicken served at hamburger restaurants like McDonald’s or Wendy’s or whatever, but when compared to places that only serve chicken, Chick-Fil-A is very average. Popeye’s, Church’s, and even KFC has better chicken than Chick-Fil-A.
So why on earth did like 30 states choose Chick-Fil-A as their favorite fast food joint? The only reasons I can think of is that they were considering the full experience rather than just the food. Chick-Fil-A’s service is unmatched, and frankly there’s not even a close second. But still: if I had to pick my favorite fast food restaurants, Chick-Fil-A wouldn’t even be in my top 5, and possibly not even in my top 10 if I had a little time to think about it. I just don’t get it.
What was Texas Thinking?
Oh, man. This really hurt my big ol’ Texan soul. I mean…ugh. Just so disappointing. I guess it could have been worse…Texas could have picked In-N-Out. But either way the fact that Texas did not pick Whataburger is very troubling to me.
First of all, Whataburger is a Texas place. Whataburger was founded in Corpus Christi and has a long tradition of being proud of its Texan heritage. The commercials even feature a voiceover of a guy with a deep Central-Texas accent talking about Whataburger and Texas and what not. Plus the food is made to order most of the time. Plus they have partnered with HEB to sell Whataburger ketchup in HEB grocery stores, the most Texan of all grocery stores.
Plus, unlike Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger is open 24/7/365. Every Sunday, every holiday. Whataburger also has more than one type of protein on their menu, has more available add-ons, and is tasty whether you’re hungry or just stopping in at 2:00 a.m. after a night out and needing some grease to soak up all the booze. I seriously bet that I have eaten Whataburger during each of the 24 hours in a day at some point in my life. I know the 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. slots are filled because in college I briefly lived within walking distance of a Whataburger and after drinking it was so easy to run over and grab some taquitos or a burger. And I’ve had countless breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at Whataburger. Yeah. I bet I have had Whataburger in every available hour of the day at some point in my life.
I guess I’m just disappointed in Texas. I’m from Texas, I still live in Texas, and I’m very proud to be a Texan. But this seems like the people conducting the survey only asked people who had recently moved here from California, only asked people who attend very evangelical churches, or only asked people in large metropolitan areas who are less likely to be native Texans and more likely to be transplants. Plus, every single food court in every single skyscraper or mall I’ve been in in Texas has a Chick-Fil-A in it, so maybe people were just picking what they knew was close to them. To steal a line from an old Whataburger commercial, Whataburger got out-Whataburgered by Chick-Fil-A.