Like any good Southern girl, I love chicken salad. Here in the South, you can find it anywhere from funerals to picnics, baby showers to barbecues. Actually…I’m willing to bet chicken salad was exactly what those handsome young men brought Scarlett O’Hara at the 12 Oaks picnic.
Now. I’m gonna tell you a little secret. Lean in real close because this is pretty scandalous for a true Southern girl. A little closer. Okay, too close. Back up just a bit.
I cannot make good chicken salad to save my life.
I have tried so hard. I have tried it with lots of mayo. Eww. I have tried with no mayo. Also eww. I have tried it with grapes. And apples. And nuts. And it has driven me a bit nuts because I cannot get it just right.
So you can imagine my excitement yesterday when I stumbled across a game-changer.
My mom knows my love-hate relationship with the pursuit of the perfect chicken salad so she invited me to try a new restaurant. When she told me it was a chicken salad place, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It was love at first sight. From the moment we walked in the front door of Chicken Salad Chick, I knew this was going to be an awesome place. The decor is beautifully trendy but not intimidating. From the gorgeous photographs of local landmarks to the hilarious menu descriptions and framed advice on the bathroom walls (ladies, be sure to check out how to determine the extent of your man’s love for you), they have created a wonderful mix of Southern sass and class.
It was as if Julia Sugarbaker had finally realized her secret dream of running a restaurant.
But the food. Oh my word, let’s talk about the food.
There were fifteen different chicken salad recipes on the menu. Fifteen. I counted. You could spend an eternity trying to decide which is your favorite.
I sampled a few before ultimately deciding on the Cranberry Kelli. My own personal “white whale” of chicken salad attempts. It was delicious. There was just the right amount of, well, everything on a perfectly toasted croissant.
Because I ordered this chicken salad perfection as part of a soup and sandwich combo, I was doubling up on my “try new things in 2013.” All of the soups sounded terrific, but I was especially intrigued by the Chicken and Artichoke Florentine. I had never heard of such a soup combination. I’m not even gonna lie, y’all. I definitely did the “yummy dance.”
What’s that? How was the tea? Such a great question! The “house wine of the South” is such a simple concept and yet so many places can mess it up so badly. An unforgivable sin around here. Let me assure you, this tea was freshly brewed and perfectly sweetened. They nailed it.
There are so many other combinations that I can’t wait to try and maybe even pass off as my own. Just kidding, just kidding. Although, they do have a great catering menu so…technically…if one was terrible at making chicken salad then one could order enough to feed an army at a church potluck or wedding shower. Just sayin’.
I’m already craving it again, especially on this chilly day. Talk about the perfect comfort food. And everyone on staff was so sweet and friendly. So you really do feel like you’re headed over to a friend’s house for a little lunch and girl talk. Unfortunately, Tallahassee will have to wait until the Grand Opening on Tuesday. But if you’re lucky enough to live near one of the five established locations, go have some soup for me. And if you live near Mobile, Valdosta, Birmingham, Greenville, or Destin…just be patient. Chicken Salad Chick is moving into your area soon! You can visit her on Facebook to keep up with the latest information.
So get ready, Tallahassee! We have a new chick in town and you have just got to go meet her. Tell her I said hi!
*Disclaimer: These opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any way other than having my tummy full of yummy goodness. Actually…no one even asked me to write this. It was just that good.*