'Dixieland Delight' by Kirstin Massmann
Growing up just south of Atlanta there are a few southern indulgences that I hold near and dear to my heart. Coca-Cola is one of them that rules most of the beverage world but absolutely dominates all of Atlanta. I grew up working in restaurants asking people if they wanted a ‘Coke’ and they would respond with what kind; Sprite, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola, etc. It was understood that there is no ‘soda’, ‘cola’, ‘pepsi’ or ‘pop’ but everything was and is ‘Coke’.
Cheddar cheese grits is something else that I have grown to miss more and more living in Chicago. The best cheese grits I have found in city are at Cary Taylor’s ‘The Southern’ located in Wickerpark. Needless to say he is also from the Atlanta area and does them right!
My most missed southern indulgence has finally arrived in all of its glory about three weeks ago. On the corner of Chicago and Wabash now sits the most beautiful Chick-fil-a I have ever seen. When you pass it you may notice the cow mascot outside or upwards of 100 people in line wrapped around the building and wonder what the hype is all about. In a few words Chick-fil-a is about hospitality and real food that tastes great. You are always greeted with a smile, kind words and the most polite version of your welcome, ‘my pleasure’. Once you have your meal and are seated down in the VERY clean, nice dining area, it is not uncommon for a host to come around and make sure you have the sauces you want and your drink is filled.
As for the food, it is mostly southern style fried and grilled chicken sandwiches, nuggets, wraps, noodle soup, salads, and breakfast burritos and biscuits. The chicken is battered and fried each day in the store and the wraps and salads are made fresh. When Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-a in the early 1960’s his mission was and still is ‘To be America’s best quick-service restaurant’. Needless to say I certainly think he and his family owned restaurant business have done just that.