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June 19, 2013
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I hosted a salad tasting party for my friends through a campaign with Mom It Forward, and all of the delicious food was provided at no cost.
If you are a regular reader here, then you know that my family loves Chick-fil-A! We meet friends every Tuesday for "Chick-fil-A Tuesday", and we've been doing so for a couple of years now. The food is great, the service is exceptional, and it is the one night each week that I know my kids will eat their dinner without a fuss!
When I was given the opportunity to host a salad tasting party for several of my mom friends, I jumped at the chance. Yes, I ate at Chick-fil-A two times that week, but that was fine by me! We were invited to come in and try out the new Chick-fil-A salads and learn more about them.
When my friends and I arrived at Chick-fil-A, we were greeted by Anna, who was our hostess for the evening. She had a nice table set up in the middle of the restaurant for us, which was decorated with flowers and cute little Chick-fil-A cows.
Anna explained to us that they had made up small, individual portions of the three new salads, and she would bring them out one by one. She had already placed the three new salad dressings on the table, and told us she would tell us the best pairing for each salad as she brought them out.
The first salad Anna brought out for us to try was the Grilled Market Salad. With two servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit, this salad is rich in antioxidants, and it is also gluten free (without any condiments). The Grilled Market Salad contains sliced grilled chicken, chopped romaine lettuce & baby greens, red cabbage, carrots, fresh apples, strawberries, blueberries and crumbled blue cheese. This salad also comes with packages of roasted nut blend and harvest nut granola, and the suggested dressing is the Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
Since I have a child with a nut allergy, I absolutely love that the nuts come in a separate package. With the fruit on this salad, this might be something Rylie would actually eat, and it is great that she can have it without the nuts. It is also great for those who may be watching their calories. Before you add those two packages, this salad is only at 180 calories, and some may skip the extras to keep the calorie count lower. Of course that's not what I did!
I wasn't too sure about this salad at first because I'm not a fan of blue cheese, but I have to admit, it was pretty awesome. The blue cheese was not overpowering, and it actually blended well with all of the other flavors in the salad. Not only is this salad healthy, it tastes great too!
Next up was the Asian Salad. This salad contains sliced, hot nuggets, chopped romaine lettuce & baby greens, red cabbage, carrots, and mandarin orange segments. Served on the side are packages of honey-Thai almonds and Chinese garlic & ginger wontons, and the suggested dressing is the Honey Sesame.
The Asian Salad is absolutely delicious! The mandarin oranges and the ginger in the dressing complement each other so well, and each bite is a perfect combination of Asian flavors.
Ron, one of the store managers, stopped by our table to see if we were enjoying the salads, and he told us that he liked the Asian Salad with spicy chicken. We asked him if you can have your salads customized when you order, and he said that even though the salads are prepared throughout the day so that they are ready when you order them, you can definitely order these salads any way you like. You may just have to wait a few minutes while they make it up for you. You can have them omit ingredients you don't like and you can get different types of chicken. That is the kind of Chick-fil-A service I have come to expect, which you certainly don't get at other fast food restaurants!
The last salad we tried was my favorite, the Cobb Salad. This delicious salad contains sliced, hot nuggets, chopped romaine lettuce & baby greens, shredded red cabbage & carrots, roasted corn kernels, crumbled bacon, hard-boiled egg, shredded Monterey jack & cheddar cheeses and grape tomatoes. The "extra" that is served in a separate package is charred tomato & crispy red bell peppers. Now, I don't like tomatoes or peppers, but let me tell you, those veggies must go through some kind of magical transformation, because I think they make the salad! The suggested dressing for this salad is the Avocado Lime Ranch. Yum, yum, yum.
When I was first approached about hosting this tasting party, I kept hearing the words "new salads". I thought to myself "they just got new salads, are they replacing them again?" Well it turns out that my area was a test market for these salads, and we got them ahead of everyone else. I had not yet tried the Grilled Market Salad or the Asian Salad before this event, but I had eaten the Cobb Salad several times, and I absolutely love it! It even replaced my beloved Spicy Chicken Sandwich that I usually ordered on Tuesday nights.
A couple of my friends who came to the event had never had the salads before that night. They were honestly surprised at how great they tasted. We all really enjoyed all of the salads, and I think the only somewhat-negative comment of the whole night was that someone didn't like one of the new dressings and preferred Ranch instead.
I want to thank my friends who came out to our Chick-fil-A salad tasting party...(clockwise from the front left to the front right) Jenn, Lara (blogger at My Inner Red Head and a MOM Reviews), Nery, Dorothy, me, and Amy (blogger at Who Said Nothing in Life is Free? and Orlando Daily Deals). It was such a fun night!
We ended the party with warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies, because, after all, I can't leave Chick-fil-A without having one. I also had to pick up a salad for Brian, since the new salads are also his favorite menu items, and my kids were thrilled when I came home with two Chick-fil-A cows!
If you have a Chick-fil-A in your area and haven't tried these new salads yet, you simply MUST. They are absolutely delicious, and I haven't had one that wasn't. The lettuce is always crispy and the chicken is always tasty. And like every other meal I have had at Chick-fil-A, these salads are served with a smile!
Have you tried the new Chick-fil-A salads yet? If so, which is your favorite? If not, which one will you try first?