REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with Chick-fil-A’s New Grilled Chicken

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

The way I see it we can start this one of two ways. The first is periphrastic, if not predictable. I tell you some sad story about how urban life deprived me of backyard cookouts as a child (a lie), or maybe I opine with a completely unnecessary (but eloquently articulated) treatise on how grilled chicken is the bastard stepchild of the fast food community and should never be ordered when a deep fried and crispy counterpart is available.

Or I could just cut the bullshit and tell you that Chick-fil-A’s new Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich is one of the best grilled chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had.

Yes, ever, and certainly the best rendition from a fast food or quick service restaurant. And no, that’s not an indictment of my own grilling ability, nor should it be confused with a history of rarely ordering grilled chicken sandwiches. Simply put, the new and improved marinade, combined with the preparation on what’s being labeled a “proprietary grill,” yields a flavor and texture that’s unlike the boring and prefabricated “grilled” chicken breasts served half-assed by other fast food restaurants.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Sauces

I was skeptical at first. Opportunity cost and its ever-present threat of regret make ordering anything but the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich virtually impossible for me, while a natural prejudice against fast food items above the five dollar mark made me initially question my decision. Still, with a full court press campaign touting what a game-changing sandwich this is, I figured it couldn’t hurt to go grilled over crispy at least once. If nothing else, it would give me an excuse to replenish my precariously low stash of Chick-fil-A sauces.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Grill Marks

Let’s just say I was more than pleasantly surprised. Actually, I was blown away, and plan to come back for more. The chicken breast itself is head and shoulders above what most fast food restaurants dole out. Unlike the “chicken breast filet with rib meat” patties at places like McDonald’s, the Chick-fil-A breast retains its natural shape, and doesn’t have any off flavors from injected sodium filler used to plump it up. Instead, the marinade and the grill contribute the main flavors. It’s got a nice apple cider vinegar tang and lemon zing while still having a really herby element and a touch of sweetness. The grill flavor is pronounced and authentic—I kid you not, had you blindfolded me and thrown a Frisbee at my head, I would have sworn I was at a backyard cookout (I would have also chucked the Frisbee back at your head, sicko.) Finally, it’s beyond juicy. Succulent sounds about right to me.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Bacon

The rest of the fixings really push the sandwich over the top and help validate the $5.36 price tag. Unlike most club sandwiches, it divorces the usual swiss cheese in favor of Colby-Jack. I think it’s a good move because it has a richer, more milky-sweet taste than domestic slices of “swiss cheese,” although for the full flavor to come into effect, it’s best to let the cheese steam while in the container. The bacon has an enjoyable smoke flavor that really helps bolster the taste of the cheese and chicken, but it’s middle of pack texturally speaking now that McDonald’s has upgraded to thicker slices. Still, the produce is fresh if not a bit excessive, while the bun, which might just boast every whole grain on the planet, has a pleasant give and complex flavor. It’s not cloying like all these newfangled “brioche” style buns or dense like the old Chick-fil-A wheat buns, and instead tastes solidly of toasted grains without tasting too healthy.

Finally, the removal of pickles (which appeared on the old Grilled Chicken sandwich) does wonders, getting rid of any last vestment of “canned” flavor and producing something unabashedly fresh in every sense of the word. It was so enjoyable that, after taking several bites and being greeted by the symphonic flavors and textures, I completely forgot about the seven separate sauces I was provided with for, uh, “testing” purposes.

Look, I get it. It’s a grilled chicken sandwich, and not something 90 percent of us who eat fast food regularly are going to get excited about. Having subjected myself to grilled chicken sandwiches from the likes of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s in semi-regular spats of misguided healthy-eating, I really can’t fault you for having low expectations. But this sandwich is different. It really is a game-changer, and looks and feels every part of a perfectly cooked grilled chicken sandwich you’d expect to pay at least eight or nine bucks for at a full service restaurant. I’m no branding expert, and I definitely don’t plan on getting into bovine linguistics, but with a club sandwich this good, the cows might want to change their slogan to “eat more grilled chicken*.

*translated, roughly, from “moooo.”

(Nutrition Facts – 440 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1090 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, 38 grams of protein, 25% DV calcium.).)

Item: Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich
Purchased Price: $5.36
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Chick-fil-A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Unbelievably succulent chicken breast with amazing chargrilled flavor. Lemon, herb, and garlic marinade completely permeates the meat. No rib meat slime or “butter oil” flavor. Colby-Jack cheese has milky-sweet notes. Bacon has good smoke flavor, produce is fresh and clean, and bun is exceptional. No extra charge for ridiculous sauce requests.
Cons: Cheese flavor is better once warmed and slightly melted, so better to get to-go. Bacon could be thicker and more assertive. Size of the lettuce leaf makes it awkward to eat.

11 thoughts to “REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with Chick-fil-A’s New Grilled Chicken”

  1. “Periphrastic”? This blog is becoming far too intellectual for me – especially when it comes to talk of fast food sandwiches. 😉

  2. Based on your review I went out and tried it. Spot on. It’s no ordinary grilled chicken sandwich. I also wish the cheese was more melted. They offered me a choice of 3 cheeses. I went with the Colby jack.

  3. I just looked at Chick Fil a’s ingredients for the grilled chicken sandwich (old one I hope). There were 31 ingredients in the chicken itself! The first was water and the 18th was chicken meat. Holy crap. I don’t know what to think.

    1. Grilled chicken (water, apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, yeast extract, salt, modified corn starch, palm oil, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, corn maltodextrin, sea salt, flavor, sugar, chicken stock, cane molasses, chicken fat, spice, natural flavor [including smoke], dextrose, lemon peel, citric acid, red bell pepper, orange juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, natural flavor, paprika, vinegar, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, and spices),

      While that is a long list, yes, it’s simply the list of what the chicken is marinated in. The chicken itself is still just a chicken breast. Otherwise “rib meat” would be listed there.

      Chicken stock and chicken fat are both components of chicken marinade, they essentially create a chicken flavored broth.
      Water is the first ingredient because it, too, is required to create a marinade.

      Again, these are NOT the ingredients for what’s IN the “chicken,” it’s ingredients for what the chicken is cooked and prepared with.

      The only reason it’s even broken down that way is in case someone is allergic to something found in the marinade.

  4. I tried this reluctantly because I was a big fan of their old grilled chicken club sandwich, but I have to admit that it was a delicious improvement. The marinade and grill flavors were really aparent and the quality of the chicken is miles ahead of any other fast food grilled chicken. I actually miss the pickles, but its an easy fix because CFA will let you add them to the sandwich.

  5. I’m really disappointed in the new grilled chicken. I worked at CFA for a number of years, and the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich has long been a favorite of mine. To see the delicious yummy-ness of my favorite CFA entree replaced by this bland pretender to the throne is heartbreaking. I was given coupons to get the new grilled sandwich for free, but I just could not bring myself to order it, even if it meant I had to pay for something else. The new stuff just isn’t the same, and I fear I may give up on CFA entirely.

  6. I tried their grilled chicken nuggets last night. First, I was shocked at the price. Chick-fil-A always has been an expensive option for eating out (that and Arby’s), but over eight dollars for the 12-count nugget meal? And that’s before I upsized it (because I really like Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries). I liked the flavor, but looking at it and feeling the texture…it just felt like there was something wrong with the meat. I looked up at the grilled chicken club, which has been what I’ve almost always ordered every other time I’ve gone, and it suddenly hit me. I think Chick-fil-A is using cheaper quality chicken breast meat for the new grilled selection. Maybe they had to dress it up with the new spices and grilling method so diehard Chick-fil-A fans wouldn’t notice. The old club was bought only by 7% of customers, from one article I read, so who will notice? Well, I guess I noticed. I really liked their old club. The fried chicken sandwich, especially the spicy fried chicken sandwich…very tasty! But I don’t really like fried chicken sandwiches, and I’m morbidly obese. I was disappointed…and shocked at the new prices. I don’t plan on going back.

  7. I’ve wanted to find and patronize a Chick-Fil-A near me. Charbroiled chicken sounds intriguing! ..And in a CLUB!?!–Oooh, yeah! I’ll need a pile of pickles on the side.. and a Chick-Fil-A T-shirt, so they’d better sell those, too. I found a restaurant in Mechanicsburg, PA–Fording the Susquehanna River for supper. 😉

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