If you’ve grown up in the 518 like me and my fellow staff writers here at Two Buttons Deep have, you know a lot has changed around here since our diaper days. Changes mostly come in the form of strip malls, new technologies and cookie-cutter neighborhoods, but hey, that’s middle-class America in 2016. There’s plenty of other places we can visit to feel hip and cultured.
But let me be clear: this new development is a serious one. A beloved restaurant could be finding a new home in the Capital Region. It means a lot to me personally and I’m not exaggerating when I say it could change the lives of people in our community.
There are some plans in the works to build the legendary chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A off of route 146 right in Clifton Park’s sidekick, the town of Halfmoon. And if you think it’s just another fast food chain, you’re wrong. When I heard the news I turned into a literal heart eyes emoji.
I speak with some level of expertise, as I spent my so-called study abroad year in Tallahassee, Florida at Florida State University in 2012 (later graduating from Ithaca College). It was there that I was first exposed to the perfection and pure goodness that exists within the walls of this fine establishment.
And of course, it’s not without its controversy*, but the thought of this delicious chain making its way upstate is a dream come true. There will be some hurdles and obstacles along the way until the new location is confirmed in the 518, but I hope it happens.
The chicken sandwich chain, based in Atlanta, has more than 2,000 locations in 43 states nationwide, but none of its franchises are in upstate New York. The nearest restaurants are in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and Enfield, Connecticut. There are three locations in Manhattan and one in Queens, and they are the only New York state locations.
So if you’ve never experienced Chick-fil-A before and want to form an opinion around this new proposal, I invite you to browse through the list below for the top 5 reasons to get excited for Chick-fil-A in the 518.
- Real chicken: These grilled chicken nuggets are an absolute blessing. You’re not going to feel sick to your stomach about eating something breaded, fried and uncomfortably artificial when you’re eating this type of fast food.
- The sauce: Endless options. Honey mustard, Polynesian, Sweet and Spicy Sriracha, Buffalo, Barbecue and way more. My personal favorite is the standard Chick-fil-A sauce, which you’ll just have to wait and see what it’s all about.
- Customer service: Chick-fil-A employees are committed to the excellence of the product they serve. When you eat inside the restaurant, expect your meals to be brought out to you, cleaned up if you wish and for those free refills to be flowin’. It’s called good ol’ southern hospitality.
4. Waffle fries: Waffle fries are one of those things you wish you had more readily available –and when they are available, you feel obliged to order them. Chick-fil-A gets it and knows the fries are the perfect accessory to your breakfast, lunch or dinner sandwich.
5. Closed on Sundays: This might seem like a negative, but you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. Chick-fil-A closing on Sundays gives you that time to crave and miss it, which is exactly what keeps you going back for more when you know it can’t be yours 24/7.
Needless to say, upstate, NY would be quite literally blessed for Chick-fil-A to make an appearance here. The lines will be long, but the wait will be worth it.
*Disclaimer: I am not in support of Chick-fil-A’s publicized disdain for the LGBT community. It’s super unfortunate and hurts the opinion of the organization as a whole, though the CEO has come forth, formally apologized and made progress over the last couple of years. However, everyone has their own beliefs. And I firmly believe in the awesomeness of Chick-fil-A sauce and free refills.