Fast Food Review: Lemon Pie from Chick-fil-A
When I think of Chick-fil-A I think of juicy, pressure-cooked chicken sandwiches, giant milkshakes, and those classic skin-on waffle fries. But have you ever checked out any of Chick-fil-A’s other menu items, including the Lemon Pie? I hadn’t, that was until last week, when a lunchtime impulse for something sweet led me to give it a go.
A not-too-tart lemon filling, in a tasty graham cracker crumb crust, topped with meringue and two vanilla wafers.
I’m usually not a pie guy, but the Maryland heat must have gotten the best of me, so much so that I ponied up the $1.79 for a slice in addition to my regular order of a Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with bacon (random aside: best fast food bacon EVER) . This pie is proof that there is truth in advertising — that is, if you do your research first. From the two-wafers on top to the “not-too-tart lemon filling,” my slice of pie looked almost exactly as the website described it, and came in a plastic container. The problem was that I hadn’t ever seen the pie before, and seeing it on the menu I assumed it was served cold and of the icebox variety. Boy was I wrong. This is in fact a warm pie, and doesn’t carry the same “light” connotation you might expect from the traditional southern dessert.
Still, it’s pie, and who am I to pass on pie? At first there was almost no sign of the lemon curd underneath the stiff meringue, which proved sweet, thick and clean tasting, unlike some kind of cheap cool-whip filling you might otherwise expect. Sure enough the lemon filling was underneath, although the portion was comparatively less than the meringue. It was slightly warm and thick, and surprisingly rich. The tartness factor was definitely underwhelming, and I didn’t get any sense of relief from the lemon flavor — which, while present — seemed muted because of a lack of sweetness. The graham cracker crust was definitely on the moister side (almost soggy, really), and while it had good graham flavor and a hint of honey, it didn’t provide any “wow” factor worth noting. I did, however, really enjoy the vanilla wafers, which weren’t hard or stale, and instead chewy and moist. There was also a noticeable toasted look on the top of the meringue, but I didn’t feel as though it added anything.
I enjoyed the Lemon Pie, but for some reason I feel like it lacks a “wow” factor. I would have enjoyed a more pronounced and tart lemon flavor, which I think would have sharpened the sweetness and cut some of the richness in the lemon curd filling. I liked the meringue topping and appreciated its texture, but overall I felt that the graham cracker crust was a tad too artificial tasting, while the entire pie would have benefited from a colder serving temperature. It’s a reasonable buy for the price, but doesn’t win many points in the nutrition department (although I guess you could do much worse with a milkshake). Like all of Chick-fil-A’s menu items I think it’s superior to anything comparable you’d find at another fast food restaurant, but unlike some of Chick-fil-A’s menu items, I wouldn’t put it in the “OMG I NEED MY FIX” category. Next time I think I’ll blow my calories on an extra Chargrilled Chicken with Applewood Smoked Bacon sandwich.
Pros: Stiff, sweet meringue topping tastes fresh. Lemon Curd filling is thick and rich. Warm vanilla wafer goodness. 15% of daily calcium. Truth in advertising. Better for you than a milkshake.
Cons: Would be better off served cold. Crust is unmemorable. Comparatively weak lemon flavor. Needs more tartness. Contains hydrogenated oils. Looking like a dork while licking the plastic container.
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.50/10
Overall GrubGrade: 7.50/10
More Info: Chick-fil-A.com
Chick-fil-A Lemon Pie
Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories from Fat: 120
Total Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Trans Fat: 0 g per serving (contains PHO)
Carbs: 58 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 21 g
Protein: 6 g