Fast Food Review: New! Multigrain Oatmeal from Chick-fil-A
Last week – for the very first time in my adult life – I did the unthinkable. I, Adam, aka Mr. I will camp outside a Chick-fil-A parking lot in the Utah winter just for some damn chicken, went to my local Chick-fil-A for breakfast. For oatmeal.
What can I say? As a former newspaper editor and writer, I guess I’m just a sucker for press releases:
Warm & wholesome, our multigrain, steel-cut oatmeal is first slow-cooked in kettles the old-fashioned way. Anything but dry and instant, our hearty oatmeal has flax, whole wheat and buckwheat. Tasty toppings include cinnamon brown sugar, roasted mixed nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts) and dried fruit blend (cranberries, blueberries, golden raisins, cherries).
If passing on the gold standard of chicken biscuits and possibly the gold standard of the entire breakfast universe is not risking death by opportunity cost regret, I don’t know what is. But instead of a flaky biscuit topped with that buttery-sweet and juicy chicken, I instead opted to give myself the
old fast food nutritional high-five and dared to try something described as both wholesome and delicious.
Amazingly, I’m not regretting it in the least, and can, as both an oatmeal lover and chicken biscuit lover that I will be back for more.
A number of fast food and fast casual restaurants have started serving oatmeal in recent years, but Chick-fil-A’s is the best. Yes, I mean it, the best. For starters, I didn’t see a packet involved here, and, unlike the oatmeal I ordered from McDonald’s a full three minutes beforehand, Chick-fil-A’s oatmeal was not hastily prepared by some clearly overwhelmed new employee who could neither offer me full customization of toppings, nor the always welcomed “my pleasure.”
Chick-fil-A’s oatmeal is the kind of oatmeal a pretentious person who shops at Whole Foods can enjoy. As someone who may or may not do this from time to time, I can attest to the genuine flavor of the oats without any toppings, and the virtues of the slow cooking process in creating a dense, stick-to-your ribs final product. There is a real nuttiness here, and a real earthly complexity. I love how you get the ability to control how many of your toppings you can put into the oatmeal and in what proportion, and how you’re given three separate flavor packets. Unlike McDonald’s, this allows you to sample the oatmeal in its truest form without committing to what you may or may not find as too overwhelming of a multigrain flavor. Should that multigrain flavor not satisfy your sweet tooth, the fruit packet, nuts, and cinnamon sugar will more than suffice. The nuts themselves are outstanding. Sometimes you end up getting nuts that go moist in oatmeal and don’t hold their crunch, but these have a nice roasted and sweet flavor that give good textural variety and plenty of crunch. The fruit – especially the plump cherries and tiny, astringent blueberries – were a big hit. Not fresh but not quite dry, they took on a concentrated sweetness and tartness in the moist oatmeal. The brown sugar was great as well. Unlike Jamba Juice (which basically just stick a big clump of brown sugar in your oatmeal) this mix is granulated, and can be applied in batches.
Taste-wise, I rank this right up there with Jamba’s take on Berry-Pecan oatmeal, although I give a slight edge in texture to Chick-fil-A. I also give an edge to Chick-fil-A in terms of price ($2.49) as well as ambiance, considering I can get a morning cup of joe at Chick-fil-A without having to wait until 9 in the morning. As I think the pictures and description make clear, it’s also a much better product than what McDonald’s is offering for practically the same price.
I’ve learned you really can’t go wrong with anything at Chick-fil-A, and their take on oatmeal confirms my sentiments. Even if you aren’t the kind to get something healthy for breakfast, I’d recommend on the sole basis of how it tastes alone.
Pros: Strong multigrain flavor makes it possible to eat plain. Nuts hold crunch well and have great flavor. Berry mixture is plump, tart, and sweet. Cinnamon sugar customization. Getting a Saturday morning shot of healthiness without watching a Jack Lelanne infomercial. Being treated like an actual person by fast food employees.
Cons: Eating oatmeal that is so good you'll forget about trying to come up with a good bathroom joke for the review. Living far away from Chick-fil-A. Not necessarily compatible with eating a Chicken Biscuit (or is it?)
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.25/10
Price: 2.49 a la carte, $5.69 in a small meal
Overall GrubGrade: 9.00 (Exceptional)
More Info: ChickfilA.com
Multigrain Oatmeal from Chick-fil-A (with all toppings)
Total Fat: 11 g
Sat Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 45 mg
Carbs: 44 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 21 g
Protein: 6 g