Fast Food Review: Southwest Chargrilled Salad from Chick-fil-A
So this will officially wrap up our reviews of Chick-fil-A salads until a new creation emerges. Previously, we have reviewed the Chargrilled & Fruit Salad, the Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad and the Chick-n-Strips Salad. The Southwest Chargrilled Salad is the fourth and final of the CFA salad reviews here on GrubGrade and this one is a great pick.
The Southwest Chargrilled Salad from Chick-fil-A is described like this:
Slices of spicy grilled chicken breast on a fresh blend of Romaine and Iceberg lettuce, with shredded red cabbage and carrots, vine-ripened grape tomatoes, a roasted corn and black bean relish and a subtle blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. Served with tortilla strips and spicy dressing. Made fresh daily.
Right off the bat I’ll just say that every single ingredient with this salad comes off as fresh and quality. It’s hard to believe that this is a fast food item. Everything seems to be carefully thought out and together. I won’t go into every single ingredient because one after another, I’m just going to say “it’s fresh”, “it’s crisp”, “it’s quality”. That’s the way to imagine this southwest-style salad. You’ve got all your veggie standards like two types of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cabbage, but the true standout is the roasted corn and black bean relish. A harmonious duo that I’d like to keep table-side next to my salt and pepper. Roasted corn and black beans are great salsa ingredients and added another layer to the multiple dimensions of the “southwest” taste. My only gripe would maybe be that there just wasn’t enough of it, but there are plenty of other ingredients that had to make appearances. The Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese blend seems to be in all CFA salads and it’s never dried out and old, thankfully (I’ve found issues with other fast food places and their salad cheeses). The slices of grilled chicken are described as “spicy” but I don’t think that cayenne/red pepper/chili seasonings truly can turn something really spicy. This is a good thing actually because it’s flavorful and you’ll get a little spice from the dressing. The seasoned chicken strips are the same use in the Spicy Chicken Cool Wrap and again, the chicken alone doesn’t make the meal all that spicy. A little spicy does make an appearance with the dressing. Simply called “Spicy Dressing”, this creamy topper blends in smokey flavors of chile peppers and chipotle peppers. Your mouth won’t be on fire but it has a flavorful little kick to it. Of course you could always opt for one of CFA’s other dressing options but that might be an odd mix. Another way to top your Southwest Chargrilled Salad is with Tortilla Strips. You get a little bag of these corn chip strips that are seasoned like a less-cheesy version of a Dorito. I loved these strips and the added crunch they provided the meal. Note to Chick-fil-A: You should add these Tortilla Strips to the Spicy Chicken Cool Wrap. If you notice from the pictures below, CFA accidentally threw in a little bag of Honey Roasted Sunflower Kernals that I gladly threw in the mix, but they don’t normally come with this salad.
In the Chick-fil-A salad hierarchy, I’m always in a quandary over whether to pick this Southwest salad or go with the Chargrilled & Fruit version. They are my top two favorites but I usually give the nod to the Chargrilled & Fruit. From a calorie/fat perspective, the Southwest Chargrilled Salad without Tortilla Strips and Spicy Dressing comes out to be only 240 calories and 9 grams of fat. I recommend the entire bag of tortilla strips and about half of the package of dressing. By doing this you will be adding 150 calories and 11 grams of fat. So 390 calories and 20 grams of fat of a good-sized quality salad. I paid $5.39 for my salad and it satisfied me well into dinner time. Definitely worth a buy.
Pros: Tasty blend of ingredients. Love the dressing and tortilla strips. Made fresh daily. Filling. Nice packaging.
Cons: Some may not want to spend $5.39. More roasted corn and black bean relish please.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10
More Info: ChickfilA.com
Southwest Chargrilled Salad (with entire amounts of Spicy Dressing and Tortilla Strips)
Calories - 460
Fat - 27 grams
Saturated Fat - 6 grams
Cholesterol - 65 milligrams
Sodium - 1000 milligrams
Carbs - 28 grams
Dietary Fiber - 6 grams
Sugars - 8 grams
Protein - 27 grams