Review: Superfood Side from Chick-fil-A
So another January has arrived and you’re on a health kick to start the new year, huh? Yeah me neither. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in eating better-for-you options if the flavor and price is right. I’m not just looking for something fresh and made with high quality ingredients, mind you; I’m looking for something altogether nutritious and innovative. Something like Chick-fil-A’s new Superfood Side.I think I will speak for a lot of people when I say I won’t miss Cole Slaw as a Chick-fil-A side. It may be traditionally southern, but I don’t know anyone who ordered it (and, if we’re talking about real southern sides, can a guy get some cornbread and sweet potatoes?) That said, Chick-fil-A’s Waffle Fries are immensely popular. Combine that fact with the 94 cent upcharge for “premium sides,” and you might say the Superfood Side faces an uphill battle right out of the gate.On taste alone it makes a strong case for its price tag. The chopped kale and Broccolini are about what you’d expect: bitter and earthy, there’s just no getting around that you’re eating leafy greens. But the flavor is balanced with the maple vinaigrette, which has a nice subtle sweetness that is paired with a mustard-like tang on the backend, in addition to a rounded salty flavor. It’s really good, and it’s applied with a light enough hand to cover each leaf without overpowering the other ingredients.The dressing is a nice touch, but the combination of intensely flavored dried cherries and Chick-fil-a’s signature Roasted Nut Blend give the side its defining characteristics. The cherries are meatier and not as tart as cranberries, bringing an unexpected and seldom encountered sweetness to each bite. Meanwhile, the roasted nuts provide an excellent crunchy textural contrast, in addition to bringing another level of the sweet and salty exchange in flavors. The glazed pecans are especially excellent, giving you the feeling that you’re eating something served up from a high-end supermarket deli case.It’s all very good, but is it worth it? Truth be told, the portion is extremely sparse; sold in a container barely larger than a to-go container for salad dressing, it doesn’t help that the pieces of kale contain a number of the less desirable fibrous stems. The portion is advertised at 5-ounces, but I really doubt my container actually weighed that much, even with the nuts and fruit. Because of this, I really can’t see many people paying for the a la carte versions. At $2.59 for a small, it costs more than a milkshake! (and seriously, who can pass up a Cookies and Cream milkshake? I sure can’t…) And while getting the side in a combo isn’t a deal-breaker from a cost standpoint, it would be nice to see companies that make commitments to nutrition offer a healthier substitute without any upcharge. Chick-fil-A still hasn’t moved in that direction, and despite a really enjoyable, high-quality item like the Superfood Side, has yet to make healthy menu items as accessible as its core items.
Pros: Excellent balance of bitter, salty, sweet, and acidic flavors. Roasted Nut Blend and dried cherries transform bland kale into desirable side salad.
Cons: Small serving sizes for the high price tag. Too many kale stems.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Price: $2.59 for a small, 5 ounce size, or $0.94 uncharge in a combo meal
Overall GrubGrade: 7.00/10
More Info: chickfila.com
140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 16 grams of carbs, 150 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein