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Chick-fil-A
updated: Feb 20, 2013, 5:56 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

My husband and I recently decided to go try the new, controversial (?) Chick fil A on upper State Street and found that we couldn't even get in the parking lot it was so busy! We ended up eating at another restaurant. Would be interested in what other readers' opinions are of the Chick fil A and whether it has a future in Santa Barbara.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 376815 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 05:59 PM

I just tried it for the first time about an hour ago and, WOW! It was really really good!

 

 COMMENT 376817 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:04 PM

Tried it several times for both breakfast and late afternoon snack .

Good chicken but not exceptional. I noted MSG in the ingredients.

Morning staff very pleasant and polite. A pleasant change from other surly, disinterested kids at other venues.

I'll go back.

3 1/2 Stars out of 5.

 

 COMMENT 376822 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:13 PM

I had to do a double take...thought I had written that headline! Spooky! OK, here is what I would have written for the text if I HAD written the headline: Hubby and I went there for the first time today (mostly to see what all the hype was about). I had my normal lunch salad, he had their Spicy Chicken sandwich. Salad was just so-so at best, very little chicken on top, too expensive for what was served compared to other lunch places. Sandwich was "OK" but nothing to get excited about. Small for the price, also. Soft drinks that you can't refill yourself, have to take back to the busy counter to get a refill. Not impressed. Won't be back. Nothing special AT ALL. JMHO

 

 COMMENT 376824 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:15 PM

Most new fast food places are like that for a while. I lived in Lake Forest when Sonic opened a store down there. They had to use almost half of the Target parking lot across the street as a staging area, sending a few cars at a time down to the line at the store.

Chick fil A's pretty good. A little spendy for fast food but the quality is fairly high and you don't get nickle-and-dimed for dipping sauces. And the waffle fries are pretty darn good. Just wait a month for the hype to die down and it will be like any other fast food restaurant.

 

 COMMENT 376826 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:22 PM

Any good restaurant has a chance anywhere. Great food! It'll stay!

 

 COMMENT 376827 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:22 PM

I'd rather have a Sonic!

 

 COMMENT 376831 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:26 PM

Pleased with the service and the food. Staff and customers were very pleasant, even when they were lined up out the door. Great table service too.

 

 COMMENT 376832 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:31 PM

Regardless of how I feel about the CEO, I think the food is overrated and gross.

It's another crummy fast food joint, this one just seems especially good because of the MSG. There are plenty of other places with cheap food that don't contribute to millions more overweight Americans.

 

 COMMENT 376836P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:38 PM

My kids and their friends think it's the best fast food place there is~ I have tried it.

 

 COMMENT 376844P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:42 PM

Politics aside, I was curious about the chicken. Two words: Explosive diarrhea. Within a couple of hours. Times 2 people. Never again.

 

 COMMENT 376847 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:44 PM

Chickens locked up less than an inch together in cages for life. Enjoy?

 

 COMMENT 376848 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:47 PM

rather have a sonic or a del taco here instead, had chik fil a not impressed wont go back

 

 COMMENT 376849 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:47 PM

Yes, let's keep this put stirred up, shall we? Funny, there wasn't this much apres-opening interest for Eureka Burger or anywhere else I can think of.

 

 COMMENT 376851 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:51 PM

Sorry--POT stirred up.

 

 COMMENT 376854 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 06:54 PM

I am sticking with The Habit! Great chicken sandwich. Great service and have multiple locations for convenience!

My experience with CFA has been poor, their food disgusting and their viewpoints way too controversial to be seen in their parking lot.

 

 COMMENT 376860 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:03 PM

I'm with Rex. Why are we bringing this up again?

 

 NATURE BOY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:04 PM

I recently saw on a MONDAY at about 3:30 pm (not exactly a usually busy day or time) that the right lane of State Street was backed up about a half a block (all the way to Hitchcock) because of cars waiting to get into the parking lot. What?? Traffic was backed up a half block?? I know the place is popular, but really?? Traffic on our main drag stopped? Couldn't believe it. They need their own turn lane.

 

 COMMENT 376863 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:07 PM

my 10 year old says "best chicken nuggets" ever !

 

 COMMENT 376866 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:09 PM

The best chicken sandwich I've eaten from a fast food joint.

 

 COMMENT 376868 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:11 PM

I am waiting for someone to drive into that ravine along the parking lot.

 

 COMMENT 376869 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:11 PM

everything about them is DISGUSTINGLY gross. It is so easy, fun, cheap, and healthy to make a much better meal.

 

 COMMENT 376871 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:14 PM

Their food did not make me ill like 44P and I had a normal BM the day after my rather large meal. I ordered five different items because I did not want to deal with the traffic jam getting into the place again. In addition to the chicken dishes I ordered their waffle-cut fries, which were incredibly delicious. I also highly recommend their lemonade - yum!! I bought two large orders of lemonade - one I loaded with premium vodka.....oh yeah. On a scale of five:
Service = 5
Food Quality = 4.5
Food Texture = 4.8
Flavor = 4.5
Condiments = 5
Lemonade = 5 & FIVE!!!
Atmosphere = 3.5
Color Scheme & Decor = 3.75
Cleanliness = 4.7
Air Quality & Breathability = 4.9
Price = 4.35
Would I go back? Yes
Would I recommend to a friend? Yes
Overall Rating: 4.5
Would you like to see a Chik-fil-A in Goleta? Yes
Would you like to see a Chik-fil-A in downtown SB? Yes
Would you like to see a Chik-fil-A in Carpinteria? Yes

 

 TRUTHTELLER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:19 PM

I would like to know why the patrons were allowed to stack up on the South-bound side of State St. and create a bottle neck for motorists and buses???

 

 COMMENT 376881P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:29 PM

Wonderful food from a wonderful company providing jobs to our community. The company gives it's employees Sundays off to spend with their family and attend church. What's not to like?

 

 COMMENT 376883 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:33 PM

I ate at the Oxnard location about 5 years ago - it was okay - nothing to go back for. I then lost about 120 lbs (the eat less, exercise more diet) over the course of the next few years and really learned about food and nutrition. Fast food, even my once beloved Sonic, will never be part of the picture again. I'm not going to hate on them. I'll treat them just like I did BK...passin' them by. Eat what you like...don't waste time and calories on what you don't. And restaurant owners - never ever put your politics on front street - keep it close.

 

 NATURE BOY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:34 PM

TRUTHTELLER: Cos it's not illegal to be backed up trying to get into a driveway.

 

 COMMENT 376886 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:37 PM

The popularity is entirely the making of our elitist leaders and muckrakers. If they hadn't made such a fuss, or would be just another mediocre chicken joint. It's gross and you deserve it.

 

 COMMENT 376888P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:38 PM

Love it!!!! Best waffle fries in the world!!

 

 COMMENT 376889 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:38 PM

There are plenty of great locally owned restaurants. They provide jobs in the community, beyond just serving staff - Buyers, accountants etc.

Give the locals your business.

 

 TRUTHTELLER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:47 PM

NATUREBOY: Thank you for the answer! I didn't remember/know that that was okay.

 

 COMMENT 376892 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:53 PM

Not impressed. Won't go back. Really REALLY wish we had a Tommys!!

 

 COMMENT 376895 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 07:55 PM

There is a very strong correlation. Those who remember political controversy also found the food terrible. Those who simply ate food found it good.

 

 COMMENT 376896 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:01 PM

895:

My dad never once ate there before the controversy, despite driving by the oxnard location multiple times.

After hearing about the CEO and "exercising his freedom of speech", he made it a point to go on one of the first days it was open.

It goes both ways. I thought the food was disgusting before the CEO proved he couldn't keep his mouth shut and his opinions to himself. I equate it to every other gross fast food place there is, a complete waste of time, money, resources, and health.

 

 COMMENT 376899 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:05 PM

I was going to try it...the cars are all the way down State..My
daughter (age 20), was going to apply...has friends that got
hired. Prayer meetings and anti gay turned all of us off...

 

 ECHO agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:10 PM

We have been twice. I wanted to see what the hype was about as well. I have family in the south that rave about the sandwiches. I personally have tried the chicken nuggets and the strips. Thought they were good for "fast food". I appreciated that the waffle fries were not overly greasy (or at least didn't appear that way to me). My daughter had a salad, and I agree with the previous poster about not being anything fantastic. We ordered milk shakes...have to say, those were super good! I was impressed with how many employees they had out trying to move the line along. I don't think it is the restaurants fault for the line on state, and frankly feel like it may not have been as big of a deal for some people if it was for a drive thru starbucks or something. However, for my family of four, with 3 milkshakes and a soda it was a little pricy, $38.00. I will probably for select items, but not on a regular basis.

 

 TRUTHTELLER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:10 PM

I'm not sorry but my political affiliation does not dictate my taste buds; just like the weather does not dictate which toilet paper I use. Go figure. Eat what you want!

 

 COMMENT 376909P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:23 PM

Sometimes I wonder if all the fuss over a new business or a sale is mostly about bragging rights: We camped out overnight, we waited in line XX hours, we were the XX people in the door, we got the last one.

 

 COMMENT 376914 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:29 PM

Heheheh.... it's just a fast food joint!! Kids will love it for the high caloric content and adults who still like to eat like kids will love it too.

I don't particularly give a flying carp that religion is used to promote the business and apparently it's good a marketing plan. Personally I'm old school and keep my prayers to myself and don't do business with those who parade theirs like trophy wives.

Will it last? KFC hasn't done well here nor has Boston Market and El Pollo Loco always looks like a mortuary when I've looked in. I'll take even odds about the long term success of this fast new chicken joint.

 

 COMMENT 376923P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:48 PM

They brought us free sandwiches at my work and they were okay, not that great but what they did do was give us all coupons for both a free lunch sandwich and a free breakfast sandwich. Wonder how many other companies that they did that with? It's a way to get people to try it but I won't be going there for their sandwiches, would way rather go to El Pollo Loco or if I want something fried then KFC is a special treat.

 

 COMMENT 376924 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:51 PM

When I want some really, really good chicken, I drive out to Pollofino, in the Kmart center on Hollister. Hands down, the best chicken and best value.

 

 COMMENT 376929P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 09:07 PM

my niece and nephew love it !

 

 COMMENT 376931P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 09:15 PM

Where was city planning when this was grandfathered in as a drive thru. Where was city planning when TJs and a clinic get to share a tiny parking lot at de la Vina? Does anyone at City P & D have a degree in planning? Or even common sense?

 

 COMMENT 376933P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 09:35 PM

How can planning be done post construction. A building owner had a vacant property. A business needed a vacant property - looked all over town, and found the most suitable.

 

 COMMENT 376940 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 12:11 AM

With all the great--and independent or family owned joints--in town, I'd rather skip the chain that is also in hundreds of other cities. Plus, do you want revenue spent in local stores or being sent out of state? All other issues aside, locally owned stores that get patronized by us keep all their money local. That benefits, us, our kids, parks and everything else. That is worth patronizing the right places to me. A chicken sandwich will always lose out to a fish taco or Sojburger for me!!

 

 COMMENT 376941P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 12:23 AM

I'll never know how good or bad the 'food' is there, I stopped eating at fastfood joints like Mcky-D's, Carl's Jr., Burger King, In-And-Out Burger and Taco Bell years ago. However, the wife and I do have an occasional turkey burger at The Habit once in a while. I like the downtown location better then the La Cumbre location.

 

 COMMENT 376944P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 12:52 AM

Poor chickens. Far too many people choose to ignore the fact that these sentient beings suffer the torments of the damned, crammed together in small cages, forced to inhale their own fecal matter, as they live immersed in their own stench. (Go to YouTube and watch "Food, Inc.")

Yes. Go ahead and gobble up your anti-biotic filled and stressed out meat. Then wonder why you have so many health problems. Fast food is the fast track to deteriorating health.

And I'm not surprised the line to get into this place is so long. Coupons for free meals? Once "the Santa Barbara welcome" is over, I bet this latest franchise Chick-fil-A lasts two years, at most.

 

 COMMENT 376948 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 06:15 AM

I don't care if their chicken tastes like sweet velvet and they are giving away free bunnies...if there is a long line for the drive thru I'm going elsewhere.

My stomach has been a little turned off to chicken after having raw chicken put on my Habit chicken salad and getting a very undercooked Carl's chicken sandwich. Nothing makes me verp my morning coffee quite like the thought of lukewarm salmonella swimming in my colon.

 

 COMMENT 376956 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 06:45 AM

I wouldn't eat that junk fast food if you paid me.

 

 COMMENT 376959 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 06:57 AM

Two words: Hershey Squirts. Would rather eat at McD's.

 

 COMMENT 376961 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:00 AM

We went for lunch. Very busy, she had Chik-fil-a sandwich I had the Spicy version. Both came as meals since we ordered lemonade. The Waffle Fries were ok, but I could only manage to eat a couple.
I think the place was overtraining and overstaffed which makes sense since they are so new. Suspect oil not being changed often enough...diareahhh, msg(why). I mostly tried it since the Liberals protested.
We need this place for the new jobs and so migrants from the Midwest will have familiar cuisine.

 

 COMMENT 376963P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:09 AM

Everyone should google Craig Smith's blog and read the open letter to the President of Chick Fil-A. Very well written and researched.

 

 COMMENT 376966 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:19 AM

I am a bisexual vegetarian and I went and ate here because all of the protests.

So the owner doesn't think I should marry another woman, whoop-di-do.

I love the salad and waffle fries.

 

 COMMENT 376968 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:23 AM

Delish

 

 COMMENT 376969 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:25 AM

More slow death on a plate for the sheeple. Could you super size that please?

 

 COMMENT 376977P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:36 AM

And the win goes to BM.... er....871.

 

 COMMENT 376982 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:44 AM

Consider the nutrition. Check out their menu planner and nutrition and ingredient statements and learn how a single meal there will cost you:
1. 75% of total daily calories. You might need a new wardrobe pretty soon.
2 80% of sodium --- big deal if you have even borderline hypertension
3. 90% of total fat, 90% sat fat---so don’t eat another thing the rest of the day.
5. 50% of total cholesterol. Can you feel your arteries close up?
Not to mention the stuff is LOADED with MSG, artificial colors, TBQH/calcium propionate/sodium benzoate/potasium sorbate/polysorbate (preservatives) artificial flavors, dimethlypolysiloxane anti-foaming agent. That’s just the BASIC chicken sandwich!

But it’s nice that they’re closed on Sundays so the workers can be with their friends and family. That IS a good example to set. But the food? It should come with a health insurance voucher.

 

 COMMENT 376984 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:48 AM

Prices seemed high for what I ordered. The chicken was flavorless. It gave me indigestion. The employees seemed preoccupied, maybe they ate the food and had bad gas like me.

 

 COMMENT 376985P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 07:50 AM

376963P - excellent Craig Smith blog post by his daughter. What puzzles me about religion is the exclusion of people, all created by God, based on one's personal beliefs - and not upon "Do unto others". Stunning hypocrisy.

 

 COMMENT 376994 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:03 AM

What would be lovely is if Edhat would place this fast-food joint in the same taboo category as Floatopia and tinfoil hats, just so we'd never have to get into this same no-win blathering over and over again.

 

 COMMENT 376997 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:09 AM

I was interested because of the controversy. The executives were in the parking lot discussing the drive thru aloud. All 3 could barely fit in their own slacks. I ordered, paid, drove to the window where I was met with the cashier bellowing all around me in a hurried self induced importance state instructing the peach face gal about which bags to run out to which cars that were waiting. Chaos.
Chicken nuggets might be the way to go. The bun was nothing to write home about. I do like that they are closed on Sundays. Everyone needs a day of rest these days!
I'll stick with the Burgerbus.

 

 COMMENT 377000 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:16 AM

Since they use their business to further their hate agenda, I use my agenda to not go there. And from what I can tell, this is just another corporation built on industrial food designed for addiction and not nutrition.

I don't understand the gay thing, but I don't despise them either. Live and let live.

 

 COMMENT 377003 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:18 AM

Servers are very friendly and helpful, extensive menu on the take-out menu. Spicy was too much for me, but I'll go the char-grilled wrap next time. It's fun to have a new place to eat but I've not had such an intake of calories - I can't think when! It's okay.

 

 COMMENT 377009 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:24 AM

Beachside has waffle fries and delicious lemonade PLUS a great view.
No MSG in anything.
The thing about being "NEW" and controversial seems to appeal to many and there is just no getting around how many folks love deep fried, heavily battered food. ???

 

 COMMENT 377016 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:34 AM

I cannot believe not one person commented on the "ice dream" at Chick Fil A. In my opinion it is the best vanilla soft serve anywhere! It doesn't start melting immediately, and has a wonderful flavor. Once I hit my 25 pound weight loss, I'm heading there for my treat! I love CFA.

 

 COMMENT 377017 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:34 AM

There are lots of good locally owned and nationally owned restaurants. I don't eat in any of them anymore because I do not know enough about the politics, religion and socio-ethnic backround, etc. of all the employees, managers, stockholders and owners regardless of the quality of the food and services in them. I am a politically correct liberal/progressive and I know what counts when it comes to restaurants!

 

 COMMENT 377018 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:42 AM

Lots of opinions here .....it'll die down soon and this place will just be another choice on State St....props to all though...no one got deleted...we're making progress :)

 

 COMMENT 377020 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:44 AM

I am pretty sure the quarrel is not about free speech....it is about the fact that they use their profits to fund hate groups. I watched a youtube video where a man tested the taste of many different chicken sandwiches; the spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy's was #1!

 

 COMMENT 377022P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:44 AM

I agree with Julian - keep it local. I feel a lot better about eating out when I patronize a place like Goodland Kitchen, Panino, Our Daily Bread, Chicken Ranch, or any one of dozens other great locally owned establishments. Places where the ownership is vested in the community.

 

 COMMENT 377024 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:48 AM

disgusting- will never go back. service was excellent though.

 

 COMMENT 377027 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 08:52 AM

MSG is perfectly fine to consume and is naturally occurring in many things such as soy sauce, marmite, mushrooms etc. It is a completely unsubstantiated myth that it is bad for you. confirmed.

 

 COMMENT 377032 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:00 AM

sorry I dont eat HATE filled food. my vote would be also for a Sonic, I would even start eating fast food again if one opened...

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:11 AM

I'd never go there because I don't eat fast food, rarely ever eat out (love to cook). However, fun reading all these comments.

 

 COMMENT 377037 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:13 AM

I have been there a few times. I used the meal planner online since I am temporarily restricted on carb consumption. I was able to get a meal there and not get sick or even have my blood sugar be too high. Their iced tea was great. Not everyone can go to the Beachside or endulge in local places..especially at "local" prices. There are so many snobbish people in this town (and yes I was born and raised here) that it's no wonder we have so much complaining. If you don't want to eat there don't if you do then try it out. I liked the nice customer service with people who spoke English. It's a far cry from other fast food places. I will go there again...and yes the ice cream is great!

 

 COMMENT 377042 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:23 AM

omg. with 78 comments and counting, about a CHAIN FAST FOOD place, it's no wonder that so many wonderful small mom and pops can't make a go of it in this town. Come on people! Support local. Eat real food. Most of your health problems will go away!

 

 PITLOCAL agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:30 AM

Its a fast food place. No point in dealing with road raged idiots trying to get into the parking lot. Go to Whole Foods and buy some cooked chicken. Way better.

 

 COMMENT 377049 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:41 AM

Loaded with MSG, butane, caulking paste and other carcinogens- if the restaurant doesn't fold first all it's customers will be die of cancer.
Google: ingredients chick fill-A

BTW does anybody wonder if this original post was just marketing?

 

 COMMENT 377052 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:42 AM

Whole Foods does a terrible job with thier chicken. And grown adults feeding their children Chik fil A? Wow. Sundays off for church? Double wow.

 

 COMMENT 377056 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-21 09:48 AM

Their staff is very friendly , and excellent customer service. we went the first night that they opened and could not even park anywhere near there . No sooner than I had finished putting in my order turned around to get some ketsup packets and there wqas someone handing me my order. Food qulaity was was below what I expected. They gave me the wrong soup and their salad was gross if you ask me , my kid loved their nuggets and my husband liked his sandwich but we wont be visiting again any tome soon. Great staff !! Not so great food

 

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