McDonald's New 'Southern Style Chicken Sandwich' will not Stop Me from Driving 25 Minutes for Chick-Fil-A

McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Sandwich vs. Chick-Fil-A Sandwich
The new McDonald's "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich" head-to-head with the Chick-fil-a sandwich

About once a month, I make the 25-minute trek to Redondo Beach to get a taste of Chick-fil-a (This was the subject of a post I wrote almost exactly a year ago). With the price of gas up around the $4 a gallon mark, this isn't exactly the smartest move, but I believe their chicken sandwich, a piece of chicken on a butter toasted bun with three pickle chips is delicious enough to merit the trip.

Today, McDonald's officially launched a sandwich that could have possibly saved me a lot mileage and time. The "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich," which has been tested in markets throughout country for the past year and was brought to the LA area within the past two weeks, is also a piece of chicken on a butter toasted bun with three pickle chips. This past Saturday, I decided to give McDonald's offering a shot for my lunch. I optimistically thought to myself, "If this thing is good, I won't have to make the drive to Redondo for my Chick-fil-a fix."

Unfortunately, the "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich" did not live up to my high hopes. From the first bite I knew I'd be getting in my car and hopping on the 405 sometime in the near future to enjoy the freshness of a Chick-fil-a sandwich, something McDonald's offering greatly lacked. The chicken was terribly dry and tasted as if it were just sitting there waiting for someone, anyone to say, "Hey, I'll give that new chicken sandwich a shot." I am guessing that it was in fact just sitting there, pre-made just waiting for me because the "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich" was handed to me within seconds of ordering. This isn't a game of who can make the fastest chicken sandwich, it's who can make the best and you may be fast Mickie D's but you are not the best.

In the food court located inside The Galleria at South Bay mall, Chick-fil-a and McDonalds are right next door to each other
In the food court located inside The Galleria at South Bay mall, Chick-fil-a and McDonalds are right next door to each other

Feeling as though I had cheated on my beloved Chick-fil-a, I decided to hop in my car and drive for 25 minutes to have dinner in the friendly confines of the food court located inside The Galleria at South Bay. This wasn't a decision made with my head. I am currently training to run in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego in less than a month and a double-dosage of crispy chicken sandwiches isn't exactly the kind of food marathon runners are made of. This definitely was a decision made with my heart.

While both sandwiches offer the same exact ingredients for nearly the same price (McDonald's sandwich was $2.89 and Chick-fil-a was $2.99) the only real difference is the quality of the chicken. The chicken found in the "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich" is a very far cry from Chick-fil-a's much fresher, bigger and overall better tasting piece of chicken.

Don't get me wrong, McDonald's sandwich isn't awful. I didn't spit it out or anything. If I wasn't so fond of the sandwich they are trying to steal from, I might have a different take on it. I could even seen the "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich" selling well to people who have never tasted the deliciousness that Chick-fil-a offers. McDonald's is also open on Sunday, unlike Chick-fil-a, so they got that going for them and on May 15th, they are giving them away for free. Everyone likes free - even if it isn't as good as Chick-fil-a.

Now, please open a damn Chick-fil-a in LA so I will never again be tempted by the convenience of a less than stellar chicken sandwich from one of your competitors.

Photos by Tim Hammer and Karla R. for LAist