Do you know what a menu is? It’s a series of suggestions. A good way to know if you’re at a real restaurant is how well the staff is able to adjust to your palate. Surprisingly, a vast number of fast food restaurants do just that. You can call it a "secret menu" or a "menu hack" but it’s really about just getting what you want. And it’s no surprise that the friendliest restaurant in America — Chick-fil-A — will pretty much make it however you’d like. Here are some useful hacks that will improve some items, and give a new spin on some classics.
A spicy biscuit
Any Chick-fil-A fan knows that if you time it right — at as close to 10:30 a.m. as possible, you can catch breakfast and lunch at the same time. That magical time has a lot of perks; you can quickly get fries with an order of chicken minis, or you can venture to the land of retired items and make yourself a spicy chicken biscuit.
Despite the surprisingly poor sales record, people adored the spicy chicken biscuit. But alas, it went away in August 2016 much to the chagrin of the spicy fanatics. Chick-fil-A won’t make you one now, but you can make one yourself during the magic hour … or magic minutes. Hit up a Chick-fil-A as close to 10:30 a.m. as you can and order a spicy chicken filet — no bun and a plain buttered biscuit. The rest almost writes itself: Plop the chicken in the biscuit and enjoy the forbidden fruit… er.. poultry… that is the spicy chicken biscuit.
Chicken egg and cheese biscuit
Chick-fil-A is always open to adding available items to other items. Breakfast is the best time to cross the streams and get creative. The humble chicken biscuit is delicious on its own, but sometimes you want just a little extra protein to that. Just ask them for a chicken biscuit, add egg and cheese. Presto!
Bacon makes everything better, and CFA knows it. A manager told me you can put it on a biscuit, a sandwich, even on your hash browns! Yes, really! You know where else you can put some bacon? In a scramble bowl. That’s right, simply ask for bacon to be added to your chicken or sausage scramble bowl because why not? It’s bacon!
The sausage biscuit is vastly underrated, and deservedly so. Just like you shouldn’t go to a seafood joint for a steak, you don’t go sausage hunting at a chicken coop. But in this case, you should. Those in-the-know get it — the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit is legit. Still, it’s difficult to order sausage when the chicken is so tasty.
But why limit yourself? There’s no reason you can’t take the whole barnyard and put it on a biscuit. The easiest way is to order a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit and ask for a single order of a breakfast filet. Yes, you can. It’s exactly what it sounds like, just the chicken, no bun. Head back to your seat and pop the chicken filet under the sausage, and you’ve got yourself a combo you only read about on the dark web. If you’re feeling particularly gluttonous, you can slap a piece of bacon on, too.
The beauty of chicken fingers — besides the fact that chickens don’t have any — is that you can get them in a variety of ways, smothered in sauce. Chick-fil-A’s nuggets and strips (thank you Chick-Ffil-A for not calling them fingers) come only with their delicious fried coating. Yeah, that’s great, but sometimes you just want a sloppy, sticky mess.
Chick-fil-A knows this. They know it so well they even suggest this as a "hack" — but we’re going to guess you still didn’t about it. Simply order your favorite nuggets (or strips), and get whatever sauce you’d like — two sauces works best. Open the box and pour your sauces over the chicken. Close it up (make sure it’s firmly closed with no openings) and give it a shake. The sauce will magically get all over your chicken. And don’t forget the napkins before you start digging in.
Buffalo chicken sandwich
You can pretty much do the same trick to a sandwich. If you’re not hip to the Zesty Buffalo Sauce, oh boy are you in for a treat. Generally speaking, you’d expect your quick serve "hot" sauces to be on the benign side, but Chick-fil-A brings their A game with a sauce that is indeed zesty, and also pretty spicy.
Order a chicken sandwich, and ask for three sauces, two Zesty Buffalo and one Garlic and Herb Ranch. Now comes the fun part. Take the sandwich out of the bag carefully — don’t just rip that thing open — and take the sandwich apart. Put the chicken back into the bag, and leave the bun out, and ditch the pickles. Pour both of the buffalo sauces into the bag, close it up tightly, and give it a shake to evenly coat the chicken.But the little twist is to give the sandwich a true "Buffalo" style by pouring about a quarter of the Garlic and Herb Ranch on the top bun. That sandwich will pack a wallop, but the ranch will give you a tiny bit of relief. Don’t forget the napkins on this one either.
Wait, what? Vegetarians and little kids rejoice! Yes indeed, you can have a grilled cheese at Chick-fil-A. You can ask the server for a grilled cheese, or if you want to get specific, tell them you just want a bun, cheese, and whatever else you want on there (tomato?), grilled. They’ll make it for you, and you’ll be amazed how good it really is. Since the buns are toasted and buttered, that butter really gives the sandwich an extra kick.
Chicken taco burger
As mentioned previously, the spice game is on point at Chick-fil-A. Another underrated item is the jalapeño salsa, bringing a wee bit more heat than you’ll expect. We’re going to put it to good use here.
Order yourself a deluxe chicken sandwich — that’s a regular Chick-fil-A sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Ask for pepper jack cheese, and — this is the big one — ask them to shred the lettuce. And ask them to dice the tomato too while they’re at it.
There’s one other step to make sure this goes right: the build. Chick-fil-A puts the lettuce, tomato and cheese on top. It works a bit better if you flip that cheese around and put it on the bottom. The build is: bottom bun, chicken (cheese side down), jalapeño salsa, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, then the top bun. This one is going to wow you. It’s a super tasty sandwich, and you’ll do it again if you have a taste for spice.
Feeling a little nostalgic? Really want that ’50s drive-in feel? You need a float! Chick-fil-A will gladly do it for you — just order a small Icedream cone and ask them to put that in a medium soda cup for you. Polish that off with the soda of your choice (Coke, or the real-deal root beer) and you’ve got yourself a great treat. You might want to remind them not to scoop ice into the cup, just to be on the safe side.
In June 2017, Chick-fil-A introduced the gluten free bun — it comes individually wrapped and you build the sandwich yourself. This is great for people with a bread intolerance, or those on the gluten-free trend, but there’s still the "old school" way of getting rid of the bun — lettuce.
The trick to the order is "no bun" — which you already know is an easy one for them. Regardless of which chicken you get sans bun, ask for extra lettuce — it’s exactly that, one more piece. One on the top, one on the bottom, and you’re going bunless!
Well done muffin
Chick-fil-A introduced the Egg White Grill in July 2016 as a lighter alternative to their usual southern breakfast fare. It’s got 25 grams of protein, a mere 300 calories, and it’s sort of a hot mess to eat. The problem is the grilled chicken isn’t too crazy about sticking to the muffin. Nooks and crannies aside, it’s a bit like eating a slip and slide.
The trick to getting everything to hold is to ask for the muffin to be "extra crispy" or "well done." Basically, that extra extra crunch will help hold that slippery grilled chicken and egg in place. Look at that image, you think that chicken is going to slide around when you bite into it? No siree Bob.
Chicken burrito for lunch or dinner
If you’ve never tried the wrap, that’s okay. With everything else on the menu, why bother? But it is quite good, and very refreshing on a hot day. It’s a wrap, however, not a burrito in any way, shape or form. In fact, it comes on a flatbread from Brooklyn, but let’s be real — you can burrito anything.
Ask for that always available jalapeño salsa and add it to the wrap. It’s going to taste a lot more like a burrito than you imagined. If the Chick-Fil-A isn’t very busy, you can make this much more "burrito-esque" by adding tomatoes and asking them to put the salsa on as they make it. They’ll do it, it’s Chick-fil-A!
There are Holy Grails of secret menu items, and the chicken quesadilla from Chick-fil-A is one of those sacred… um… chickens… that only a few have obtained. You see this item listed on a plethora of "secret menu" lists, but the truth is, ordering passenger pigeon nuggets is probably easier.
The chicken quesadilla is a burrito shell with cheese and chicken, folded over into a quesadilla. Sounds easy enough, but cooking one takes time, and if a Chick-fil-A is busy they’ll likely tell you they don’t have the time or resources to make it. It’s not a lie; there are a couple problems with the fabled item. Time is a factor; generally speaking the chicken quesadilla is only available in the morning. The other problem is that it’s too time consuming. So again, timing is everything. Can you still get it? Yes. But you better cozy up to a manager and smile a lot if you really want it. Maybe that’s what this Twitter user did…