300 miles for carbs

I didn’t intend to go to Maryland yesterday, but there I was with my wife and dog, on a hill near where the Atlantic Coastal Plain transitions into the Piedmont in Anne Arundel County.

We were at a Chick-fil-A in Crofton.

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For some reason, retail establishments on hills that tower over the neighboring commercial landscape are amusing to me.

A few days ago, Mandy (I feel that enough time has gone by in this blog that I should start reintroducing people. Along with Bill, I consider Mandy to be my best friend. We have known of each other since elementary school and have been close friends since high school.) alerted me to Chick-fil-A testing out macaroni and cheese at select locations. The story about it listed some faraway places and, vaguely, Maryland.

I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but I love mac and cheese, mostly because it involves one of my favorite foods, cheese. Since moving away from home, Wawa has been my go-to for it because I can get it fast and it is a tolerable approximation. I wondered where it would rank in my “eh, this isn’t like from home, but this is fine” list.

I immediately told my wife, and Renée searched for locations in the state. I figured it would be in a well-populated area but just far away to not say it was in a large city.

I was spot on.

We joked about going.

Then, on Saturday, I didn’t have anything pressing to do.

“Wanna go to Maryland to get Chick-fil-A mac and cheese?”

So we did.

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It’s real.

Nearly three hours later (there was a wreck on Interstate 66, so we had to cut through Fairfax County on Braddock Road), we were there. I got a large, because one simply does not travel across state lines for food just to get a small.

It’s good.

Really good.

Surprisingly good.

Lately, I’ve been trying hard to not eat out that much. I fell back into the habit when we moved and didn’t buy groceries for about a week. But, if this gets expanded, I don’t feel like cooking and I don’t want to wait for a full-service home-style restaurant to serve it up, I’m there.

Being that this is a Georgia restaurant chain, it was very Southern. The cheese sauce had a rich creaminess that doesn’t come out of a box. There were bits of crust mixed in because it was finished in an oven either in-house or from wherever it was trucked in. (Proper mac and cheese goes in the oven for that crust. It didn’t have bread crumbs because that is venturing into full-on casserole territory. I would have been annoyed by that.)

I’m saying it: It tasted homemade. If someone brought it to a potluck, they could totally pass it off as their great-aunt’s recipe. Sure, you could get the same taste if you just pull out your great-aunt’s recipe or find a locally owned southern/soul food restaurant, but a place with a drive-through window pulled it off. That was the point of this trip: to see if a fast-food place can pull off what takes at least 40 minutes to prepare properly.

Also, it was an exercise in reminding ourselves that I almost always have weekends off now and the Baltimore-Washington metro area isn’t that far away.

By the way, The Lord’s Chicken did not pay for any of this. But, if you would like to give me money for eating things, I might consider it.

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