Dining on fast food cuisine is an integral part of the road trip experience, but just like travelling requires a sense of adventure. Two Wendy’s restaurants located just a few exits apart may offer vastly different levels of service, food quality, and restroom cleanliness. My husband and I have endured several fast food mishaps on I-85 pit stops recently, resulting in a boycott of our previous burger chain of choice. I’m sorry but leaving the cheese off my burger is a deal breaker. On the rare occasions I dine à la combo meal, I expect a burger and fries worthy of the greasy indulgence.
In the South, we are fortunate to have Chik-Fil-A as an alternative to the trifecta of popular burger joints. This Atlanta-based chicken chain elevates fast food with delicious and healthy food options, tasty waffle fries, refreshing lemonade and yummy milkshakes. Whenever my friends visit from the Northeast or Midwest, Chik-Fil-A is one of our first stops to satisfy their craving for sweet tea. Finding the restaurants on the road is tricky, as exit signs don’t always signal their presence and they close on Sundays. My go-to Chik-Fil-A on I-85 north is in Salisbury, North Carolina (exit 76), where we stopped en route to Greensboro recently for a cookies and cream milkshake. So good.
Even when I’m not held captive on the highway, Chik-Fil-A is one of my favorite spots to grab a quick lunch, i.e. lemonade and grilled chicken sandwich or chicken strips. Though it’s a large restaurant chain with more than 1400 locations, most restaurants offer an inviting atmosphere where you can linger instead of eating on the road. This Southern twist to fast food and service is a welcome respite from burger monotony in any zip code.