Food review site ‘Eater’ tells readers grub is great, but Christian restaurants are ‘unpalatable’

The foodie website Eater is telling its readers to avoid Chick-fil-A because of its “unpalatable” Christian values.

In a review of the popular fast food giant on Wednesday, the website said that while the chain “serves up some solid food,” its “baggage” makes it a place to avoid.

People don’t love Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based, family-owned chain that’s heavily rooted in the South but that’s expanding aggressively into new markets like New York and Washington, fueling long lines and, occasionally, opposition. Millions of dollars of the chain’s past profits funded groups that opposed same-sex marriage during an era when millions of Americans were fighting for their civil rights; smaller donations went to a group that practiced conversion therapy, a practice that stems from the discredited belief that homosexuality is a mental illness.

The review had hardly anything to do with the quality of the restaurant’s food or it’s customer service and focused rather on the company’s politics.

I used to visit the Chick-fil-A during my D.C. college days, circa 2000, as a cheap and reasonably tasty source of protein after a workout. Nearly two decades later, in my capacity as a restaurant critic, I’m here to report that the increasingly ubiquitous chain serves a pretty good fast-food breakfast, a pretty great frozen coffee, and a pretty average chicken sandwich.

I’m also here to report that it’s the only top 10 quick-service restaurant that doesn’t mention sexual orientation in its online equal opportunity statement, and that it holds a zero rating on LGBT benefits and worker protections from a prominent advocacy group. McDonald’s scored 100. (When I asked Chick-fil-A about this, a rep responded with a general statement reaffirming its commitment to equal opportunity and said that it’s up to local franchisees to determine benefits.)

The website admitted that the Christian restaurant is “America’s favorite fast-food restaurant” but it admired more “progressive” establishments.

And there’s the culinary question, which is whether you should brave the (fast-moving) lines at the home of the “original” pressure-fried chicken sandwich, or whether you should patronize more ambitious (and progressive) poultry-purveying peers like Fuku (only in New York) or Shake Shack.

The website got more fried than a chicken sandwich on social media.

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Carmine Sabia


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