For the uninitiated, let’s start with the chicken sandwich. God didn’t invent it; Truett S. Cathy did. He did so here, at a family diner he called “The Dwarf House”, some 70 (!) years ago. The chicken burger, as it was originally called, would be the standout menu item that eventually propelled Chick-Fil-A to the fast-food industry dominance that it enjoys today.
(So, yes: you can thank the Dwarf House for our current "chicken sandwich wars" and the masterpieces they’ve necessitated, mainly, The Oh So Delicious Popeye’s Chicken sandwich. But that isn’t the point of this article, though I’m not done with fried chicken yet.)
The Dwarf House still has several locations in the Atlanta area. As an Atlanta native, I am satiated to say I’ve visited several times and locations, although I moved away three years ago. True to the original Dwarf House, these restaurants are essentially dinner service style, full fold-out menu Chick-Fil-A restaurants. A hostess will walk you to your table, a server will get your drinks, and a busboy will clean your table. Of course, you could ask any Chick-Fil-A employee to perform these tasks for you, and I’m sure it would be their pleasure, but then you’d just be a real Chick-Fil-A-hole ™, wouldn’t you?
Look at these large, hand-held menus. If this doesn’t excite you, then you’re reading the wrong article.
These fancy large menus come with fancy specialty menu items, many of which Chick-Fil-A is considering putting on their national menu. That’s right, Chick-Fil-A Mac-n-Cheese has been around for a long time, I hate to break it to you, and us Atlantans have always known it’s delicious. Not only that, but sweet potato waffle fries also exist, and they’ll knock your Christian socks off.
I haven’t visited one of these fast-food Meccas in several years, so who knows what they are testing out these days. If you’re in the Atlanta area and you’re wondering if you should go try out the Dwarf House, my answer is an unequivocal yes. Yes! YES. Go to the full-service Chick-Fil-A restaurant, I mean once COVID’s over, but definitely do it after that.
If you are like most people in the world and do not live in the Atlanta area, then dream with me for a moment. What if Chick-Fil-A Dwarf Houses were not the only dinner service fast-food chains? We’ve seen something like this before. Taco Bell once opened its own hotel with a restaurant. In-N-Out, despite what its name may suggest, takes so long you might as well go to a full-service restaurant, or just travel to another state.
I have curated a list of Dwarf House style dinner service fast-food restaurants I want to see plus one potential menu item from each establishment. I have not changed the name of the fast-food restaurant to avoid confusion, though I do suggest a dinner service restaurant name at the end. Forget about whatever diet you thought you were on - simply reading this list is going to raise your cholesterol.
1. Taco Bell - Doritos Locos Nachos
Allow me to be upfront: this has already been done. Those Costa Ricans know what they are doing! But, unless you’re reading this in San José, Doritos Locos Nachos are just a fantasy to you and me. Unless, of course, you’re one of the thousands of people online who have done this at home already.
Still – tell me I’m wrong about this menu item. The Doritos Locos Tacos are already a universal hit, there is just no way this could go wrong. The nachos version would be great for sharing as an appetizer or for just gobbling up yourself, you big turkey!
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: La Casa De Dilla
2. Wendy's - French Fried Frosty
Amazing alliteration ain’t the only reason to adore this treat: it’s something that we all do already.
How would this look as a stand alone menu item? I see a chocolate or vanilla frosty mixed with crunchy fry bits, a la a cookies and cream milkshake. Then, you put French fries on top of it and either drink it through a hollowed out fry or eat it with a spoon made of potatoes. That idea alone is worth at least two Michelin stars. Served as an entrée or dessert.
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: Pigtails
3. Bojangles - Spicy Bo-Berry Chicken Biscuit
Yes, more fried chicken and YES, Bojangles isn’t a huge chain. Still, if there is one in your area, you can do this combination yourself.
From personal experience I can advise you not to ask an employee of Bojangles for a Bo-Berry biscuit with spicy fried chicken in it. You will confuse this person and force managers to get involved, the police of the fast-food world. Simply ask for a Bo-berry biscuit, ask for a spicy chicken biscuit without the biscuit, and put them together yourself. You'll save yourself time and frustration.
It is a salty and sweet mess reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly on spicy steroids. It is the type of entrée that may send you in to a diabetic shock while giving you a heart attack, all at the same time. I don’t care if it does cost me a foot – this combination is delicious.
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: Anything but “Bojangles”
4. McDonald's - The McFuckBoi
Pardon the language, but that’s what this sandwich is called. Invented by and for teenager fuck bois in the greatest country on earth, this sandwich just screams “I have no culture”.
Order a Big Mac and a fried chicken sandwich. Remove the bread from the center of the Big Mac and replace with filet of fried chicken. Re-assemble the sandwich and there you have it: an early 2000s classic amongst stoned, suburban white kids, The McFuckBoi.
As a menu item, this must be an entrée. If they really want to do it right, they’ll serve it with a wet joint.
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: Donnie’s Irish McPub
5. Burger King - Burger Fries
Hear me out – there is a precedent for this idea. Chicken fries are a delicacy (and a natural aphrodisiac). Burger King is the KING of BURGERS. This should be a home run for them and I’m a little worried some exec is going to steal this idea from me.
They would be French cut patties of charbroiled Whopper meat and an undeniable appetizer. Some burger fries would have cheese, others, who knows? Yeah, you’ll get some greasy fingers, but so what? You’re the one sitting down at Burger King.
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: L’King du Burger
6. Subway - Cookie Bread
This is essentially what they are already doing anyway. But, beyond their questionable sugar bread and pedo-positive business model, Subway has a serious problem: all their food is shit.
All their food is shit, except for their surprisingly wonderful cookies. I have not bought a sandwich from this chain in years, but I do stop by for cookies on every road trip. They are always just right and oh so sweet. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that the best thing at Subway is the most unabashedly unhealthy thing at Subway.
Here’s what I expect from Subway cookie bread: one-part delicious cookie, one-part diabetes-inducing sandwich bread. Essentially, make a cookie cake loaf with that bomb-ass macadamia nut recipe. It’s definitely a dessert you can lure the kids in with.
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: Fat Uncle J’s
7. Dunkin' - Blueberry Bacon Munchkins
I have a sweet tooth. I also have a salty tooth. Together, I have inevitable dental doom.
Salty and sweet things are the best. This idea, to me, just makes too much sense not to do it. They already do a donut sandwich; this is just the easier-to-eat version of it. Serve eight Blueberry Bacon Munchins in a basket with two sauces: one cinnamon frosting the other just coffee and BAM, that’s a hit. That’s an appetizer I’d eat right now.
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: Brunchkin’ Bronuts
8. Domino's - Pizza That Doesn't Suck
Suggested Dinner Service Restaurant Name: Pizza Hut
Thank you for dreaming with me. Hopefully, sometime soon, we’ll all sit down together at some over-priced shit hole and complain about the service (Where is that waiter anyway?).
I in no way encourage anyone to go out to eat during this third wave. I do encourage you to order take-out and support your local restaurants, fast-food and all.
If the restaurants don’t make it through this difficult period, then we’ll never live to see any of these Chick-Fil-A Dwarf House Style menu items realized, and that, my friends, would be a tragedy of national proportions.