One of north Johnson City’s newest entries to the restaurant scene is Chicken Salad Chick.

Co-tenant of property once occupied by Sears Automotive, Chicken Salad Chick has been gathering in new customers almost from the moment it opened its doors back in April. Owners James Denham and Chip Backus know a good thing when they see it, and are making sure their Chicken Salad Chick location follows the company’s first principle: Spreading joy and serving others.

First impressions

The dining area of Johnson City’s Chicken Salad Chick is bright and airy, has seating for 70 or so hungry patrons backed by a combination cashier and carry-out counter. Restrooms (tidy and modern) can be accessed at left rear of the dining area. There is additional seating outside on wrought iron furniture under pastel green umbrellas.

“Classic Carol” on croissant and broccoli salad

My dining partner is a fan of chicken salad. This comes as no surprise since her mother, the redoubtable Mamaw, made some of the best chicken salad that even I had ever tasted. My dining partner wanted to see how the Chicken Salad Chick version would compare, and ordered their “Classic Carol,” ($7.99), named for one of the “Chicks” who inspired company founder Stacy Brown.

The “Classic Carol” is shredded white meat chicken combined with chopped celery, mayonnaise and some proprietary spices. My dining partner had her “Classic Carol” on a light and flaky croissant along with a slice of ripe tomato and leaf lettuce, together with a broccoli salad as her side order. Though not a fan of celery, my dining partner enjoyed her “Classic Carol” very much, and found their broccoli salad to be particularly savory.

Pimento cheese BLT and broccoli cheese soup

Of late I have become a devotee of pimento cheese, and it seems that I am not the only one doing the devoting, either. Pimento cheese is one of those foods that everyone, even my dining partner, has their own individually crafted version of the stuff. Because all are different, pimento cheese has no one gold standard by which to judge the rest.

Chicken Salad Chick’s recipe for pimento cheese comes close.

I had some as part of a BLT on toasted wheat berry bread ($8.99) along with some delightfully smoky center-cuts of bacon, a slice of ripe tomato and some fresh-picked leaf lettuce, a serviceable dollop of mayonnaise added as garnish. My BLT’s pimento cheese had some finely diced and spicy hot jalapeno bits in it along with the pimento which provided an agreeable surprise. My side order was a broccoli cheese soup properly made with more broccoli than cheese and a pleasant accompaniment to my pimento cheese BLT.

Buttercream flower cookie and Divine Chocolate Cake

Naturally, after such a delicious lunch, my dining partner and I could not leave the table without some dessert, and Chicken Salad Chick did not disappoint. For my dessert, I chose a single buttercream cookie in the shape of a flower ($1.99) while my dining partner opted for a slice of Divine Chocolate Cake ($2.99).

My buttercream cookie was sweet but not too sweet and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, just the way I like my cookies. My dining partner’s Divine Chocolate Cake was divine in all respects, a 3-inch-by-8-inch wedge of chocolate cake having a dense and substantial “crumb” to it, loaded with chocolate flavor from its plate to the chocolate ganache on top and just heavenly.

The bottom line

My dining partner and I found Chicken Salad Chick’s atmosphere to be inviting and pleasant, the staff to be both knowledgeable and friendly and their menu to be the epitome of light fare dining. Denham and Backus are to be complimented for bringing Chicken Salad Chick to the Tri-Cities in general, and Johnson City in particular.

Why not stop by and see the folks at Chicken Salad Chick doing what they do best: “Spreading joy and serving others.”

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