I have what I call “chicken tender melt days” — the recipe for the day, much like the sandwich, is simple. It’s gloomy, and outside there’s whatever precipitation that the temperature allows. Other important criteria: it is after 7 p.m. and I am in a bit of a drab mood. It’s been a tough day and comfort food is necessary to make it better. What better way to find that on this campus than with a picky eater’s two favorite foods combined: a grilled cheese with chicken tenders inside? (Note: don’t get it twisted, I do NOT self-identify as a picky eater, but sometimes it is like that.)
There’s only three components of the sandwich — bread, chicken tenders, and cheese. Your choice of cheese can make or break the sandwich. I default to cheddar, but have been known to get pepper jack if I’m feeling extra zesty — though the point of the chicken tender melt day is that I’m feeling far from adventurous. I have a friend who ordered his premiere chicken tender melt with swiss. Blasphemous.
My affinity for the sandwich might lead one to believe that these days occur often, but I find that the beauty lies in their scarcity — I only have two or three a semester. That makes them all the more special, all the more comforting. I save the chicken tender melts for when I need their warmth most.
I think that feeling of warmth stems partially from another important factor of a chicken tender melt day — they are not to be embarked upon alone. The setup might make it sound like a solitary experience, but the company helps the meal (which, by the way, must be a dinner and must be eaten in the Cage) be all the more comforting. Without companionship, I doubt the sandwich alone would hold the power to turn my days around.