Sunday, October 9, 2016

Robert's chicken salad

Whenever we go grocery shopping — usually once a week at a Harris-Teeter in Clemmons — I make it a point to pick up a container of Robert's Chicken Salad.

I started doing this about a year or so ago. I don't know what prompted me to do this in the first place. Usually, grocery store chicken salad is too mayonaissy for my taste, and sometimes, too salty.

Good stuff
 But Kim pointed out that this chicken salad came from a store in Wrightsville Beach, Robert's Market, which was famous for its chicken salad.

Well, kinda famous. I'd never heard of it before this. But I thought I'd give it a try.


It was great. Just the right consistency, with fresh, crunchy bits of celery, shredded chicken, eggs and just enough mayo to hold everything together without being overwhelming. The only trouble is that it's pretty expensive: $8.99 for a 14-ounce container. Robert, apparently, knows he makes good stuff and can charge whatever he wants for it.

Anyway, last weekend we took a long-needed vacation to Cherry Grove beach (pre-Matthew, mind you), and we reserved Sunday for a jaunt up to Wilmington. Kim and I decided that as long as we're there, we'd take a side trip to nearby Wrightsville Beach and check out Robert's.

I'd never been to Wrigthsville and the last time Kim had been there, she was a little girl. While I wanted some chicken salad, Kim wanted to resurrect some childhood memories.

Because I didn't have my road atlas, and we don't have an active GPS in the car, we approached Wrightsville by intuition. Road signs helped, as did driving by the seat of my pants. My inner compass was telling me we were close, and that by following the North star (even though it was 10 a.m.), I sensed the ocean was off to my right.

Ta-dahh. We entered Wrightsville. Kim couldn't remember a thing about it. Somehow, it had become upscale over the years. Millennials everywhere. Joggers. Bicycle riders. Dog walkers. Beach goers.

We found it
"We'll never find Robert's," said Kim, barely finishing her sentence before I said, "Look, there's Robert's," pointing to the right. Indeed, there it was. And despite being Sunday morning, it was open for business.

We parked the car about three blocks away (parking was abysmal) and walked into the store. We were surprised by how small it was, but then, it's been a beach-side market since 1919. What did we expect?

Nevertheless, we found the cooler which was stocked with containers of chicken salad — and only 50 cents less than Harris-Teeter.

We didn't want to buy a tub, because we had no way to keep it fresh and we still had the rest of the day ahead of us. So we bought a chicken salad sandwich (on rye), walked to the beach, split the sandwich in two, shared it and washed it down with a bottle of water.

We decided that the chicken salad from Harris-Teeter was somehow better. I don't know how this could be. Maybe the sandwich we bought was a couple days old. Maybe it was made differently than the mass-produced variety sold to H-T. Maybe there really was sand in my sandwich. I don't know.

We continued with a short walk up the beach to the Johnnie Mercer fishing pier, which Kim remembered from her youth. Johnnie Mercer is not to be confused with Johnny Mercer, the famous lyricist who founded Capital Records. Johnnie, however, was apparently famous for his pier and today it's still the only concrete pier on the North Carolina coast.

We're all famous for something, I guess.

Anyway, having fulfilled our Wrightsville bucket list, we hopped in the car, turned on our internal GPS's, and moved on.

1 comment:

  1. Chicken salad is my favorite and I've been buying Roberts for quite a while even though it is expensive. My last few purchases I've noticed the consistency has changed. More ground up. I liked the more chunky consistency better.