Sandwich of the Week: Dwarf House Chick-fil-A

The Dwarf House in Atlanta — the original Chick-fil-A
The Dwarf House
Arthur Bovino

The Dwarf House

In-N-Out and Shake Shack, McDonald's, Runza, Chico's Tacos — everyone has their fast food obsessions. For some, the lesser-known regional chains are keystones of comfort, the quick fix that reminds of home. For others, regional chains are new worlds to conquer and explore. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, visiting the spot where a chain's origin myth started can be fun. Such it is with Chick-fil-A, which started in Atlanta.

As the menu and photographs on the walls tell you, The Dwarf House started out in 1946 in Hapeville when "a young man named Truett Cathy and his brother Ben pooled their savings, sold their car, and took out a loan to come up with $10,000 to open the Dwarf Grill." It had 10 counter stools and four tables. They pulled in $58.20 the first day and have been hopen 24 hours a day everyday since (except on Sunday — "of course," says the menu).

There are 11 Dwarf House locations in the Atlanta-metropolitan area.  At the original location, there is a small door in the front of the restaurant and a strange motorized Snow White-esque dwarf display in the back. The main difference between The Dwarf House and other Chick-fil-A locations is that it's a full-service restaurant in addition to the fast-food service. You can find chicken pot pie, fried okra, ribeye steak, and the hot brown platter (chicken in a thick cream sauce topped with Cheddar, paprika, sliced bacon, and toast), as well as several other items you won't find in your average Chick-fil-A.

OK, OK, but how about the sandwiches, hey? Well, what are you there for? Are you a purist? Do you go chicken sandwich? Deluxe? Spicy?

At The Dwarf House, the spicy chicken platter with waffle fries comes with a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips. The bottom bun half gets condensed to become thin and a little sweet. Crunchy, crispy, salty, with a little mustard and zest. It's a pretty tasty fast-food sandwich. There's also a bottle of vinegar-soaked hot peppers to add some heat, and of course, sweet Chick-fil-A sauce and buttermilk ranch dressing. A glass of sweet tea, a view of those old-school stools at the counter, the knowledge that you can swing by at 3 a.m. if you're jonesing for a fried chicken sandwich, do you need anything else? Heck, The Dwarf House menu even features a steak sandwich and "Dwarf burgers." Just don't tell the cows.