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Company’s Coming revels in its simplicity

by Brian Clarey

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Chicken salad. Egg salad. A fresh croissant. That’s all you really need. (photo by Brian Clarey) Sometimes it’s the simple things. A loaf of good French bread. A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. A perfectly fried egg.

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And on this hot, late-summer day, that’s what I wanted: nothing too fancy, nothing too extravagant, but something delicious and wholesome that would make me marvel at it simplicity. On the advice of a High Point esthetician I took a short drive down Main Street to the little takeaway and catering shop that’s been doing business in High Point since 1985, Company’s Coming.

The interior of the store is sparse, with a few pre-packaged gourmet products on shelves and some fresh-baked bread in bags on a table. The real action is in the kitchen, bigger than the retail space, where a team prepares standby favorites and the daily specials as described on a blackboard behind the counter.

Company’s Coming made its name by having loads of freshly prepared foods in stock, ready to heat and eat. The standard menu includes lots of chicken dishes: tetrazzini, divan, herbed with rice, lemony, saut’ed with artichokes and tomatoes, baked with vegetables, baked in a pie… you get the picture. There’s lots of other things here as well, like spaghetti and lasagna, beef burgundy and Stroganoff.

But let’s get back to the chicken. The thing that made Company’s Coming famous is based on that succulent bird that may or may not be a distant relation to the dinosaurs.

According to my source, this place makes the best chicken salad I — or anyone else — have ever tasted.

So I picked up a half-pound with a couple of croissants, and a halfpound of egg salad for good measure. Company’s Coming is not a restaurant; there are no tables or booths or even plates and silverware. You don’t have to take it home, but you can’t eat it there.

A word about chicken salad: I love it, and heretofore the best I ever tasted was from a kosher deli on Long Island — creamy, with cold cubes of chicken and just enough celery. I do not like dill in my chicken salad. Or pickles. Or walnuts or grapes or anything else that detracts from the simplicity of the dish.

On first blush, this specimen seemed to meet my standards, though the chicken was shredded and not cubed. No big deal, really. At my desk I hacked open a croissant and stuffed it with the salad — no lettuce, no tomato, no nothing.

One bite and I am transported to… I don’t know… a church picnic?

A small-town lunch counter? Someone’s grandma’s house? Wherever it is that you find perfect chicken salad, I’m there.

It’s magnificent, with just the right mayonnaise-to-chicken-to-celery ratio, enough salt and pepper to let you know they’re there. It works so well with the buttery, flaky croissant it was like some sort of blessed union, like they were meant to be together.

The egg salad? I have fewer rules for my egg salad than I do for my chicken salad: again, no pickles, dill or vinegar, though I am not against throwing in a few capers sometimes. This one is also delicious, with the eggs chopped so that the entire portion seemed more like puree and very little else to stand in the way of the main ingredient. Stuffed into my second croissant, the two do not make as perfect a pair as the first, but as far as minimalist sandwiches go this was impressive nonetheless.

wanna go?

Company’s Coming 2515 N. Main St. High Point

336.883.0612 www.companyscoming.net

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