In the book of Genesis, God ordered Noah to build an Ark and fill it with two of every living creature.
The KFC Double Down in all of its uneaten glory
Thousands of years later, Colonel Sanders would tell his KFC employees to grab a wrapper and fill it with two of every animal. The result, the Double Down Sandwich, was unleashed upon the multitudes this past week like a plague of artery-clogging, deep fried locusts.
The Double Down Sandwich isn’t a sandwich in the conventional sense of the word. It’s not even food in the conventional sense of the word. It’s two slices of bacon, two slices of cheese, and special sauce ensconced in two fried chicken breasts masquerading as buns.
If you are keeping count, that leaves the Double Down just one piece of fish shy of having every sea and land dwelling animal accounted for – and that’s assuming there are no traces of ground-up fish in the special sauce.
I sat down with my very own Double Down Sandwich yesterday. Here’s a bite-by-bite account of the experience.
The ordering process for the Double Down Birdwich is pretty straightforward, and revolves around answering one simple question: would you like traditional fried or grilled? To me, that’s like asking someone who drinks whether they would like to have an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic beer. If you’re going to commit death-by-chicken, you might as well do it right.
Unfortunately, I was informed by my friendly cashier that they would have to fry up a new batch of the “traditional” chicken, so I would have to wait about 7 minutes for my first bite.
To pass the time, I ask the cashier about the Double Down. She tells me that they have been selling well, and that she just learned to make them today. I wonder (to myself) what kind of specialized training is needed to assemble a sandwich with no buns and 4 ingredients.
Taking my seat, I look around the restaurant. There’s one older couple, a younger couple with a child, and an older gentlemen. None appeared to be eating a Double Down. I feel a vague sense of accomplishment for ordering the Double Down – kind of like a fast food Evel Knievel.
My DD arrives. The KFC girl warns me the “sandwich might be hot,” which is a very appropriate warning. If you’ve ever had fast-food, you know that your food “might be hot,” but usually never is. The wrapper reiterates the warning with a “Caution: Hot” label. In looking at the fried beast, I assume that the surgeon general would have a few additional warnings he’d like to see on the wrapper.
There are many "Cautions" KFC could have put on the Double Down. They chose to stick with "Hot."
5:05 P.M. (Bite #1)
The sandwich is indeed hot. And the chicken is indeed juicy. The combination has left me with what I am pretty sure are third degree burns on my fingers. I wonder if Stella eats at KFC.
Your insides won't be the only thing that burns.
5:06 P.M. (Bite #2)
The sandwich is also greasy. My fingers have yet to come into direct contact with the chicken, thanks to the handy paper wrapper, but I still feel like I’m covered in grease.
5:07 P.M. (Bites #3 – 7)
Have you ever had a sandwich where the bun overlapped the meat, and you have to eat through multiple bites of nothing but bun to get to the stuff in the middle? Not a very tasty task. But, replace the buns with chicken breasts, and suddenly going through 4 bites to get to something else doesn’t seem so bad. The Colonel may be on to something here.
5:09 P.M. (Bite #8)
I find the bacon deposit hiding deep in the loins of the fried chicken. It has that classic fast-food bacon taste, meaning that it has the consistency of rubber and a heavy fake-smoke flavor.
5:10 (Bite #9)
Unlike the 11 herbs and spices, which has been a closely guarded secret for decades, the Double Down’s special sauce is easy to decipher. It’s mayonnaise. With some other junk thrown in.
5:12 (Bite #10)
A KFC employee wiping down tables looks over at me. I’m sure she is judging me and my gluttonous order. Instead, she asks me how I’m enjoying the DD. I tell her I am “pleasantly surprised.” She smiles and nods as if to say, “the Colonel knew you would like it.”
5:14 (Bite #12)
The wrapper, which had up to this point been fighting a valiant battle against chicken grease, has given up. I have to tackle the last few bites bare-handed.
Wrappers are for sissies
5:16 (Bite #15)
A piece of cheese has broken free from its chicken fried coffin. I attempt to reassemble what’s left of the sandwich, but find that’s easier said than done.
When symmetrical buns are involved, reassembly is easy – you just line up the bite marks. Lining up two half-eaten pieces of chicken breasts is damn near impossible. I wonder if my cashier learned how to re-assemble the sandwich as part of her DD training.
An unsuccessful attempt at reassembling the Double Down
5:18 (Bite #18)
Ordering a Double Down makes you feel a little like Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food. But, as I approach the end of the sandwich, I find I am feeling less like a food-conquering hero and more like a buckethead that just spent $7.00 for a “value-meal” with two pieces of chicken. Is it possible to have buyer’s remorse with fast food? I’m sure in a few hours I will have eater’s remorse.
5:20 (Bite #21)
The sandwich is, unceremoniously, gone. No streamers fell from the ceiling. No bells and whistles went off. And, as far as I can tell, my heart did not implode. For all the fanfare this sandwich has received, the actual act of eating it was quite mundane.
But, as much as I wanted to hate the DD, I really can’t. To summarize:
- If you get it straight out of the fryer, the chicken on the DD is pretty tasty.
- Buying Double Down Sandwiches paves the way for KFC parent Yum Brands to introduce other ridiculous menu items like the Pizza Hut Burrito Stuffed Crust Pizza.
- Sandwich is Atkins Friendly with no filling buns to get in your way.
- $4.99 is too much for this sandwich.
- Like most of the items at KFC, the chicken is the star. Everything else on the sandwich is subpar.
- God help the person who tries to eat one if these after it has cooled off.