Monday, April 12, 2010
Main Entry: 1sand·wich
Pronunciation: \ˈsan(d)-ˌwich, ˈsam-; dial ˈsaŋ-\
Etymology: John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich †1792 English diplomat
1 a : two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between b : one slice of bread covered with food
2 : something resembling a sandwich; especially : composite structural material consisting of layers often of high-strength facings bonded to a low strength central core
This is Webster's definition of a sandwich. Based on the first definition, the attribute of bread is required to meet the usual standards for a typical sandwich. But as we found out on this crisp April eve, KFC is taking the 2nd definition and running wild all over town.
The Double Down Sandwich started as an urban legend, an old wive's tale, as you were, a year or so ago, whenever underground and backdoor internet sightings and reports started appearing for the chicken sandwich that didn't offer any sort of bread type substance. I can thank food aficionado and GG&G reader Steve J. Loomis for the find from some time ago.
Back then, the KFC Double Down was reviled as fast food gluttony, an over the top calorie crawler that would surely break records for unprompted food naps and cause productivity to crash in any employee who dared tried to tackle the beast during his or her lunch hour. Back then, I didn't believe, but woe is me indeed, because here we are, in 2010 where a chicken sandwich can actually use chicken for its "high strength facings" instead of bread.
Apparently KFC did some research, and became aware of the fact that the DD was being talked about on a mythical level, and went with a viral marketing campaign centered around the "It's Real" tagline. Because after all, even they can't believe this is a product. Coupled with the Colonel tweeting for weeks, a countdown timer was also set on the KFC site, counting the mere seconds until the uncleansed masses of the US to get a hold of this colossus. Typically, yours truly was a skeptic. They really couldn't release this could they? Spouting the fact that the sandwich (which i still use the term loose lips larrily) is so meaty that there simply wasn't room for a bun. This mammoth consists of a boneless chicken filet, topped with a piece of two different kinds of cheese, monterey and pepper jack, bacon, and an ample slathering of "Colonel's Sauce", which remains a mystery as to its goals and flavor offerings.
Walking into the Shadyside KFC, my compatriot Michael and I were giddy with excitement and anticipation for release day. Were we really minutes away from having a Double Down in our hands? Or would fate intervene? As you can see, its already a full time menu item, Combo #12, something I always look for whenever Gimmicks come out, just to see if the company already knows the product has staying power before it is released.
The KFC was abuzz with excitement. With alot of fellow patrons talking about the meat glob, and staring in its revelry. We overheard an older couple staring at it, and the husband was heard saying something to the effect of "look at that thing, it doesn't have any buns, I bet its a sloppy mess". Nothing like hearing senior citizens' opinions on such a trending topic, let a lone the words "sloppy mess". It only heightened my anticipation that much more, knowing that the older generation was snickering at the new fangled world of bunless sandwich morsels.
When I went up to order, the beleaguered KFC employee spoke even before I could and uttered "Don't even say Double Down". With a streak of panic I feared they were out of it somehow, when I told her that yeah, thats what I was gonna say. She rolled her eyes, and yelled to the back "Another Double Down!" I excitingly inquired about the popularity of the beast, and she said that they have been "slammed" all day. Ladies and gents, we have a hit on our hands! And with other people around the restaurant staring with amazement and taking photos of their fest, it was hard to deny it.
Well there it is, in all of its magical, greasy, grand glory.
With the chicken piping hot, it was doing its very best to melt and congeal the conglomeration that its two patties were smothering. This particular DD was too hot to handle, and with only the wax paper being offered as a buffer between my skin and freshly fried meat, I feared no worse than a 2nd degree burn.
After my initial fears were conquered, I took my first bite. I was instantly met with the classic, 13 original herbs and spices of the original recipe, marinated to perfection, or fried as fast as the employees could muster, whatever comes first. My first impressions, were that the chicken was extemely tasty. And I also immediately realized this would probably be my last KFC Double Down for the simple fact that too many more would take months, if not years off of my life. The sandwich's filling, was quite tasty despite the fact that it simply was elementary and barbaric, when it would come to a traditional sandwich. After all, you don't see too many humans tasting on bacon, cheese, and sauce smothered by a kaiser. But somehow, them being manipulated in between big hunks of chicken really works.
And here is the ever popular internalized view:
Overall, I really enjoyed the Double Down. It might be a little salty for some, and the overall nature of the sandwich is very unhealthy tasting. You know you're ingesting mass amounts of fat and calories when you wrangle this bucking bronco. Weighing in with 32 g of fat, 540 calories, and 1380 mg of sodium, this isn't something that should be eaten a lot as part of any diet, and you don't need to be a doctor to know that. There is a grilled variety, that actually packs more sodium than its fried counterpart, but as I've always said, go big or go home. You're not gonna get a grilled Double Down, thats like getting sugar free Froot Loops. So come one, come all, down to the local KFC eatery and put your teeth around the 4 Star "sandwich" everyone and their brother's cousin is talking about...You won't leave hungry, I promise you that.
KFC Double Down: 4/5 Stars
Until the next sauce, Ak