The KFC Double Down “Sandwich”: Revealed and Reviewed!

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Your loyal and friendly (if not necessarily health conscious) staff here at BWE.tv have had the date April 12 circled on our calendars for some time now. No, not because Two And A Half Men is returning from a brief hiatus; rather, because it was the day that Colonel Sanders’s glorious vision would at last come true. Finally, the world would move past its childish fascination with loaves of bread and realize that, once and for all, all sandwiches should be cased within two pieces of fried chicken!

Yes, that’s right, today marks the day that KFC unleashed the Double Down sandwich upon this God-fearing nation of ours. And being the gluttons for punishment that we are, we trudged through waves upon waves of unwashed tourists in Times Square en route to ordering up one of these calorie-laden masterpieces. Follow along, if you dare, for our review.

We arrived at KFC a few moments after 2 p.m. this afternoon, hoping against hope that we wouldn’t have to wait in line to shell out our hard-earned $7.99 for a Double Down combo meal. Fortunately, there were only two people in line in front of us at the Combination Pizza Hut/Dunkin Donuts/KFC on the corner of 50th Street and 7th Avenue, so we gladly plunked down our money for a chance to head to an early grave.

Rather than face the embarrassment of eating one of these things in public, we brought the devil’s concoction back to our desks here at 1515 Broadway and, as they say in the food critic biz, went to town.

So, at this point, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “How bad is this thing for you, anyway?” Answer: Not that bad. As our friends over at The Awl informed us, it only possesses a scant 10 more calories than a Big Mac. Still, as we cracked open the box, our first reaction to the breadless sammy was not unlike that of Perseus’s as he first entered Medusa’s lair: We peered at it through the cracks of our fingers as if we were a pre-teen girl watching a horror film for the first time, semi-convinced that a mere glimpse at the meal would turn our arteries to stone. Thankfully, it did not. But friends, we would be lying if we didn’t admit that our heart skipped a beat or three when we lifted the Double Down toward our mouth to take the first bite.

The first thing you’ll notice if you dare to order one up yourself is the somewhat off-putting tactile sensation of the fried chicken in your hands; sadly, the attendant failed to put any napkins into the To Go back they foisted upon us. Fortunately, our office mate had a stack of Starbucks napkins on her desk, so she gladly slid them over to us as we took our first bite.

It was then that we realized that the sandwich, while yummy, was nowhere near as decadently delish as we had been expecting. All of the demonizing media coverage had led us to believe that it would be a sinful pleasure of flavorful goodness, but truth be told, it didn’t really taste out of this world. Granted, our first bite didn’t include any of the Colonel’s Secret Sauce — which resembles Hollandaise sauce in both taste and consistency — so it wasn’t quite the full monty.

As we dove deeper into the sandwich and hit the Secret Sauce patch, the taste began to improve as all of the intended flavors of the ingredients began co-mingling on our tongue like a bunch of sloppy co-eds at a keg party. The tangy sauce sauntered up to the spicy chicken and asked it to dance, at which point the melty American(ish) cheese and salty bacon decided to join in for a foursome of über-deliciousness. However, that feeling would be short-lived. After about four bites of the sandwich, we began to feel our stomachs expanding in a not entirely pleasant manner, which resulted in us struggling a bit to get through the remaining few bites. But finish it we did!

Because we didn’t feel like dying alone, we asked our pal Anthony from our gossipy sister site The FABLife to eat one at the same time as us. His take? “The novelty is in the conceptual decadence. Tastewise, you’ve been there before: it’s just a bacon chicken sandwich with cheese and something mayo-esque. But by removing bread from the equasion – by pretending fried chicken IS bread – this spits in the faces of the Jamie Oliver and Morgan Spurlock, not just acknowledging the nihilistic subtext of fast food, but wearing it like a badge of fatty pride. Nero to-go!”

So, at the end of the day, how was it? It won’t change your life like, say, listening to the Shins for the first time will, but all in all, we have to admit that it was worth the price of admission. Then again, you should probably ask us again in an hour after we’ve fully digested it. We might have a different answer for you then.

Related: The Definitive KFC Double Down Review [The Awl]
On Ingesting KFC’s New Product, the “Double Down” [Diner's Journal/NYT]