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Heart Attack Sandwich (Saturday, April 24, 2010)

So, slave to advertising that I am, I had to give KFC's new Double Down sandwich a try. For those of you who have been living under a rock, the Double Down is a sandwich consisting of two fried chicken patties, bacon, cheese, some sort of sauce, and no bun. It is advertised in a neatly wrapped package designed to make it easy to eat the sandwich without getting your hands greasy. At least that's how it is advertised.

So after not having eaten at a KFC in years, I went to the local KFC on Union Mill Road in Clifton to try it out. Apparently, KFC typically makes all of their food in advance and just lets it sit there until someone orders it. Since I wanted mine without any mystery sauce, I had to wait ten minutes for them to fry some more chicken. I don't mind the wait, but that's a bit of a surprise — even at McDonald's and Burger King, they are pretty much continuously cooking fresh food. I also observed one employee handling food without gloves on... he had gloves, he just hadn't gotten around to putting them on yet. Fortunately, it wasn't my cheese he was handling.

Speaking of cheese, there's supposed to be two kinds of cheese on the sandwich, but mine had two slices of one, and was missing the pepper jack cheese. Fine with me, as I don't care for pepper jack, but I was willing to try it at least. When the sandwich finally arrived, it was just in a box like any other sandwich, leaving no choice but to pick it up... and it is just as greasy as one might expect. I did some surgery on the box and faked a contraption to emulate the ads you see on TV with some success. But really, should I have to?

The verdict? It's a fried chicken sandwich with extra chicken and no bread. At 540 calories (less if you ditch the sauce, like I did), it's no worse than any other fast food sandwich for your waist line, although with the fat and sodium, it's not exactly a health food. I liked it better than any of the chicken sandwiches I've had recently at McDonald's or Burger King, but I think that could be because KFC has better chicken. The concept is interesting, but I think I'd rather trade the extra chicken patty for a nice tidy bun.

I admit, they achieved their purpose in doing something so seemingly outrageous. They got me back into a KFC for the first time in years, and I have to admit that the chicken is better (tasting) than other fast food places I visit more regularly. Unfortunately, the service, while friendly, was not efficient (and this in a restaurant with more employees than customers, in the middle of a sleepy afternoon), and the food just isn't enough better for me to go so much further out of my way and wait so much longer for the food... but I might stop in again, if I happen to be passing nearby.

—Brian (4/24/2010 3:54 PM)
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