Sandwiches in Review: The KFC Double Down
May 3, 2010
At long last, a review of the Double Down!! For those of you who missed the flurry of sandwich-related news reporting over the past few weeks, the Double Down is a “sandwich” offered by KFC which consists of two chicken breasts stacked on top of one another, with cheese, bacon, and Colonel sauce sandwiched in-between. I posted a short entry on it when I first heard the news, but have been too busy to try it and post a proper review. Until now.
To begin this review, I need to explain one of the basic principles of food advertising. When you order the sandwich/ice cream/coffee, it’s not going to look the way it does on TV or in the magazines. Most of the time, that stuff isn’t even really food, and if it is, it’s been carefully constructed and sprayed with stuff to make it look shiny and appetizing. This isn’t a big deal, and I’m not saying that anyone should boycott restaurants due to their advertising.
However, the Double Down’s TV spots and other ad material deviate from the truth in two key ways. One, the idea that both chicken breasts will be identical, bun-shaped, and generally easy to pick up and eat is false. The Double Down is made by an employee grabbing two pieces at random. There’s no guarantee it won’t be an awkward, unwieldy handful of meat. The other problem: you know that little paper sleeve everyone has in the ads? The one that allows you to hold it in your hand indefinitely and eat it like a sandwich? While they may exist somewhere, the KFC I visited served my Double Down in a box. Let me tell you, fingertip-burning occurred. I honestly have no idea how one is expected to eat a Grilled DD.
Now, for the eating!! Honestly, it’s not too hard to imagine what the Double Down tastes like. KFC’s fried chicken recipe has always been pretty good, and the cheese and sauce, while forgettable, don’t really harm the sandwich at all. The major problem is the fact that you’re eating a sandwich made out of chicken breasts. It’s just too much chicken. Chicken, unlike ground beef, really doesn’t complement itself very well. It also doesn’t work as a meal. Fun fact of science: carbohydrates (like bread) fill you up. That’s why a sandwich is such a satisfying meal to begin with. Without the bread, the DD leaves you feeling sick, but not full.
Not only is the Double Down not very good, it’s also quite expensive. The Double Down Combo (which includes the DD, a small side, and a drink) is $7.50. While I’m sure you can order it a la carte for a little bit cheaper, it also wouldn’t be a good idea to order without a drink, as well as something to break up the monotony of meat. Not that I’d expect anyone to purchase the DD regularly, for health and becoming-a-social-pariah reasons, but it’s too expensive to purchase on a lark.
Overall, the Double Down is a refuge-in-audacity based marketing gimmick, which attempts to sully the good name of sandwich. I would encourage readers not to waste their money on it. After all, KFC has much better sandwiches available for much more reasonable prices.