Thursday, April 29, 2010

On Doubling Down

I had a Double Down for lunch today. I was egged on by a coworker who can't have gluten and therefore can't eat a single thing at KFC who wanted to "see one." And I was curious too so it didn't take much urging once I had someone else I could blame. I posted on Facebook that I was going to do this and got more comments than I have ever had on a status update. The Double Down has struck a deep chord in our society.

I'm just not sure what the big deal is. Yes, it's disgusting, salty and greasy, but, um, have you had KFC before? I've seen (and eaten) bigger sandwiches. With bread. Big Macs have been around forever, and that's also two slabs of meat - plus three pieces of bread. Think about a classic club at any diner in America. If we were just talking about a dinner of fried chicken, would anyone think it unusual to eat two breasts?

The last time I went to Chipotle, which I think most people would consider "good" (or at least "better") fast food, I had a burrito with the works (because a burrito without sour cream and cheese is not a burrito I'm interested in eating) and a side of chips and guac (because Chipotle's chips are like crack). I did the math and it clocked in around 1,500 calories. Sure, there were some vegetables in there, and probably way less salt than KFC, but I was so full I didn't eat dinner that night. The Double Down has 540. That's 10 less than a McDonald's salad. True, that salad has fried chicken and bacon and ranch dressing on it, but how many people think they're eating healthily because they're eating a salad? At least the Double Down has no pretensions or illusions. And a Triple Whopper (triple???) has 1,160 calories. (Source.)

Look, I'm not endorsing this thing. I'm not a big fast food eater anyway (though I used to be, and I am well-versed), and I was horrified at what I saw on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and I think we all need to eat healthier and cook more and this industry is pretty bad for humanity. I'm just saying a breadless sandwich is not Armageddon. Breading aside, it reminded me of when I did Atkins back in the day. I feel like we've all fallen for a big marketing gimmick. This is exactly what they want. We're all talking about this stupid thing. I haven't eaten KFC in years, and they got my $7.99 today. They win.

Okay, so my actual review:
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I had to wait a long time for it, which means it was...fresh? I don't know. But it was much less greasy than I expected (which is not to say it wasn't greasy) and didn't have that feeling of sitting around forever fast food. It's a reasonable size. I mean, it's 2 chicken breasts. Somehow I expected it to be the size of my head. It is insanely salty. The 11 herbs and spices are 11 versions of salt, I think. But, again, I've eaten KFC before so this was not a surprise. The chicken appeared to be whole pieces of chicken, and it didn't seem fatty. It may have been skinless, but under the coating I wasn't sure. (Yes, there is cheese and bacon - I'm not calling this a low-fat meal!) The cheese and sauce are completely unnecessary (the sauce is especially questionable, as I've no idea what it was) but do provide a bit of balance to the salt, and a texture break from the endless breading (is salty a texture?). I got the combo because it just seemed like the thing to do, and the fries were a nice change of texture too (though they were just as salty as the sandwich, maybe more).

I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it, but like I said it wasn't so bad. It's nowhere near as overwhelming as I thought it would be and I ate it pretty quickly and pretty happily. As I write this, it's been about an hour (not posting til later so I can get photos off my camera) and I definitely feel like I ate a giant pile of protein. My stomach is clearly not thrilled with me, but like I said I don't eat much fast food so that would happen if I'd had a Happy Meal. I don't feel sick or anything, just like I ate something I don't usually eat. I am still thirsty.

In conclusion: If you like KFC you will like this. It's no more disgusting than anything else there. Possibly even a little less.

Update: It's been about 6 hours and we're coming up on dinner time. I am definitely aware that I ate a bigger- and unhealthier-than-usual lunch today, but my insides have been behaving, and I'm actually starting to get hungry for dinner. Over two liters of water later, though, and I am definitely still thirsty. It's possible I will still be thirsty forever.

Also, I apologize for not having a photo with a bite taken out. Even though it wasn't too greasy, it was greasy enough that once I started eating it, I really didn't want to handle my camera. I should've made Branden take one.


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