REVIEW: KFC Double Down (2023)

When the KFC Double Down was released nationwide in 2010, it instantly became part of the cultural zeitgeist. It was joked about on late night shows and pointed as to why Americans were so obese. Yet, in the four years it was on the menu, I never tried it. However, once it was gone, I regretted not taking the time to seek it out.

Thankfully, many companies have learned that nostalgia is a great way to boost sales, and my chance to try the sandwich has come. The KFC Double Down was rereleased on March 6th and is (currently) only expected to be offered for four weeks. In lieu of buns, there are two 100% white meat chicken Extra Crispy filets. Between them are two slices of cheese, two slices of bacon, and Colonel’s real mayo or spicy sauce. As I always like to try the original version first, I opted for the mayo over the spicy.

Usually, the 10-minute travel from the restaurant to home can have a negative impact on an item, but in the case of the Double Down, it ended up working in its favor. Before leaving, I checked to make sure my order was correct and noticed the cheese was unmelted. When I got home, it was perfectly gooey after sitting in its foil bag.

I was actually shocked by the size of the sandwich. I knew it would be big, but it was bigger than I thought. Cutting it in half was easy and made eating it a less daunting experience.

I got about as perfect of a first bite as you could possibly want. The crispy, tender chicken filet was a great base for the melty cheese, smokey bacon, and creamy mayo. The familiar blend of KFC spices shined but didn’t overpower the sandwich. All four ingredients worked together to create a unique flavor that made me understand why people started petitions to bring back the Double Down.

My only real issue is the lack of nutritional information. I like being somewhat informed about what I’m eating, but KFC has only released the calorie numbers. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as looking at the original sandwich’s stats, as the 2023 version is 410 calories more than the 2010 one. It’s safe to assume the other numbers must also be much higher.

While I cannot compare it to the original, the 2023 KFC Double Down was an absolute delight. Gimmick foods rarely live up to the hype, but the Double Down certainly exceeded my expectations. It isn’t an item that I would eat with any regularity, but I would love to see it receive the Shamrock Shake treatment and be released yearly for a limited time.

Purchased Price: $8.99
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 950 calories (other nutrition numbers aren’t available)

REVIEW: Burger King Spicy Chicken Fries

I’m not sure chicken fries are a product that anyone was really asking for. No one eats chicken tenders and then says, “You know, I’d like these to be thinner. A lot thinner.” At least, I’m pretty sure no one does; you do you.

Needless to say, I was skeptical about the potential appeal here with Burger King’s new Spicy Chicken Fries. I expected them to be dry little strips of chicken fried to oblivion, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I am enough of a fried food enthusiast that sometimes, I actually like over-fried food in a masochistic sort of way. But I wasn’t expecting anything that would be good in any sort of objective sense of the word.

However, after getting these out of their paper carton, adorned with a scowling cartoon chicken (unlike the non-spicy chicken fries, which feature a happier chicken), I took my first bite. My first immediate thought was that I wished the serving size was bigger, which pretty much tells you all you need to know right there. But I am supposed to write more than a few sentences, so I guess I should carry on.

The spice level is just about perfect. These things are about as spicy as the (excellent) Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets, or perhaps just a tad spicier. It’s a zingy kind of spicy that stops just short of making your nose run. If you want something really spicy that’s going to give you a Nashville Hot Chicken kind of feeling, these are not going to do it, but let’s be realistic: nobody goes to Burger King looking for that kind of experience. That said, if you paired these with the quite good BK Mexican Chicken Sandwich I reviewed just a few months ago, it would be a lovely meal for a spice fan.

Perhaps more important than the spice level is the chicken, which is really moist and flavorful. A lot of fried chicken products are dry (like, say, oh I don’t know, DAIRY QUEEN — you know what you did, DQ. Stick to ice cream.) But these are just perfectly moist little mouthfuls that have real chicken flavor, not just that generic, salty fast-food-protein flavor.

The breading is interesting: it’s more like the breading you get on a mozzarella stick than a chicken nugget or tender, which works nicely. But to be honest, I barely noticed the outside shell when I was eating. Logically I know that the spicy flavor comes from the outside layer, but beyond contributing spice, the grainy breading stands back and lets you go to Happy Succulent Chicken Land without getting in your way.

I did not think to try the fries with any of the sauces, but honestly, I think that would be a waste. These things don’t need anything else.

Do you know what would be awesome, though? If BK made these spicy chicken fries in a larger, chicken tender format and really entered the competitive fried chicken world. Give KFC a run for its money, BK. I’ll be rooting for you.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 9 pieces
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 14 grams of fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 750 mg sodium, 17 grams carbohydrates, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 0 grams sugar, 1 gram fiber, and 14 grams of protein.

SPOTTED: Tate’s Bake Shop Limited Edition Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is it just me or does it seems as if Tate’s has been coming out with new flavors more often since it was bought by Mondel?z? (Spotted by Sage G at Target.)

If you’re out shopping and see new products, snap a picture of them, and send them in via an email ([email protected]) with where you found them and “Spotted” in the subject line. Also, if you want to send in photos and are wondering if we’ve already covered something or if they’re new, don’t worry about it. Let us worry about it.