Annex 106: Mr. Lew Vs. KFC's Zinger Double Down | Mr. Lew's Great Burger Search

5272 Sherbrooke O.
Montréal, Québec

Train:  Vendome
Metro:  Vendome
Bus:  STM 17, 24, 37, 63, 90, 102, 104, 105, 124

Visit:  June 12, 2013

About 3 years ago, I made a very stupid decision.  I wasn’t the only one.  In 2010, well over 10 million people made the very same, foolish choice that I made.  In Canada, for very short amounts of time, something out of the ordinary is offered at KFC locations for the taking.  In the past, that item was simple, if you can even call it that.  This time around, in 2013, the simple Machiavellian instrument of pain and torment mutated to become what is known today as the Zinger Double Down.

Before we get into the realm of my latest stupid decision, I want to take a moment to describe my 30 year relationship with Kentucky Fried Chicken, or more appropriately known as Poulet Frit Kentucky, since I didn’t get the chance in my original post.

For as long as I can remember, I always held KFC in the highest of regards.  If you’d ask me what I wanted in the world of fast food, it would be the colonel’s crispy chicken and a side of that macaroni salad.  Part of the mystique is that I never had it all that often.  For me, if I have something regularly, I get sick of it and it loses all value to me.  I think that’s why the lustre of having KFC has lasted so long in my mind.  Mind you, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s worth having at least once a year.

What everyone loves about the chicken is not the meat itself.  Nearly any place on the place can cook chicken, but it takes quite a lot of effort to make skin that people will fight over.  Whether it be BBQ chicken or fried chicken, the skin, for me, is one of the most vital components to a good piece of chicken.  If you don’t believe me, why would an entire episode of South Park revolve around Eric Cartman stealing the skin?

I’m fond of KFC, but not to the point of something like bacon.  I’m probably going to hear about this, but I have this student who told me recently that they aren’t allowed to touch KFC.  So, over the last few months, I’ve been poking at the student with tales of fried chicken.  On our recent trip to Boston, we passed by one and I made sure to point it out.  Now, that student is probably lobbying to get me fired or sent to work there permanently.  It just shows that today’s generation are very much aware of the reach of Colonel Sanders.

In the week before my visit, I happened to have seen a picture of the Double Down on Facebook.  Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link to see what the deal was.  It was at this point where I noticed something different.  This was a Zinger Double Down and it was supposed to be spicy.  It was then and there when I decided to sign up for a rematch with this most nasty specimen.

As for an arena for this ultimate showdown, I chose a easily visible location at the corner of Sherbrooke and Decarie.  I can’t recount how many times I’ve past by this particular locations in the last 10 years.  I figured it was high time that I checked it out for myself.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that there was something a tad bit different about getting your KFC here.

When I entered the location, I noticed something I wasn’t quite expecting.  There were absolutely no seats or tables to be found anywhere.  At first, I was flustered because I like having things planned out.  I wasn’t going to be deterred from having my rematch, so I decided quickly to take out the food anyways and figure someplace else to eat it.

With the space being so small, there were only a grand total of two people working in the entire building.  For the most part, things went smoothly as they were keeping ahead of the rush of people.  Since it was at the brunt of lunch rush, you could have expected things to be a whole lot slower.  It is quite simple as you step in, make your order, and then wait the prescribed time to take your bagged goodies out the door.  On this day, there was a nice stream of construction workers there to keep things busy.

One of the things I couldn’t help but notice while waiting for my food was the amount of deals that were to be had.  Normally, I’m a big fan of deals, but this was different.  There were so many deals that it would take a guided tour to make heads or tails out of it.  Some people came in thinking on deal was valid, while it wasn’t.  If it wasn’t for an experienced cashier, I think there would be a whole lot of frustration.

The service at a place like this can be spotty at best, most of the time.  One of the things that impressed me about the service was how the cashier handled every single customer that I got the chance to observe.  This cashier guided each customer through their order and made sure they got the best for the buck.  That’s refreshing compared to other cashiers who come across as mindless drones.

As I picked up my bag of KFC, it was time to figure out where I would eat it.  As I was walking to the Vendome metro station, passing a squabble about a whether a dog was a stray or not, I was thinking of suitable places to unpack the Zinger.  It took a little back and forth with the voices in my head, but I went with a place I knew well enough, 1000 de la Gauchetiere.  With the opponent and venue all ready to go, it was time to rumble.

Zinger Double Down

Much like the original Double Down, this contains pepperjack cheese, sauce, and bacon between two large pieces of chicken.  The only difference this time around is that the chicken is of the Zinger variety.

When you take it out of the wrapping and the bag, you can’t help but notice just how immense the chicken is.  I was wondering if it grew or maybe if it spent time in the gym since our last encounter.  Perhaps I’ll be need the steel cage for this epic confrontation?

For those not familiar with the Double Down sandwich, you should be clear on the fact that it’s best eaten as one.  I don’t thinking using a fork and knife here would do it much justice.  You might get a bit messy, but that’s not the biggest worry you’ll have in your match with the Zinger.

What stood out for me was the type of chicken used in the creation of the bread portion of this obscure sandwich.  The inner portions of the chicken was white meat, which lent  itself really well to the bacon and cheese.  Plus, it’s a whole lot better when speaking of structure.

When it comes to the level of spiciness in the sandwich, it’s really negligible.  While you might feel the burn for a few moments, it’s the kind that will disappear quickly.  Don’t get me wrong, if you take a few consecutive bites, you’ll really notice the kick.

Last time, after finishing the sandwich, I didn’t feel all that good.  That was something that stayed with me for a long time.  While I’m not talking about the physical repercussions, I’m referring about the unpleasant feelings I had towards such massive gluttony.  While I might be accused rightfully of doing worse with my weekly burgers, I still have a line.  I think I crossed that line a bit with the first Double Down.  This time was a bit different.  The sandwich didn’t feel as heavy and I didn’t think of it so much after it was over.  Maybe the hype that was present in 2010 factored in more back then compared to the lack of publicity this time around.

Macaroni Salad

As a celebration of my victory, I polished off a small container of macaroni salad.  Like the apple pie at McDonald’s, this is probably the sole reason why KFC still gets some of my money.  The macaroni, when it’s done right, can be the highlight of any visit.

Final Verdict

If you’re brave enough to take on such a foe, you might find the spicy kick and massive chicken alluring.  It’s one of those things you try once just to cross it off a bucket list.  Would I have this regularly?  There’s not enough money on this planet to get me to have this that much, no matter how much I like the idea or not.

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  1. mrlewburger posted this