For the planet’s dominant species, humans have a pretty hard time understanding the difference between can and should. Sure, I can polish off a bottle of wine all by myself and still be sober enough not to leave lurker comments on strangers’ Instagram posts from five months ago, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I should.
In the world of viral food trends, the fine balance between can and should is usually skewed towards the “oh, what the hell is that?” side of things. From Bloody Marys lost under their cheeseburger, fried chicken, and onion ring “garnishes,” to waffles covered in sauce, slathered in cheese, and sprinkled with bulgogi, we (and by we I mean the Internet) love seeing what delicious, far-fetched, hybridized food creations we can make. But like Jeff Goldblum would likely ask, while we have the technology to make such incredible beasts: Should we?
Enter L.A.’s latest offering to the canon of #foodporn: The Cannibal’s Double Down. An homage to the KFC creation of the same name that uses fried chicken as the “bread” for a cheese-and-bacon-filled pseudo-sandwich (yeah, we’re talking sandwich metaphysics here), The Cannibal’s somehow seems even more depraved. Maybe that’s just because you’re eating it on a sunny Culver City patio instead of in the privacy of your own car with the window shade up. It’s an indulgent work of breakfast architecture combining whiskey-infused breakfast sausage, crispy bacon, a thick slab of ham, two fried eggs, avocado pesto, basil, and lettuce (??) all smashed between two perfectly golden hashbrown patties.
Figuring out how to properly eat the thing is an I.Q. test all its own. With the first bite you’ll realize that all sandwiches should be made with hashbrowns because fried potatoes make everything better. Everything. But with the second bite—the one that inevitably forces you to pick up a knife and fork—you’ll resign that what bread does lack in salty fried starchiness, it more than makes up for in functionality. (It’s now clear how important it is that we get our best minds on a more structurally sound hashbrown.)
Unlike many other stunt-ish food creations that look way better than they actually end up tasting, the Double Down isn’t just a gorgeous sandwich-shaped mound of breakfast items, it’s also damn delicious. When the sandwich begins to lose its sandwich-ness (sometime around bite four) it sort of deconstructs itself into one of the best plates of hashbrowns, eggs, bacon and sausage that you’ve had. With an optional side salad and some avocado pesto. But that’s not important.
As meat masters, they got the processed pork products down. The Cannibal’s house-made breakfast sausage with whiskey and maple syrup is everything you ever wanted in a breakfast sausage. Salty, sweet, and just enough whiskey and maple syrup flavor to convince those who (wrongly) don’t think syrup and breakfast sausages go together to change their minds. Mix that with cured bacon, thick-cut ham, crispy house-made hashbrown blocks and you have the best of the best when it comes to breakfast meats and carbs. So of course that tastes great, sandwich-shaped or otherwise.
Ultimately, the Double Down finds a happy balance between can and should. It gives a cheeky nod to the shock food genre while giving us something that isn’t completely overwhelming or unfamiliar as it initially appears to be. So in the end, the only real bone worth picking with the Double Down is the fact that the silky avocado spread is referred to as “pesto,” but is, as far as I can tell, just seasoned, pureed avocado—which I guess can, but shouldn’t really be, dubbed, pesto.