The Sandwich: Old Bay Doughnut Chicken Sandwich
Where: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G St. NW or at the Virginia food truck
Bread: Savory Old Bay doughnut
Stuffings: Fried chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, choice of sauce (barbecue, blue cheese, ranch, Sriracha buffalo, or honey mustard)
Thickness: 5 inches
Pros: The heavily seasoned doughnut is the most flavorful component of the dish—not to mention the one that’s gotten people talking about it on social media—so the creators were wise to keep the rest of the ingredients quite simple. Crunchy chicken, cool lettuce, and juicy tomatoes benefit from Old Bay’s salty spice and a dose of Astro’s succulent sauces (which you apply yourself). The Sriracha buffalo adds just enough extra heat without making the chicken or doughnut soggy.
Cons: While most of the chicken was fried to golden perfection, a few bites were overcooked, bland, and a bit tough to chew. It’s not a huge problem, but it did stand out in comparison to the usual crunch.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. There’s a reason doughnuts aren’t commonly used in sandwiches (well, besides calorie counts): The fluffy texture and hole in the middle make it tough to contain the stuffings. Also beware: the smell of the Old Bay dusting on top of the doughnut will linger on your fingers for hours.
Overall score (1 to 5): 4. As a native Marylander, I feel obligated to endorse anything involving Old Bay. But cultural biases aside, adding the spice powder to the classic combination of fried chicken, lettuce, and tomato makes all the ingredients brighter. Were the chicken evenly fried and would my waistline allow it, I’d eat this one on a weekly basis.
Photo by Caroline Jones