A Sandwich a Day: The Fried Chicken Luther at ChurchKey in Washington, D.C.

A Sandwich a Day

A different sandwich profiled every single day.


Photograph: Brian Oh


Fried Chicken

Digging into the cluckin' awesome world of our favorite fried food.

If you were anything like me as a child, you'd fantasize about the foods you'd eat if your parents left you alone. Ice cream for breakfast, cookies for lunch, or some kind of concoction that wouldn't be out of place for Buddy the elf—chocolate and maple syrup, sprinkles, M&Ms, and Pop-Tarts spaghetti, anyone? In those days, if I actually attempted to eat that way, my mother would slap whatever junk out of my hands before it made it to my mouth and shove a plate of vegetables in front of me.

Now that I'm an adult, I have the luxury of eating whatever the hell I want (sorry, Mom). Which is why ChurchKey's fried chicken Luther ($10) appeals.

ChurchKey is better known for their superb selection of 500+ beers, but their off-menu iteration of the R&B singer–inspired sandwich is a hidden gem for those in the know. A "Luther," as AHT readers know, is traditionally a bacon cheeseburger between Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut halves. This sandwich is served on a lightly fried, house-made brioche doughnut, glazed with a maple-chicken jus and topped with oven-baked pecans.

Between the doughnut halves lies ChurchKey's twist: buttermilk fried chicken and strips of applewood smoked bacon. In the end, what you're really eating is a child's dream: three of the best "junk foods" in a single, glorious monument to gluttony.

To be honest, I fully expected not to be able to stomach the entire thing, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself devoid of the self-loathing that usually follows such a meal. The brioche was light and airy, the chicken was crisp and juicy, and the pecans added a great salty crunch on top. Our mothers would probably still frown and shake their collective heads to see their children eating this thing, but if you're looking to indulge in something absurd and delicious, you need not look any further than ChurchKey's Luther.

The Luther is available at ChurchKey by request on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.


1337 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (map) 202-567-2576; churchkeydc.com