Last month, KFC caused a commotion with the debut of its heart-stopper the Double Down. Lest we forget, the same thing happened four years ago, when the greasy restaurant chain introduced the Famous Bowl, a gravy-smothered medley of mashed potatoes, fried chicken, corn, and cheese. Everybody was (or at least, pretended to be) repulsed.
KFC Famous Rice Bowl
Except for my mother. A Japanese woman with an appetite for American fast food and an enviable metabolism, she embraced the Famous Bowl with enthusiasm. Why? Because she could substitute seasoned rice for mashed potatoes - a factor of utmost importance to an individual who cooks rice to eat alongside her Burger King Whopper.
I feasted on the Asian-friendly KFC Famous Bowl while visiting my mother in San Diego and admittedly, it tastes good in a real bad way, like Chinese takeout from Safeway or donuts from the gas station. But repeated attempts to find this guilty pleasure with gravy here proved futile -- in fact, it may not exist in the Pacific Northwest.A late-night visit to the Queen Anne location of KFC-Taco Bell revealed that the Famous Bowl was available with mashed potatoes only - although, the friendly cashier informed me, he could ring up a side order of Taco Bell's Mexican rice that I could then add to the bowl myself.
Phone inquiries to the locations in Rainier Beach and West Seattle also proved futile; the employees who answered said that KFC Famous Bowls came with mashed potatoes only.
An expedition across the 520 Bridge to the Kirkland KFC revealed the same. "Rice?" the teenager behind the counter asked, her eyes widening in confusion. "How can we make it with rice? We don't even have rice in the restaurant!" (The downfall of a KFC that isn't conjoined with a Taco Bell, apparently.)
Dejected, I returned home and mustered up the little remaining hope I hadto make a phone call to the SODO KFC. "You don't substitute rice for mashed potatoes in your Famous Bowl, do you?" I asked.
A chuckle came through the line.
"We sure don't! But that sounds gooooood!"