Eating the Luther

‘The Luther’
courtesy of Max Cook

A little over a week ago, Endless Simmer ranked America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches. Heading up that prestigious list was Churchkey’s Luther. A new take on the southern classic, a bacon cheeseburger between two Krispy Kreme donuts, the Churchkey version is a piece of buttermilk fried chicken, topped with applewood smoked bacon, stuffed between the two halves of a freshly-made brioche donut, topped with pecans, and drizzled with maple jus. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to sample one, diet be damned and despite some of the disgusted comments local readers had left.

Fearing an imminent coronary episode if I attempted to eat the entire thing by myself in one sitting, I was joined by several friends at Churchkey to share the delight (and caloric load). We quickly ordered the Luther, and it seemed many other patrons had heard of the secret sandwich and were doing the same, strangers united in gastronomy and love of superfluous food.

After a short wait, the Luther was before us. The first impression, however, was mildly underwhelming.  The pictures we had seen made the sandwich look absolutely enormous, but the sandwich sitting before us looked eminently manageable.  What the Luther lacked in size, though, it made up for in taste. The brioche donut, pecans, and maple jus were sweet, but not cloying, and they combined effortlessly with the salt from the bacon and chicken. Biting through the soft donut resulted in an extremely satisfying crunch of the bacon and chicken breading, tempered by the juiciness of the perfectly cooked chicken. Each bite left me wanting another. It might have been the best combination of flavors and textures that I have ever tasted.

courtesy of Max Cook

Because the Luther was hardly greasy, and used a brioche instead of traditional donut, it ended up being a much lighter sandwich than we had anticipated, leaving everyone who tried it eager to order a second, which we did. Had we not been sampling the other menu items, such as the fried mac and cheese and baked potato croquettes, it would not have been a struggle to eat an entire Luther on my own. The Luther’s new-found fame, however, may be its undoing. By the time we ordered our second one, around 1:30pm, the kitchen had already run out of donuts and was scrambling to make more. The manager assured us that we would get our second sandwich, but hinted that we were lucky, since they might not be able to serve them much further into the afternoon. Although reportedly served during an eight hour window on Sundays, the time frame for sampling this creation might be more like three or four hours. Go early to sample, but be prepared to hit the gym on Monday extra hard to work it off.

Addison is a fourth generation Washingtonian, actually born and raised within city limits of DC. He currently resides in Arlington and works in DC as a government lackey. Addison can be reached at addison (at)