Let’s get this out of the way first — the container for KFC’s Cheetos Sandwich is a piece of art. The card stock box depicts the top half of Chester Cheetah’s head, so that when you open the container, it’s as though the Cheetos spokescat is opening his mouth. Sure, it’s not mind-blowing, but it will provide you with seconds of entertainment. The art itself is pretty clean and slick. Carrying this container  — full or empty — around an office park will no doubt make you stand out to the one or two people who may care about that sort of thing.

KFC Cheetos Sandwich container

KFC Cheetos Sandwich container

However, once you get inside Chester’s mouth, you’re bound to find nothing more than heartbreaking disappointment. It’s not that it’s terrible. It’s not. It’s just not special at all. On paper, the pairing of Cheetos and the Colonel reads like a couple that should have existed since the dawn of industrial grade deep fryers. But KFC’s execution of the concept is a half-hearted and cynical attempt at a true Cheetos fried chicken sandwich:

The Cheetos Sandwich – a juicy, hand-breaded Extra Crispy™ chicken filet drizzled with a special Cheetos sauce, layered over Cheetos and mayo, placed on a toasted bun – will satisfy all your crunchy, cheesy wishes. PR Newswire

KFC Cheetos Sandwich

KFC Cheetos Sandwich

Here’s what KFC has really done: They’ve taken the same fried chicken filet that’s used for all of their other sandwiches, placed it on a bed of Cheetos, and then finished it off with some orange sauce. Throw in a heaping grossness of mayo … some standard toasted buns … and you’ve got yourself the fast food chain’s latest stunt menu item.

Everything about the sandwich is dutifully unremarkable. It tastes like a normal fried chicken sandwich with only hints of Cheetos flavoring. And even that flavoring eventually loses its potency as your taste buds acclimate to this once promising alliance.

If KFC truly wanted to go all-in on the concept, they would have produced a filet that was breaded with pulverized cheetos. Why didn’t they do this? My guess here is that this would have been far too costly to mass produce. Especially for something billed as a limited time item. Also, opting for standard Cheetos instead of the more popular Flaming Hot varietal is awfully puzzling and leads me to wonder if anyone at KFC has ever actually eaten Cheetos. How are they unaware of the vast superiority of Flaming Hot Cheetos to its basic ancestor?

Aside from one ingredient, you can easily assemble this at home with items from your grocery store, and even do so in the midst of almost any level of intoxication. That lone ingredient you can’t find at your grocery store (yet?) is the special Cheetos sauce. And I’m not sure you’re really missing out if you skip it altogether. It has the consistency of buffalo sauce but looks like some unfortunate discharge from Chester Cheetah’s phallus. The taste can be best described as the watered-down magnum essence of Cheetos distilled into liquid form, and I don’t even know if that makes any sense, but it’s the only way I can describe my feelings about it.

Ultimately, I went into this sampling with excitement and elevated expectations. That was my fault, as I looked toward this sandwich as my road to a better tomorrow. Now, as I’m writing this, I feel as though dreams are for other people, and not for me. Skip this sandwich and spend your $5 on a drumstick or lottery tickets. It’s a better ride.

Would I order a KFC Cheetos Sandwich again? No
How much did it cost? $4.79 plus tax
Would failed businessman and fast food enthusiast Donald Trump enjoy this? No. Chester Cheetah is too ethnic for him.