What Does It Really Look Like?

Its your money - you work hard for it and you are mindful on what you spend it on. So when it comes time to by a product (food or otherwise) you want exactly what's pictured on the box or menu.

If you take a look around, its everywhere: FALSE ADVERTISING – an item the manufacturer presents to you in order to get your order but delivers a product that looks only marginally similar, or in some cases, nothing at all as pictured.

I will review select items (starting with food products) and will continue to review items by popular demand. Not all items may get negative reviews, but some of the most misleading ones will be analyzed more frequently.

Double Down - KFC

Entitled: "I'm Speechless"

What it claims What it really looks like

When I first saw this concept, it was around April first and I automatically chalked it up as a hoax. A few days later, my brother-in-law pointed out in one of his Facebook posts that this indeed was an actual reality. I immediately wondered: "What does it really look like?" Well, last Sunday I decided to take the Double Down challenge and discover for myself.

Anticipation enthralled as I opened up the box and removed this wonder from its white wrapper. Would it be a disaster or would it be a pleasant surprise? I stood there for a second staring at the newly revealed curiosity... and I was speechless - it actually looked like the ad! In fact, it looked better than the ad. The chicken had a richer, crisper color (notice how pale the advertised chicken looks) and the innards were somewhat aligned (something extremely rare in fast food). The only thing out of place was the orientation of the cheese and perhaps the fact that none of the little red and green flecks were visible from the surface of the pepper jack slice.

So its obvious that the appearance factor passes with ease, but what about the taste? Ah, now that's an interesting question. Its quite interesting taking the first bite of this sandwich. There is a lot of meat, but no bread for your accustomed pallet. It tastes like a huge hunk of chicken until you chew it a bit and finally get to the flavor of cheeses, sauce, and bacon. And everything then on after is quite agreeable.

I would definitely order this again. But at 540 calories and 1380 mg of sodium, its probably not something I will order often. I plan on trying the grilled version soon and will update this post accordingly.

Cost:

$5.49

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

PASS


Posted on April 26, 2010, 9:56 pm


The Angry Whopper - Burger King

What it claims What it really looks like

The Angry Whopper from Burger King: I was so psyched about this thing that I was doing my best Drill Sargent imitation while handling the bag of steaming, angry meat. I carefully extracted the sandwich from its wrapper and placed it on our own version of the napkin as shown in the advertisement - except our napkin was a little more festive. Note that I had to bring over the stray piece of onion and bacon separately.

So what are the first visual impressions? Well, immediately its obvious that this poor, little Angry Whopper is on the fast track to failing. So, just to encourage it to look a little more like the Burger King claims, I opened the top and dressed it up a bit for a new pose.
DisassembledReassembled and Adjusted
Disassembly reveals the fine skills of our Burger King minimum wage workers. As usual, nothing was distributed evenly nor orderly. The peppers were grouped to one side of the burger and half the onions barely made it onto the center (there was only 5 pieces and most were falling off). So after a minute of quick fixing, the Angry Whopper posed for another picture. I still am not going to pass it in this condition, although it does look better.

So what about the taste? Well, I can honestly say that I loved it! The new onion ring things they are using are somewhat crisp, the sauce was pretty good (still not sure if it was barbecue sauce or some other kind of secret sauce), and the tomatoes tasted pretty good. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this thing. However, 1.5 hours later as I write this review, I believe the Angry Whopper has turned my belly into an Angry Stomach - that's to be expected when eating spicy food.

In conclusion, I will not hesitate to order the Angry Whopper again. Perhaps if you close your eyes, you can imagine the look of the burger and still enjoy the real taste. And although not terribly spicy without the peppers (two of which I had to take out because it was a tad much for me), the combination of the onions, sauce, and cheese makes it a real winner. Bravo! I do hope that someday Burger King passes the Appearence test though...

Cost:

$4.69

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL


Posted on March 8, 2009, 3:35 pm


The Natural Pizza - Pizza Hut

What it claims What it really looks like
What it claims What it really looks like (click above for Hi-Def)

[I must apologize for not have the essential props to recreate this image properly. Its winter and we didn't have a fresh stock of wheat. We also don't have a large round, wooden cutting board (the cardboard will have to do).]

What a wonderful idea! We will eat in and eat healthy tonight with Pizza Hut's new Natural Pizza! What more could you ask for than natural pepperoni and fresh ingredients for bread?

There's not much to say here except the following: it was a below average pizza. The crust is nothing like what is pictured in the advertisement and the pepperoni tastes almost identical to that of their other "non-natural" (dang, that sounds scary) pizza's.

The crust does have a bit of a different taste as well slightly resembling that of a home-made pizza (which personally I can't stand). It was a bit dry and tasted a bit of salt.

A feature that disturbed me is the total saturation of grease. As you can see in the closeup picture below, the surface glistens in the light. And as you can see in the other picture, a nice pool of grease trailed behind from the mother-ship (imagine what is going into your stomach here).

A closeupMMmmm... grease!


Personally, I preferred our thin-crust pepperoni pizza over this one. The taste was ok, but the content of grease was too much for me. As for the visual test, this fails with a pretty good margin. If you are looking for a healthy pizza, better to make one at home. I will not be ordering this pizza again. Better luck next time Pizza Hut!

Cost:

$9.99

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL


Posted on January 16, 2009, 8:13 pm


Volcano Taco - Taco Bell

Entitled: "Hero in a Red Shell - Taco Power!"

What it claims What it really looks like

Naturally when I saw this beauty in a red shell, I knew I was going to have to try the new Volcano Taco from Taco Bell! The shell just looks so awesome. And at just $0.89 a pop, it was just meant to be.

So I eagerly unwrapped the taco when I got home and to my surprise, it actually somewhat looked like the big window promotional sticker. And the taste was quite powerful having the equivalent spiciness of their Firesauce - definitely cleared out my sinuses. And even though part of the meat erupted out of the shell onto my plate mid-taco (was that a sign of things to come?), I enjoyed it to the last bite.

So what about the look? Should I pass it? It has all the correct ingredients all appearing in the correct order, the shell is "volcanic red", and there were only a few sprigs of the shredded cheddar on the top. However, my lettuce looked like an albino version and I didn't have quite as much meat as the picture. I thought about this for a long time swaying back and forth between pass and fail until I finally thought I would cut Taco Bell a break and pass it. BUT at any moment, I may come back into this review and change it depending on what future purchases of this taco look like.

I will definitely order this item again. Great taste and great price. However, I did have heartburn the rest of the day that lasted until later in the night. But well worth it in my opinion.

Cost:

$0.89

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

PASS (but barely)


Posted on September 7, 2008, 4:39 pm


Fajita Steak Melt - Taco Bell

Entitled: "Where's the cheese?"

What it claims What it really looks like

Have you seen those Taco Bell commercials lately where people are eating their melts and there is this ridiculous strand of cheese with one end hanging from the melt and the other from their mouth? Ludicrous! Those of you who know me, know I LOVE cheese. So.... I had to try a Fajita Steak Melt for myself.

So I unwrap the wrapper, and what do I have? A somewhat small soft-shell looking taco. Never fear, one end was rather bulky and in the small little brain I have, I envisioned it teeming with cheese! But when I cut it open for the first picture, I was disappointed to find no trace of cheese at all (see above)! Not even a trace! This couldn't be right, could it? Still envisioning the blast the people where having with their cheese drool strands, I was sure some cheese awaited me after the first bite. But alas, still no cheese. Mid-way through, I took this picture:

Where's the Cheese?

But still no cheese! Unbelievable! Somewhere there must be cheese present! So I kept going...

Could this be it? The Last Bite

Alas! We struck gold...er, uh... CHEESE! It was a couple of small veins, but at least it was something. Perhaps the cheese is about to pour forth. But instead, all I got was a few hot squirts of steak juice. The last bite reveals the last small veins of cheese coming to an end.

So what is my take? Where's the cheese?!? I thought the whole point of this menu item was for the CHEESE! You bamboozled me again Taco Bell, but I will keep trying. All in all, it didn't have too bad of a taste (I gave it one thumb up), but I would love to get what you advertise for once. Oh well, my trusty Cheesy Gordita Crunch was still pretty good.

Cost:

$2.99

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL


Posted on August 24, 2008, 9:24 pm


Cheesy Bacon TENDERCRISP Chicken Sandwich - Burger King

What it claims What it really looks like

As noted below in the last review, we ate our dinner at Burger King. My wife choose to order the new Cheesy Bacon Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich. I couldn't wait to sample this thing!

But what do our wondering eyes glimpse as I gingerly removed the paper wrapping? We weren't sure at first. It looks as though a disgruntled employee wadded up some random ingredients. Note that part of the bacon wasn't even in the sandwich and the buns were not even lined up close to center. It also appears as if there is a drool strand coming out of the right side of the sandwich.

This is by far the worst appearance item I've ever rated. Nothing else I can say but to click on the picture for an enlargement and stare in wonder.

On the bright side, I did take a sample.... and I liked it! It was decent. The only downer is the cheese sauce which can be a bit overpowering. I would order this ball of chicken and cheese again - but perhaps I will close my eyes while eating it. (As an update, my wife isn't feeling too well after devouring this thing... and her opinion is that she would never attempt this feat again).

Cost:

$4.99

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL (worst we've seen so far)


Posted on August 19, 2008, 9:20 pm


Steakhouse Burger - Burger King

What it claims What it really looks like

Earlier today we saw an ad for Burger King's new Steakhouse Burger! I was particularly tired this evening and so was my wife, so we decided to just grab dinner out and put Burger King to the test. I had this Steakhouse Burger, and my wife had the Tender Crisp (read review above).

Not much needs to be said about passing the appearance test. This fails pretty easily. But what about the taste? ... Well, it definitely has the signature Burger King charred flavor, but it was almost overpowering when eating the corners of the patty due to the fact that it was way over cooked. There was lots of mayonnaise and hardly any of the famed steak sauce. Half way through I pulled a knob of yellow lettuce out as well.

I don't believe I will order this item again - it was rather pricey for what it really is.

Cost:

$2.59

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL


Posted on August 19, 2008, 9:05 pm


Queso Crunchwrap - Taco Bell

What it claims What it really looks like

TV and large posters promise that Taco Bell's (sorry, their site is entirely in Flash so I can't link directly to the product) new Queso Crunchwrap is a wonderful addition to the tried and true crunchwraps. So, naturally, I had to try it for myself. I mean, who could possibly pass up something that is packed with fresh meat, fresh tomato's, salsa, and flowing nacho cheese that practically comes bursting out of the shell?

Well,... I certainly got my crunchwarp alright; however it didn't look much different (or taste much different for that matter) than the other crunchwraps I have had in the past. Half way through, I had had enough. And given that I had just eaten mainly the "meat side" (due to the lopsided preparation job), I was already tired of the taste. Nothing is really new here. Tastes like more of the same. Not bad, but not anything I will order again.

Sorry Toco Bell - your product looks nothing like what you advertise so I am forced to fail the appearance. The day you pack out your taco's as you describe, will be the day you go bankrupt. Lets keep it real and show customers what they are really going to get.

Cost:

$2.59

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL


Posted on June 28, 2008, 7:27 pm


Mushroom 'N' Swiss Thickburger - Hardee's

Part II.

What it claims What it really looks like

Welcome to part 2 of our Thickburger journey. If you haven’t already, please scroll down to the next entry and read part 1 first.

Oh man, where do I begin on this thing? This is the Mushroom ‘N’ Swiss (couldn't they have used an & character instead of the cutesy ‘n’ thing?) Thickburger my wife ordered. Now, I'm not a fan of mushrooms on a hamburger, I first opted out of the thing. But a few bites into it, my wife decided to take a peek under the bun to see why the thing tasted funny. Cover your children's eyes, this is what we saw:
Brown Slime Sauce (click to enlarge)
What on earth is that brown slime? It resembles ground-up polliwogs. I think those are mushroom chunks, but there are so few of them! This appears to be some kind of ground-up mushroom sauce and not anything like what is pictured on the advertisement. Notice how you can see healthy looking slices of mushroom on their picture… and quite a few at that. But in reality, there is just a thin and sorry looking spread of brown goo.

So, in the interest of science and the American way, I though I would try a bite just to see if the taste could at all save its appalling appearance reputation. YUCK! My initial reasoning for NOT ordering a hamburger adorned with mushrooms was immediately reinforced and I will never order this monstrosity again. The brown junk has a very pungent and disgusting bitterness.

This is a terrible subset of their Thickburgers and I will gleefully fail the taste and the appearance of this thing. My wife, a fan of mushrooms and anything with mushrooms, fails the taste of this thing as well. Please, if you are going with one of these Thickburgers, choose the traditional Bacon Cheese or some other, more traditional, recipe.

Cost:

$3.49

Fill:

Rating:

Appearance:

FAIL (GLADLY!)


Posted on May 25, 2008, 4:18 pm


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