Sunday, July 02, 2006

Truth in Advertising

I remember having a conversation with my friend Herb back in Japan about this subject, and he noted that there were no guidelines in place in Japan, but thankfully Reagan had but a kaibosh in America on the bullshit that goes along with advertising. I'm not going to google the validity of this, but let's just assume Herb knows what he's talking about.

However, in Korea, there doesn't seem to be any barrier between showcasing what you think you're going to get, versus what you're actually getting. Case in point, after yesterday's Market Day at my school, we all went out for a meal. Originally, the plan had been to head out to a Korean restaurant right near my school, which would have been fine with me. It's closer to my home, and frankly- I love Korean food and welcome any opportunity to eat it. I cook it often at home, and don't do a horrible job of it- but it's just never as delicious as I've had elsewhere. At my apartment I don't have a grill, so I don't do any of the Korean BBQ which I think ROCKS. I've never been to a BBQ restaurant I've found disatisfying (though my dining companions have.) At most, I've whined about the skimpiness of the panchan (side dishes.) But overall, it's good.

I do, though, crave Western food from time to time. On the rare occassion it's pasta. Then I just whip some up at home. I almost never order pasta in a restaurant (in Korea or back in North America) because it's so cheap and easy to make at home. Overall, though, I crave burgers. Not McDonald's shite, but proper thick grilled tasty burgers. When the craving becomes overwhelming, I head to TGIFridays an hook myself up. (I actually crave steak, I think, but it's crrrazily priced here. Really, I crave steak grilled on the BBQ at my cottage. Specificly. But back to TGIF.) I've only been disappointed there once, and that was because of the unbelievable staleness of my bun. They ended up comping my meal, so all's forgiven.

My co-workers wanted a more expensive meal, though, and insisted we head downtown to Bennigan's. I've never been there before, but looked them up on the web and was pleased to think I'd have myself a tasty burger.

Too bad, so sad, Korea's Bennigan's has nary a burger on their menu.
There were four and a half of us in our party (my boss's son was in attendance - and in fine cry-baby form,) and it was decided we'd order one appetizer and two mains for the bunch of us. I don't blame them, the portions on the menu looked HUGE! When the food came, though, that wasn't the case. All their dishes had a fat inch or so false bottom. My dining partners ordered the Lemon sorbet salad, which was odd and kind of disgusting. A shallow plate of chopped regular salad veggies with a few nuts encircled a round scoop of lemon sorbet drizzled with what seemed like a sweet teriyaki dressing. Nice try, but "BLECH!" Another person ordered the shrimp and ribs combo, which was very nice. But because we were sharing, it meant everyone got 2 shrimp, 1 rib, and a forkfull of baked potato.

The 2nd main was left up to me, which was a lot of pressure. I'd never been there before. How do I know what's good? I wanted, after I discovered there were no burgers and before I found out we were sharing, to order the Monte Cristo sandwhich. But how well would that go over split in 5? So I got some Mexican sampler thing which pretty much sucked. The salsa that came with it, and the butter that came with the bread were served in porcelain 2 inch high containers, but with the false bottoms there was only about a half an inch of goods. Likewise with the narrow beers that were frosty, but skimpy.

After we chowed down on that, everyone was still hungry, so they ordered the seafood pasta. Again - an actually shallow deep-looking dish. And again, another reminder as to why I don't order pasta at restaurants. Ick.
And for good measure, ick again.
Bennigan's Schmenigans.

Getting back to burgers, I bought this baby later in the night at my local PC Bang.
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Mmmmm. Now THAT looks like a tasy burger. Bettermore, it's "smart!"
I bought this, not because I stupidly believed I was going to get what was pictured, but more so because I was curious about what I wasn't going to get.
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What's inside?
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Hmph x 18!
Here's a big bun carrying a thin slice of, I'm gonna say "ham" coated in mustard and relish. They might as well have pictured an ice cream cone or a hot male model on the outside of the package, because they relate as well to the burger pictured compared with the piece of crap inside.

Hmph x 18 x 2.


Kevin said...

That burger looks just divine. I could inhale it up one nostril. Like cocaine.


Jelly said...

Which buger? The one falsely advertised or the actual joke of a "burger?" Trust me, cocaine is more satisfying! (Either way.)

SweetSarahJ said...

I laughed out loud when I saw your 'burger'. My husband love-love-loves Korean BBQ, especially the side dishes. Have you got any recipes for them?

Kevin said...

Oh, I was talking about the actual burger with the thin strip of earlobe cartilage between the buns, not the burger pictured on the p'aekiji.


daeguowl said...

Has Bennigans really gone down hill in the last year? It used to be ok and a damn sight better than TGI's. They also used to have a couple of burgers (I remember the John Bull(?) burger which I believe was cheese and bacon. However, next time you go I recommed Fajita's which were always excellent. The chichken caesar is quite good and the country shrimp salad. And finally the brownie bottom pie for dessert is a real treat. said...

Ah, I remember being excited about Bennigans and TGIFridays and Outback, etc.
The 'novelty' wore off pretty quickly when I realized:

a. The food is not really that good.
b. It's not worth the price.
c. I would never eat in those places back home.
d. There are a gazillion better Korean restaurants.

I haven't been able to figure where you live... Recent evidence suggests that it is not Busan, but if you ever come to Busan, let me know... my wife and run a little cafe where we serve soup, salad, and sandwiches that are waaaaaaaay better than the aforementioned eateries.

Anonymous said...

Outback!Never disappionted me.