Rally capped

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Doesn't it seem like fast-fooders are constantly scheming up new ways to outdo their competition by piling on evermore fiendish things onto a hamburger? I mean, I've seen ads for burgers with assorted cheeses, gloppy cheese sauces, jalapenos, mushrooms, bacon, dangerous amounts of bacon - the list of sloppy-seconds ingredients goes on and on.

Recently, one such overachiever managed to stand out in this artery-damaging crowd by offering an outlandish and self-described "meat-on-meat-on-cheese" hybrid sandwich. Thus was a brand-new Taste Test born.

What I tried: Philly Cheesesteak Burger from Rally's (2 for $4 - because you need two?)

Rocky topped: In the newest ad, Rally's (aka Checker's) comically invokes Rocky, the boneheaded movie boxer (see, he's from Philly), by adding thin arms and boxing gloves, plus feet and shoes, onto a computer-animated version of one of their drive-thru restaurants.

The resultant (Mr. Potato Head-like) machine-man pugilist proceeds to "Slyly" jump rope, shadowbox and do one-handed pushups. But even more exercised is the voiceover actor who excitedly exclaims, "Rally's is gonna knock you out with some serious Philly flavor" and "It's a burger with real Philly steak topped with grilled onions and melted cheese."

When the burger is finally shown on camera, it's a veritable mountain of juicy beef - equal parts biggie burger and what looks like thinly sliced steak - plus a thick band of sauted red onion.

No heavyweight: The sandwich I actually got was - surprise! - something quite different. I guess it came between what was supposed to be sourdough bread or Texas toast. But while the flavorless and soft slabs I received bore visible evidence of toasting, the process had obviously been done some time earlier in the day -or week.

Between the two cool, puffy blonde bookends was: a thin, pre-frozen regulation fast-food hamburger patty; a paltry mass of gnarly, salty, dark Steak-Um-ish beef; a single slice of unmelted white cheese; and two -count 'em, two -limp rings of red onion.

In fact, the only things on the sandwich in heavy supply were bread and an absurd amount of mayonnaise.

Would I eat it again?: Maybe if I were punch drunk (or liquor drunk) and on the ropes with a savage hunger. Because when taken all together, the fatty sum somehow ate better than its skimpy parts.

Note, this is not a recommendation, but rather an equivocation, because if the thing were ordered without its laughable surfeit of mayo (which caused me to throw in the napkin) it could pass as an average or slightly above-average greasy fast-food sandwich.

WE TRIED IT! Spot a new menu item you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com