Takeaway Truth: Mad Mex Chorizo Quesadilla

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: Mad Mex’s Chorizo Quesadilla.

Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we’ve decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

As we have noted in the past, Mexican takeaway is all the rage these days. The indomitable rise of Guzman y Gomez and Mad Mex has catapulted Mesoamerican cuisine to the top of the Aussie food chain. According to the Weber Shandwick annual food trend report, Mexican foods and flavours are set to become an essential part of any Australian kitchen in the coming years.

If you’re eager to try something a little more adventurous than the standard burrito, Mad Mex has added the Chorizo Quesadilla to its menu. This is a grilled and sliced tortilla filled with grated cheese, chorizo sausage and salsa. Here’s how the product is being pitched by Mad Mex’s marketing bods:

“Viva Mexico! Viva el Chorizo! Today we’re celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain with our new Chorizo. The Spanish introduced this delicioso protein to Mexico and over the years it has been adapted with local flavours and ingredients such as chillies and spices. Try Chorizo at Mad Mex today!”

You can check out an advertisement for the Mad Mex Chorizo Quesadilla below.


We like luchadores as much as the next guy, but how does the Chorizo Quesadilla stack up in reality? Does it contain all the spicy verve of Mexico, or is it more like an empty piñata? In a bid to find out, we picked one up from an outlet in Circular Quay and compared it to the advertised image.

Here’s what the Mad Mex Chorizo Quesadilla looks like on the poster:

And here’s what we got served:

Here’s a side-by-side comparison (click to enlarge):

Even allowing for the advert’s soft focus and superior lighting, it’s obvious that the real tortilla isn’t quite up to snuff. It has a prominent oily sheen that is absent from the poster and the bread’s texture is flimsier looking. The filling also appears to be less generous resulting in thinner quesadillas, although that may have been due to the cook applying extra pressure during the grilling procedure. (It didn’t taste particularly hearty, mind.)

Otherwise, we think this is a fairly reasonable likeness: it had the right amount of slices and the assembly was pretty spot on. We think it’s a better effort than the Mad Mex “Naked Burrito”, which scored 6/10. So with that in mind…

Truth Rating: 7/10

Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.

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