And the combo sets are stranger still.

If there’s one thing we expect when we go to Burger King, it’s burgers. Sure, rivals McDonald’s and Carl’s Jr., if they wanted to, could play burger-coy, but Burger King puts “burger” right in its name, so we expect plenty of burgers on the menu.

So it raised eyebrows earlier this week when Burger King Japan said it was going to be releasing something called “The Fake Burger, accompanied by the mosaic-obscured promotional photo seen above. The sandwich went on sale today, and it turns out that it’s…

…a French fry sandwich?!?

However, they didn’t just grab some spud spears from the fryer and toss them on a bun. In place of ketchup, the Fake Burger coms slathered with meat sauce, which Burger King boasts is made with 100-percent beef (most meat sauces in Japan are made with a pork/beef mixture), and also a spread of mayo.

The a-la-carte Fake Burger is priced at 290 yen (US$2.75), but things get even weirder with the available combo sets. 590 yen gets you the sandwich, a medium-size soft drink, and a medium-size side of French fries, in case the ones you already get with the Fake Burger aren’t quite enough for you. For an additional 80 yen, you can upgrade your side to chili cheese fries, giving your meal two separate “French fries with meat on them” elements.

The reveal has been met with some grumbling by those who’d assumed the name of “The Fake Burger” meant it would be some kind of soy/plant-based imitation meat, but it seems like even the quickest glance at the teaser image should have been enough to know that wasn’t going to happen. Meat-substitute sandwiches generally try to copy not only the flavor of actual meat, but the appearance as well, and even the mosaic-covered photo showed the Fake Burger was going to be a bright yellow, far off from a browned patty (which is why my guess was egg sandwich). Especially with the Fake Burger including meat sauce, Burger King’s goal with this particular item isn’t a sandwich for people who dislike meat, but one for people who really like potatoes.

Japanese Twitter reactions have included:

“Huh. This actually looks pretty tasty…but I’m not sure I’d call it a ‘burger.’”
“The combo with a side of French fries is putting a hat on a hat, isn’t it?”
“Did they have to go with French fries? I think it would have been easier to eat if they used hash browns.”
“It must be a pain to make these stacking all those fries like you’re playing Jenga.”
“This looks like it’s be an awesome breakfast!”

Burger King itself seems aware that theFake Burger is probably going to be a love-it-r-hate-it thing, saying “Could you believe that this sandwich is delicious? The truth is in the flavor,” though you’ll only have until November 5 to judge for yourself, as the Fake Burger is only available for that limited time.

Source: Burger King, Twitter/@BURGERKINGJAPAN
Top image: PR Times

Insert images: Burger King (1, 2)
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