Unlike last quarter's finger-lickin' good results, investors found Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) less than palatable following Tuesday's second-quarter earnings announcement.

Yum!'s Q2 net income came in 35% higher at $303 million, or $0.63 per share. However, without special items, earnings were $0.50 per share, a mere 10% increase. Total revenue actually fell 7%, to $2.48 billion.

The restaurant company, which runs the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands among others, said same-store sales in the U.S. fell 1%, dragged down by an 8% comps decrease at Pizza Hut. Same-restaurant sales in China also dropped 4%. On the brighter side, Yum!'s commodity costs were more favorable in the quarter.

Many investors find Yum! Brands' presence in China particularly appetizing. While that may still be a promising long-term growth area, the company said Chinese consumers are currently showing the same thrifty tendencies as their American counterparts. Still, the company increased its number of outlets in China by a staggering 18% year over year. Yum! said it still expects 10% earnings growth in 2009, as it tries to offset reduced expectations in same-store sales with higher margins.

Personally, Yum! Brands doesn't strike me as an exciting stock idea. Its diversified portfolio of restaurants faces a lot of tough and tasty competition, including Papa John's (NASDAQ:PZZA), Wendy's/Arby's (NYSE:WEN), and Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) (NYSE:CMG-B). And although Yum! Brands' expansion in China is exciting, I'm generally concerned about potential culture clashes when American companies dive into foreign countries.

I find McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) a more tantalizing stock idea than Yum! Mickey D's has long proven that it can excel in good times and bad, and it even trades at a slightly cheaper multiple, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 15 compared to Yum's P/E of 16. However, both stocks have impressive four-star ratings in Motley Fool CAPS.

I may not find Yum! Brands appetizing, but what do you think? Feel free to rate it in CAPS or leave your thoughts in the comment boxes below.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation and a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.