After venison sandwiches, the monstrous Meat Mountain, and a mustard-slathered Cuban, I suppose the old Athenian route was one of the few remaining avenues left for Arby’s to explore.
Enter the Gyro Loaded Curly Fries, a limited-time-only companion piece to Arby’s armada of Greek-themed seasonal items such as the Greek Gyro Salad and the, uh, just plain old Gyro.
Arby’s proprietary Curly Fries, I suppose, need no introduction. We all know how fantastic they are. This newfangled edition ups the ante with a nice mixture of traditional gyro ingredients, including Tzatziki sauce, red onions, diced tomatoes and, of course, a heaping helping of gyro meat (which, in this instance, is a combination of beef and lamb.)
Two things make this dish stand out. First, the spices are really good. Of course, since I don’t work there I have no idea what the local Arby’s is putting in these things, but my well-traveled taste buds picked up all sorts of flavors that are more than atypical for a fast food haunt, including what appears to be cumin and coriander. For something you can pick up via a drive-thru window, this thing tastes astonishingly comparable to “real” Greek cuisine.
Secondly, the Tzatziki sauce is outstanding. My big fear was that it would be either too weak and watery or too thick and overpowering, but give the meat maestros at Arby’s some credit, they came pretty darn close to striking a nearly perfect balance on this one. It’s extremely unlikely, but I’d love to see this delicious yogurt become a permanent addition to the sauce bar.
Your mileage will vary on the quality of the meat. The slivers are a little chewier than you’d expect, and the very well seasoned exterior might be a turn off to those of you with blander appetites. I guess my biggest gripe is that the chunks of gyro meat are just too small and too few and far in-between the fries. Really, you’d need to get a double order of meat for the meat-to-fries ratio to come out even, so do keep that in mind before you flip open your wallet.
The tomatoes and red onions are kind of an afterthought. The former are so small and inconsequential that you barely taste them and the latter are probably a wee bit too big and overpowering compared to the rest of the dish. Simply put, the fries and the onions just don’t gel at all in terms of taste and mouthfeel, no matter how much sauce you add into the mix. I’d recommend skipping the onions altogether, but hey – that’s just my personal preference.
On the whole, this is a much better than anticipated side item. It’s filling and feels fresh. Of course, it’s not for all tastes, but as long as you’ve got a penchant for spicier offerings, you’ll probably get a kick out of these specially dressed Curly Fries.
(Nutrition Facts – 820 calories, 530 calories from fat, 49 grams of total fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,650 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of total carbohydrates, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, and 14 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The seasonings are superb. The Tzatziki sauce is surprisingly rich. Lamb and Curly Fries go together way better than we ever could’ve possibly imagined.
Cons: The onions are a bit much. The slices of meat are a tad too small. Having to listen to the cashier refer to it as a “GUY-RO” instead of a “YEAR-OH”…repeatedly.