No one will ever be able to accuse Arby’s of not trying. While other fast food companies are content with slapping an extra slice of cheese on an existing product and calling it The Cheesasaurus Rex, or maybe “smoking” their bacon with some new exotic wood, Arby’s is out here swinging for the fences.
In 2016, it gave people the (extremely) limited edition venison sandwich with juniper berry sauce. The year after that, it offered an elk sandwich with blackberry port sauce. Or take, for instance, The Meat Mountain, a veritable Noah’s Ark of the drive-thru that features chicken tenders, ham, turkey, pastrami, roast beef, and bacon. (Oh, and some cheese, too.)
This brings us to the present day and Arby’s new Real Country Style Rib Sandwich. Is this offering a direct competitor to McDonald’s cult-favorite McRib, which also, incidentally, has its (mostly) annual re-release in the Fall? Did we exit the dark days of the Chicken Sandwich Wars only to find ourselves immediately entrenched in a Rib Sandwich Skirmish? A Rib Conflict? A Ribflict?
Well, not exactly.
See, Arby’s approach is a little more highbrow. Instead of processed pig parts of mysterious origin, its “real” ribs are sourced from Sadler’s, a Texas-based smokehouse. The ribs are smoked for eight hours “over real hickory wood.” The sandwich is then topped with melted Gouda, crispy onions, BBQ sauce, and mayo. Ooh-la-la, right? And so how is it?
Well, let’s start with the ribs. Look, I live in Kansas City, so, you know, BBQ and so forth. And here’s the deal with these ribs: they are shockingly not bad. I was surprised at how tender and flavorful the meat was; they even had a distinctly authentic smoke flavor. It was a sizable serving as well. Simply put, the ribs were easily the highlight of the sandwich.
But what about the other components?
The Gouda was creamy and melty, and added its own bit of welcomed smokiness. Sadly, the rest of the sandwich fell sort of flat. The mayo was… there? For some reason? And, while the idea of fried onion pieces was a good one, the execution was lacking; drowning in a sea of BBQ sauce and mayo, they had no chance at staying crunchy. Instead, they became soft globules of chewy onion.
And then you’ve got this BBQ sauce. Oy. This stuff.
It tasted like expired Bull’s-Eye brand sauce, or off-kilter ketchup, or maybe like aliens descended to Earth, and you explained what BBQ sauce is, and they tried to make it from scratch using ingredients foraged from a dumpster behind The Dollar Tree. It was awful, and there was a LAKE of the stuff on this sandwich, making the whole thing a gigantic, sloppy mess.
But, okay, awfulsauce aside, this thing is worth an order, at least to experience the ribs. But my suggestion would be to tell them to hold the BBQ sauce and then apply your own at home. Otherwise, you’ll be sorry.
Purchased Price: $5.99
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 500 calories, 23 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 1450 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 3 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.
17 thoughts to “REVIEW: Arby’s Real Country Style Rib Sandwich”
Aw, that’s kinda disappointing. You made the ultimate sacrifice, to have to swim in a lake of lesser BBQ sauce in order to warn us not to make the same mistake. Your selflessness has been duly noted, and is highly appreciated Brandon!
Could disagree more, the bbq sauce is just fine. You just happened to get a bad hand on having too much put on. We’ve all had that before with one condiment or another. There’s a lot of places using far worse bbq sauces that high praise. Not saying Arby’s bbq sauce is great but it’s no where near the let down you make it out to be.
The sandwich was pretty good but it tasted like I was eating peppered beef jerky on a sandwich strangely enough lol.
You must not be from KC. Sure we have great BBQ, but we do sauce better than anyone. Of course Brandon is going to feel this way about Arby’s awful sauce.
I’m a McRib fan and tried Arby’s wanna be in competition with the McRib.
The best thing that I can say about this Arby’s sandwich is make the trash can happy and toss it right in there…….The mayo and bbq sauces are disgusting and the rib meat itself is intolerable and inedible. A few friends tried it as well and agreed, toss it in the trash…..
I think you’re comparing apples to oranges.
I agree wholeheartedly! I just took a bite of mine, and a total waste of money. The rib meat was hard and it had a weird medicinal taste to it, instead of a hickory or mesquite flavor? I’m not sure what they used to smoke this, but mine too, went in the trash can. My dog sniffed it and wouldn’t even take a bite.
True story: I replied to a Twitter Friend’s tweet about the McRib (which I love), and Arby’s replied with an ad for this thing.
Thanks, but if I wanted actual ribs, I wouldn’t be eating a McRib, know what I’m saying? B+ for the effort though.
I’m kind of afraid to try this. I don’t like the looks of the meat at all (I know, I know, it’s smoked so it is supposed to be pink, but I have issues) and why cheese? Who declared that every special sandwich needs cheese on it?
I really liked this sandwich, but a small combo was over $10, and that’s insane for fast food. I won’t be getting it again for that reason.
That’s around the average price for Arby’s combos and the fact that they aren’t using highly processed meats.
Thank you for the review! I’ve been curious about this one.
p.s. well written and loved the humour.
The addition of pickles and real onion slivers, and removal of mayo would have much improved this.
I like mayo, but not on a bbq sandwich.
Yeah, the one you had seems to have way too much bbq sauce. I got one today, and it had a more reasonable amount of sauce on it. I really enjoyed it actually. I ate it after my bus ride home, and the onions were still fairly crispy and the meat was a nice texture. Sad that you had the experience of too much sauce on yours. My sandwich might have had a bit much mayo on it for some tastes, but that was ultimately inoffensive.
Tried the sandwich today and was pleasantly surprised and I enjoyed it very much. Had just the right amount of bbq sauce and mayo on it. (which by the way was very good on the sandwich. No reason not to put mayo on a rib sandwich.) The meat was plentiful and tender and the gouda cheese added another touch of smokyness that I liked. All an all it was a good eating experience and I will try it again before it ends at the end of the month.
I loved the Arby’s rib sandwich. It was the best I have ever had. Maybe it is the state, but I hope they keep it on their menu.
Saw the commercial on TV of the smoked rib sandwich. I SAID, I’LL BET THE REAL THING IS NOTHING CLOSE TO THE COMMERCIAL & I WAS RIGHT It was totally disgusting & so tough it was hardly fit to eat . So no wonder they smothered it in BBQ sauce & cheese to hide the disgusting gristle & what ever the meat was they used! Never again!
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