REVIEW: Arby’s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger

Arby s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger Whole

It’s no secret people have strong opinions about Arby’s. You’re probably a fervent supporter or you wouldn’t touch (or eat) their roast beef sandwich with a ten-foot pole. I fall in the former camp. The chain proudly announces “We Have the Meats,” but never before in 58 years has that included a hamburger. I’ve always taken a strange pride in this absence (because in my mind, I operate a profitable Arby’s franchise, and yes, we still serve potato cakes). I’m pleased by the fact that Arby’s succeeds by doing something different and doesn’t feel the need to sling an average burger. So while Arby’s doesn’t NEED to offer a burger, what happens when it wants to? Perhaps it realized it had already served most legal meat products and decided it was time to beat all the other joints at their own game – ground beef.

The Deluxe Wagyu Steakhouse Burger offers up a 6.4-ounce patty that’s a blend of 52% American Wagyu and 48% ground beef. It’s topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, and burger sauce on a toasted brioche bun. Since Arby’s restaurants don’t have grills, they’ve decided the best cooking route is sous vide, claiming this results in a medium-well burger, something you rarely see in fast food.

Arby s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger Patty

This looks like a classic burger with just a handful of ingredients done right. At first glance, it didn’t appear that hefty, but upon closer examination and consumption, it’s a weighty patty. Many times in the world of fast food, I don’t want this much ground beef. I avoid items like the Quarter Pounder or anything double beef at Taco Bell because it’s more mediocre meat than I want to eat. I didn’t feel this way about the Arby’s burger at all. It tastes meaty in a good way, and the interior of the patty matches the advertised pictures: pinkish, juicy, and not the gray throughout that I’ve come to expect from most hamburgers that are handed to me within three minutes of my ordering.

Arby s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger Half

The cheese was perfectly melted, and the vegetables were fresh and actually contributed something to the eating experience. The pickles are thicker cut and tasty, and the red onion is crunchy with a not-too aggressive bite. The sauce is your standard mixture of condiments. I enjoyed it, maybe more than Big Mac sauce, but there’s too much. It’s applied to both the top and bottom bun and should be contained to just one. I liked its thinner consistency and it had a good flavor balance, the only issue being the ratio of sauce to every other part of the burger is off. It makes for a sloppy situation and because the meat here genuinely does seem to be of a better quality, they could have showcased the wagyu more by saucing less.

Arby s Wagyu Steakhouse Burger Split

Since it lacks a grilled element, you won’t be getting any char on the patty’s exterior, but the texture and quality of the meat and toppings exceed the expectations I have for burgers of this size in a drive-thru setting. If hamburgers are part of your fast food repertoire I’d encourage you to grab this one while you have the chance. It’s available through July 31st, and after that, Arby’s will hang up its ten-gallon hat from the burger game, and both fans and (fake) franchise owners like me will rest assured that they don’t have to serve burgers, but if they want to, damn it, they can.

Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 715 calories, 43 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 97 milligrams of cholesterol, 1567 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugars, and 39 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Arby’s Spicy Fish Sandwich

Arby s Spicy Fish Sandwich Whole

I am not a super-regular consumer of fast food fish sandwiches. That’s not to suggest that I never have them, though. The ratio is probably just something along the lines of, for every fish sandwich I have, I probably eat ten non-fish sandwiches (aka a chicken sandwich or a hamburger). That number may be off a bit, I don’t know. I mean really, who charts what sort of animal their fast food meal came from? (As I typed this out, I realized that I actually kind of like this idea. So, I mean, I guess I might start.)

Anyway, it’s prime fish sandwich season, what with the Lent and so forth, and so all of your favorite purveyors of drive-thru delectables are either offering deals on their existing pescatarian products or coming up with new ones. Like this — the new Arby’s Spicy Fish Sandwich.

What you’ve got here is the standard Arby’s fish sandwich base— crispy fish fillet, shredded lettuce, and tartar sauce on a sesame seed bun — but you’re adding a tomato slice, fiery seasoning, and diced jalapeños to the mix. And the result? I cod eat this every time I order Arby’s. (Get it? Cod is a type of fish. We like to have a good time here at The Impulsive Buy, right?)

Arby s Spicy Fish Sandwich Split

The sesame seed bun was pretty standard and bland, but it was soft and held up well. The lettuce was crunchy and fresh, but the tomato was a bit mealy. It still served its greater purpose, I believe, which was to help cut down some of the fieriness of this sandwich. And was this thing fiery? Boy howdy.

Arby s Spicy Fish Sandwich Top

There is a duality to the heat here that stems from the “fiery seasoning” as well as the diced jalapeños. It’s hard to say which packs more of a punch because your mouth is pretty much engulfed after the first bite. I will say, though, that isolating the two gives two distinct heats; the jalapeño (the fresh, bright green kind, not pickled) is an instant tongue-punch while the seasoning on the fillet — which contains chili powder and cayenne amongst other things — is a slow burn.

It’s hard to know if this heat is too much for an average pallet. I feel like my receptors are abnormal and therefore unreliable; I can have Thai-hot and be fine, but other times an unassuming “spicy mayo” will be almost too much. I found this to be a perfectly acceptable level of hot, but I’m not going to refund your money if you get it and can’t take more than a bite or two. (Nor will I be shocked if you get it and you tell me that, I don’t know, your two-year-old tried it and loved it.)

What WILL surprise me, however, is if you get this sandwich and don’t enjoy it. Arby’s crispy, crunchy, light and tasty fish fillet is elevated by the spice, but it’s never too much; the tangy tartar sauce and cool veggies counterbalance the heat in a delightfully pleasant way. It’s a shame that this won’t become a regular menu item, because I cod order it ever … wait, did I already do the cod joke? Hang on, where are you going?

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 580 calories, 25 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 1200 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 21 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Arby’s Real Country Style Rib Sandwich

Arby s Real Country Style Rib Sandwich

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?

Arby s Real Country Style Rib Sandwich  2

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.

Arby s Real Country Style Rib Sandwich  1

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.

REVIEW: Arby’s Premium Chicken Nuggets

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Spill

Until I sat down to write this and started Googling for background info, I had absolutely no idea that Arby’s — noted proprietor of meat — didn’t have chicken nuggets on its menu. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the chicken tenders and just assumed it also served poultry in a more nuggeted form; maybe it’s because when traveling to the land of curly fries and Beef’n Cheddar, who feels it necessary to order nuggets?

I never had before, and, in case you don’t feel like reading a full review of Arby’s new Premium Chicken Nuggets, I probably won’t again. That isn’t to say they are appalling or abhorrently bad; they’re just… boring.

Arby’s touts its new offering as having “100% chicken breast,” which seems legit and is pretty par for the course, I guess. It’s offering them in Arby’s kids’ meals (as a 4 or a 6 piece) and as a 9-piece solo meal or as part of its “2 for $6” promotion, which also includes the Classic Roast Beef and the Classic Beef’n Cheddar. And while $3 for 9 nuggs is a reasonable deal in today’s market (Maybe? To be fair, I haven’t comparative nugget priced in a while.), you’d be better served doubling up on the B&C, honestly.

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Innards

The thing about these is that there is nothing special about them. The seasoning is bland (and by “bland,” I mean “non-existent”) and the nuggets themselves are drier than a mummy’s tongue. These things are no different than frozen nuggets that come from a truck that maybe you’d find at a neighborhood swimming pool or waterpark snack bar. Fresh from the fryer (and these were), they are hot and salty.

Arby s Premium Chicken Nuggets Shapes

Additionally, they are decently sized. Unlike McDonald’s or Wendy’s uniformly sized nuggets, these are all like snowflakes, like the kind you’d get at, oh, say, Chick-fil-A. The smallest piece was the size of two Hershey’s Kisses mushed-up together, and the biggest was the size and shape of an obese walnut. If you’re getting them for $3 as part of the promotion, it’s a reasonable deal; if, however, you’re getting them in the meal or as a solo item ($3.99), you’re moving out of the “good deal” territory.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a perfectly acceptable sauce delivery vehicle, these will do. You know, like almost any other nugget. If, however, you want a nugget that can headline based on the strength of its own merit, this isn’t the one for you. Arby’s would do well to stick with the RB and leave the chicken to those who typically traffic in bird.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 9-pieces
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (9 nuggets) 470 calories, 23 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat,75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 38 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Arby’s Crinkle Cut Fries

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Full

What are Arby’s Crinkle Cut Fries?

Arby’s new permanent fries are exactly as they sound — an “…accordion-style” deep-fried spud offering! The website touts the “…groves for maximum crispiness, lightly seasoned with fine kosher salt.”

(Editor’s Note: I’m pretty sure “groves” is supposed to be “grooves.” But that’s really how it’s spelled on Arby’s website. I added the screenshot below for proof.)

Screen Shot 2021 04 25 at 8 46 21 AM

How are they?

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Top

Crinkle cut fries are near and dear to my heart. They remind me of elementary school lunches when the best part of my day was lunchtime. These were exactly like a blast from the past – limp, slightly undercooked, but decently salted.

Anything else you need to know?

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Compare

I tested these head-to-head with crinkle cut fries from the grocery store. The air fried Ore-Ida ones I made were better. They were golden brown and actually had more crispness.

Arby s Crinkle Cut Fries Compare Closeup

Unfortunately, Arby’s is pretty serious about its mediocre crinkle cut fry offering. The fast food chain even made a TV commercial for it!

Conclusion:

I ate every single one of those limp, slightly undercooked, but decently salted fries, but they’re not better than frozen crinkle cut fries found at your local grocery store.

Maybe one day Arby’s will offer a mixed spuds basket with its curlies, crinkle, and cakes – kind of like mixing all the sodas together. But I wouldn’t get the crinkle fries on their own. I’ll stick with the curlies!

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: Medium
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Medium) 530 calories, 26 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 630 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.