REVIEW: Arby’s Melt, Popcorn Chicken Shakers, and Loaded Potato Bites with Bacon

With the exception of Taco Bell, no other fast food eatery relies so heavily on gimmicks, goodies, and other nonsensical items as Arby’s. Arby’s is a little different from most fast food joints because their staple item is a roast beef sandwich and not a burger. Supposedly sliced in the back on a Seinfeld quality Kramer slicer, the roast beef is extremely tasty and most likely extremely bad for you. But besides this, Arby’s has added on to their menu with countless wraps, chicken sandwiches, Market Fresh deli esque sandwiches, specialty sandwiches such as Reuben’s, toasted subs, and my personal favorites: taking normal food items and then frying them into triangles.

So it was only a matter of time before g and double g took a trip to the local Arby’s food stand and enjoyed a gimmick meal. On a side note, I originally wanted to review Arby’s Mac and Cheesers because they screamed for this site. Frying mac and cheese? Yeah, Arby’s has been there and done that. The product life cycle consisted of about a month though, and I was deeply saddened to hear that they were no longer available. I remember, a few weeks back (pre g&gg days) my colleague Mike and I ate these just to be able to say that we did. They were surprisingly good and quite possibly gave me some sort of brain damage. But I can’t review something that I don’t have photographic evidence of, it wouldn’t be fair to you readers. It’s hard to imagine a meeting in the Arby’s board room where real managers actually sat down, discussed and approved the creation of the Mac and Cheesers, but on to current products.

As you can see, Arby’s has a sufficiently large menu, containing a wide variety of products. It always seemed weird to me that you can get a deli sandwich in the same place where you can get the three products I purchased. But with a wide variety of products, the more people you will be able to attract. Speaking of which, Arby’s was packed. The local Arby’s is quite literally a dump, complete with a 70’s style décor, and a terrible design this place isn’t exactly craving customers, but for my visit the place was thriving. And I counted at least four remotely attractive females there too. When I think of the average female Arby’s customer the words snaggle tooth and Mitch come to mind, but its good to see that Arby’s can bring society together to clog our arteries as one.

So I bought three items, all of which I consider to be classic Arby’s gimmick food. First off, in an effort to compete with the dollar double cheeseburgers of the world, Arby’s had reduced the price of their Arby’s Melt by a staggering twenty cents.

Now for 99 cents, anyone can enjoy this simple sandwich for a limited time only. The sandwich consists of a bun, roast beef, and cheddar cheese sauce. One may ask, what the difference between this and the normal Beef and Cheddar is, and the answer is size.

The Arby’s Melt is quite puny in fact, coming with a smaller bun, smaller amount of roast beef, and a smaller amount of cheese sauce.I couldn’t even see the customary Arby’s overflowage of cheese when I first unwrapped this guy. The sandwich tasted good but because of its weak stature I have to give it a 2.5.

Next we have the Popcorn Chicken Shakers. What we have here is popcorn chicken, in a small tub with a closed Slurpee like dome on top.

The trick here is that you’re given a choice of either buffalo or barbeque sauce to dump on your chicken.

Then you close up your lid and shake.

This leaves you with saturated and saucy pop corn chicken bites.

Nothing like making the customers do some manual work before they get to eat. What an obvious gimmick. I felt kind of weird shaking my satchel of breaded chicken but it was all in good fun. These were actually quite good and the sauce was pretty tangy. Word on the street is that the barbeque is good as well, so I will give the Popcorn Chicken Shakers a 3.

Lastly we head over to the normal food fried triangle department. While mac and cheese is out, Arby’s has stuck with their Loaded Potato Bites with Bacon.

Let’s take what everyone loves about a loaded baked potato and fry it. We have potato morsels, cheese, sour cream and ranch sauce, and hunks of bacon (or so I thought). The sour cream and ranch sauce seems like a daring combination to me, but why not I guess.

These potato bites were another surprise hit. Everything hit on all cylinders except for the fact that there was no bacon present at all.

As you can clearly see there is no hint of red anywhere in there, despite the subtle bacon flavor. I’ll have to give the Loaded Potato Bites a 3.5/5 just because of the false bacon advertising scam.

So as the gimmick meal came to an end, I found myself quite satisfied. Three gimmick foods each with their own particular ploy: be it price, pre eating activity, or fried nature, all of these were tasty. So when you get the chance, head over to your local Arby’s and try a cluster bomb of food products from their vast menu, it won’t be too hard.

Arby’s Melt: 2.5/5
Popcorn Chicken Shakers: 3/5
Loaded Potato Bites with Bacon: 3.5/5

Until the next sauce,

Andrew

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Categories: Food Reviews

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