I know what you’re thinking.
Arby’s? Really? You’re writing a review of Arby’s?!?
We’re about to do just that, and not because we enjoy punishing our intestines, but because we live here in the BBQ desert of Los Angeles, and whenever we have a chance to eat some BBQ, we’ll take our chance. It can’t possibly be worse than Pork Belly’s, anyways. When we saw that Arby’s was bringing back the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich, we some saw as an advertising ploy, we saw as another BBQ opportunity.
And believe it or not, the onion ring, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and brisket sandwich wasn’t half bad.
I was prepared to spit out the first bite, but it shockingly went down pretty easily. The first thing I noticed was the brisket’s intense smokiness. How Arby’s got that smokiness, I’ll never know (they say it is smoked, but I have a hard time believing that), but it tasted better than I thought it would.
That being said, each slice was uniformly cut as thin as paper, with a half inch, vivid-pink smoke ring sprayed painted (I would imagine) around the outside. Held up to a light, you’d be able to see right through it. Good luck trying to find the bark; there isn’t any. The same can be said about moistness. It was about as dry as a piece of paper too.
The onion rings were soggy and didn’t add any flavor. The same can be said about the BBQ sauce. It was there–it seemed–just for the sake of being there.
The bun was just downright bad. It crumbled in your mouth, was soggy on the outside and desert dry on the inside. Plus, it was oversized, so most bites were dominated by it.
My biggest problem with the sandwich was the mayonnaise. Warm and heavy, it tasted like something that would give you food poisoning. And, as anyone with a right mind knows, BBQ and mayonnaise go together like orange juice and mouthwash.
Overall, the brisket was (shockingly) the star of the show. By itself, it blew away our expectations just by being decent, especially for a meat conjured up in a non-descript factory somewhere in rural Ohio (why Ohio, I don’t know, but it sounded like that’s where Arby’s sandwich sweat shop would be). Things started to fall apart for the rest of the sandwich after that, and I doubt I’ll ever have one again. But for fast food and the BBQ desert, you can do much, much worse.
Food: 2 stars: I especially liked the smoke flavored chemical Arby’s found.
Ambiance: 1 star: The lighting was obnoxiously bright, there were advertisements for the restaurant covering the restaurant, and the cashier was on whatever drug the drug dealer in the corner was selling.
Overall: 1.5 stars: Arby’s roast beef isn’t the best beef Arby’s has to offer.