Fast Food Review: Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich
I’ve admittedly never been a huge fan of Arby’s. Most of their menu is just roast beef sandwiches, and I have a hard time justifying buying too many of those when I can easily put together a serviceable one at home. However, they recently piqued my interest when they brought back their Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich. So I ventured out for the first time in a couple years to grab a bite to eat at Arby’s.
They key to a good brisket is the slow cooking style, and Arby’s has taken that to heart by smoking their brisket with “real smoke from a real fire for at least 13 real hours.” Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich takes the smoked brisket and tops it with smoked Gouda, mayo, barbecue sauce, and crunchy fried onions. Comparing the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich to brisket from a traditional smokehouse doesn’t seem fair, so I tried to keep my expectations in line during my meal.
Considering it was handed to me out a fast food window, the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich was surprisingly enjoyable. The sandwich has way too much salt (1230 mg sodium), but if you can get past that you are left with a decently tender barbecue brisket sandwich. The meat trumps anything you will get at Subway by a mile, so by fast food standards it is very good. The Gouda had a smokiness of its own and went well with the brisket and barbecue, while the addition of fried onions to the sandwich gave it a satisfying crunch (similar to BK’s Rodeo Sandwiches). Arby’s skimped on the barbecue sauce unfortunately, but it’s always easier to add sauce then take it off so no complaints there.
The Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich combo cost me $7.49 and came with the best item on the Arby’s menu: curly fries. The shape of the fries automatically sets them apart from their competition, but it is the seasoning that really takes them to the next level. With their fries, Arby’s has found the perfect ratio of salt and seasoning. It also doesn’t hurt that the curly shape seems to make them more fun to eat (even as an adult).
Overall, I’d have to give Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich a B. It was an above-average sandwich, but I’m not in any rush to go back and get another. For anyone looking to grab one of these sandwiches you will need to make sure you get a couple extra packs of barbecue sauce. The sweet and tangy sauce helps to cut the overwhelming saltiness of the meat, upgrading the sandwich from bearable to enjoyable.
As for Arby’s…I will see you in a couple more years!