Full disclosure, I used to work at Arby’s. Does working there for a year during high school ruin my objectivity? I doubt it. My extensive journalistic training has prepared me to objectively cover controversial reviews. What’s more controversial than loaded curly fries?

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First and foremost, let’s compare this remarkable product to the advertisement. On the left you’ll see the marketing photo (on the menu) of the curly fry, cheese sauce, shredded cheese, Parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, and bacon. On the right you’ll see what Arby’s is actually peddling.

Surprise, surprise. It looks nothing like the picture. That’s not where the disappointment ended. The curly fries were cold and rubbery. Fortunately, the fake cheese coating was impervious to temperature change. The shredded cheese never quite got to the point of melting so it clumped together in a greasy heap. The ranch dressing was more like a slightly herbed mayonnaise. The whole thing was underwhelming, but it could have reached the level of guilty pleasure stoner food had the temperature been better, or the curly fries fresher, one of the two.

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At least the bacon was good. Arby’s has good bacon. I remember cooking oodles of it on giant baking sheets in the convection ovens. Such fond memories. Sadly, these curly fries can’t earn more than a¬†4 out of 10 on my rating scale.

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But wait! There’s more! I have a bonus review of a secret Arby’s item that’s not on the menu. Let me introduce you to the insurmountable¬†Meat Mountain. For $10 you can bring home a stack of (almost) every meat they sell in the restaurant. You get chicken tenders, roast beef, turkey, ham, roasted chicken, corned beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, and swiss cheese.

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The meat mountain, in all its glory

To state the obvious, yes, it’s dramatically more meat than anyone needs to consume in a sitting. It was difficult to hold and did not come with the luxury of napkins. In fact, it was up to the register lady to dole them out, there were none in the lobby. She gave me none even though she packaged the food to-go (without asking my preference).

Everything about this sandwich was cold. The bun was cold. The chicken fingers were cold. The roast beef was cold. The turkey was cold. The roasted chicken was cold. The ham was cold. The corned beef was cold. The cheddar cheese was cold. The swiss cheese was cold. The bacon was cold. At least it was consistent. I poured on some horsie sauce and Arby’s sauce and went to town but only made it about 2/3’s of the way through. I had already eaten dinner two hours beforehand and quickly succumbed to the meat sweats.

My hands were a disaster when I put the sandwich down. My palms were covered in unabsorbed sauce. I had sandwich residue up to the top of my cheekbones. This is a novelty sandwich and/or a health concern. One point of fact, Arby’s has started serving a fish filet. The fish filet is not included in the meat mountain. I’ve set out on Twitter to address this. Despite these failings I rang the freaking “Great Service” bell.

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For starters, I just wanted to. There was a bell, I had to ring it. Beyond that, this particular Arby’s got crushed by about 30 Japanese exchange students that showed up at about 8:30 pm. They were not prepared for that mayhem.

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Catalog:
Sampled on 2/2/2017. The loaded curly fries were supposed to be $2.99, but I got them for free with a coupon. The Meat Mountain was $10.