Drive-thru review: Arby's adds another quality sandwich

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
June 3, 2013 Updated: June 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

The King's Hawaiian Roast Beef & Swiss sandwich takes what Arby's does best - slow-cooked roast beef piled high - and then makes it better. By piling the roast beef even higher.

The sandwich stacks one-third more meat than Arby's regular roast beef sandwich. And then Arby's makes it twice as good by putting all that roast beef on a King's Hawaiian bun.

Arby's is calling this "Roast-Beef-Atopia." There will be a little extra in the marketing staff's pay envelope for that. Either a cash bonus or pink slip, I haven't decided.

Here's the blueprint: thinly-sliced-to-order roast beef, Swiss cheese, pickles and creamy Dijon sauce on an authentic King's Hawaiian bun.

The really big thing about the King's Hawaiian Roast Beef & Swiss sandwich is the bun - an authentic, fluffy, sweet-as-pastry King's Hawaiian bun. You've seen these in the supermarket. They're puffy like marshmallows and look like the dinner buns you see at the start of a buffet line.

Arby's uses real-deal King's Hawaiian buns - and you know how we feel about recognizable brand names in the drive-thru: It gives us a warm, cozy feeling of familiarity. Hate those 55-gallon drums of mayonnaise with nothing but a bar code on the label. Reminds me of my high school cafeteria.

For you geography majors, King's Hawaiian buns are baked in the tropical island paradises of ... Torrance, Calif., and Oakwood, Ga. Cue the ukulele music, y'all.

Arby's roast beef is super-lean, with no gristle or fatty edges. The Swiss melts all gooey, and the Dijon spread has speckles of mustard seed - nice touch. The pickles are cool and crunchy, a wake-up texture call. Everything adds up to a quality sandwich for a decent price. Arby's is coming on strong lately with bold new flavors, and here's one more example.

Arby's also has a stripped-down King's Hawaiian Roast Beef sandwich, just meat and bun, for $3.99.

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