It’s a hectic time of year. Families on the go do things they wouldn’t normally do. In the case of Cageboy #1 and family this past weekend – that unusual unordinary occurrence took the form of eating at a fast food joint. Don’t get me wrong – it happens occasionally. Normally it would be a quick roll by and a kid’s meal through the drive through window if we were stretched on time. And for myself, I’ve already professed my undying love for the Subway – still fast and all the sammichy goodness you could ever want. But this Saturday we found ourselves enroute from one holiday activity to the other and knowing we didn’t want to arrive at our afternoon holiday party completely famished – we opted for the fast food that first presented itself along our road. Arby’s. Although famished, I’d like to think that I could still be somewhat objective regarding the food. In a word or two – TOTALLY AWESOME WITH A SIDE OF SUPER FANTABULOUS AND ASS KICKING DIPPING SAUCE!!! Man, was it ever good.
First off – I had totally sold my kids on the idea of having cheeseburgers. What meaty fast food joint doesn’t have a burger of some sort? Well, Arby’s does not. Maybe they did at one point? As I say, I am not a frequent customer. It seems as if Arby’s has chosen to corner the Chicken/Roast Beef segment of the fast food universe. With the Roy Rogers folks out of the way for the most part, that gives Arby’s a nice segment of the fast food public to go after.
Kids had popcorn chicken while ma-lady and I ordered a couple of their signature roast beef and cheddar sandwiches. Now, they do offer said roast beef with bacon and that’s a perfectly marvelous idea because – as you know – there is no food stuff that cannot be improved by wrapping with bacon, topping with bacon in or some other way adding bacon to. However, we were already a little uneasy with the notion of eating fast food and didn’t want to push it. It seems like fries are unavoidable in a fast food setting (except, of course, for my beloved Subway). But Arby’s is smart. They don’t try to compete or clone the McD fries. Can’t be done, McD is the fry king and just don’t go there. Instead Arby’s stands apart – they go for the Curly fry and they shake on a very tasty, somewhat spicy flavoring. Pretty darn tasty. I REALLY didn’t need to become aware of just how tasty the Arby’s is. The other thing I like at the Arby’s is the variety of condiments – much more creative and WAY tastier than your basic Ketchup/Mustard you get at most places. Arby’s offers their standard issue barbecue sauce – which is just fine. A honey mustard – which is quite good. The unfortunately named “Horsey “Sauce” – the horseradish concoction that is a must for roast beef. And then a spicy “three pepper” sauce that is somewhere between a barbecue sauce and a hot sauce. Not quite hot enough to be a full on hot sauce and little tangier than you want a barbecue sauce to be.
Not being a frequent fast food eater – we ate cautiously. It’s kind of like a longtime vegetarian suddenly eating a steak – your body doesn’t know how to handle it and bad lower GI things can happen to you. I’m happy to report that NONE of those things occurred and we enjoyed our first Arby’s experience in many moons.
But that’s why I think those BK Whopper Virgin commercials are a bad thing. First off – I’m not sure I totally believe the credentials of the “documentary crews” in the commercial. But suspend disbelief for a moment and let’s just say that while they are certainly on the King’s dime, let’s just say for the sake of argument that the rest of the “Whopper Virgins” they are plucking from remote villages around the world are not actors named Steve from the upper West Side who is appearing in the BK commercial as a follow-up to playing “The Sofa King” on the local cable ads. Let’s just pretend we totally believe the premise – they’re out scouring the world for remote people’s who have never eaten a BK Whopper – or a fast food hamburger of any kind for that matter. Yep, these poor saps are hunting and gathering berries and crickets and everything leafy and green this side of the poison sumac. They roast it down over open fires out in the hills of Borneo or whatever and wash it down with a quart of rainwater. Now, here comes the white man with his camera crew and his BK Whopper and a gallon of Pepsi. Eat up, there Click Click Oh-wa-poo. So, Click Click starts chowing on the Whopper and it tastes pretty darn good. He wolfs that bad down and the camera crew records a lot of satisfied and happy grunting and clicking. Thanks very much…hand shakes all around – maybe the camera crew drops some silly BK gear on the natives and they roll. Cut to about 15 minutes later when the grease and the processed cheese and fatty meat and glops of mayonnaise hit ol’ Click Click in the gut. An internal digestive track that is unfamiliar with anything that didn’t come off the jungle floor. Get your cameras back and film what’s gonna happen NEXT. I’d bet THAT”S not footage the BK people are going to be too hip to throw on TV.
So, I guess this amounts to a Cageboy endorsement of Arby’s – but don’t stray too far away from the standard roast beef sammich.