Arby’s holds a special place in my heart. Long before I found the gospel known as Taco Bell, Arby’s was my sanctuary. It was different. McDonald’s (Chicken Nuggets) and Wendy’s (Chicken Nuggets) were good, but Burger King was a disgusting memory of my early working life. Arby’s however provided a refuge from the processed chicken and beef. Eating Arby’s felt like I was eating real food. Early on my buddy Kenny and I fell head first into the 5 for $5.95 deal. Traditionally we’d both go with 5 orders of the mozzarella sticks and gorge until we could feel goiters starting to form in our throats.
Nowadays Arby’s is a fond memory, somewhere I smile at remembering the good ole days on my way to Taco Bell. If not for the Sliders they added last year I’m not sure anything would’ve pulled me back in. While searching for my item to review this week I just kept driving past my Arby’s which had their sign out front promoting their new Smokehouse Menu. Finally I made the decision and went for it.
Initially I was going for the Pork Belly Sandwich. Pork Belly is one of the few items I grab whenever I see it on a menu (along with poutine). I knew it came with mayo and specifically asked for my sandwich without when I ordered. The girl through the speaker replied, that the Pork Belly didn’t come with mayo but instead it was a White BBQ sauce. I was ecstatic.
I searched around the menu board for some companion items and that’s when I noticed the Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake. I’m a sucker for those traditional seasonal flavors and convinced myself its been far too long since I had a milkshake. I happily drove back home, eagerly anticipating my meal. This would be the first item I gave a good review here on Under Channel Eats.
After unpacking my meal I learned to great dismay, that the Pork Belly Sandwich did indeed have mayo. I sadly packed back into my car, drove back to Arby’s an traded up for the Smoke Mountain Sandwich. It had the pork belly, plus a ton of other Arby’s meat and best of all no mayo. That being said I was still optimistic about my meal.
The Smoke Mountain Sandwich comes piled high with pork belly, brisket, and turkey breast, smoked cheddar, and crispy onions straws slathered in their smoky q sauce. I ordered it with no straws, because onions just get in the way. My first bite was delicious, the BBQ and cheddar were a perfect combo. As I got further in I began to realize two things. One, sandwiches piled with this many meats are destined to fall apart and Two, the turkey was too overpowering. It took away from the mild brisket and pork belly.
I broke the sandwich apart and tried each ingredient on its own. Each of them is extremely tasty and I believe having omitted at least one would of really made this sandwich more cohesive. Overall the sandwich was good, glad I tried it but won’t be back for another. My final critique is that at $6.99 for the sandwich alone its no longer competing with just the fast food market, but a variety of other places I can order a good hearty sandwich from.Onto the shake.
I’ve heard a lot over the last week or so about pumpkin being a new fad. I don’t buy it. Pumpkin is big every year at this time and just because its coming around doesn’t qualify it as a fad. If the pumpkin craze sprouted up in the middle of April, you could qualify it as a fad, this however is just pumpkin season and this item is grand. It really does a good job of balancing the pumpkin with the cheesecake and was enjoyable all the way through. Combine that with Arby’s always delivering a good shake and you’ve got a winning item. Definitely something i’ll have again before the fall is over.
Shake: 5/5(if you like pumpkin)