Review: Market Fresh Reuben Sandwich from Arby’s

With St. Patty’s day hitting this weekend, Arby’s has decided to run a buy one, get one promo featuring their Market Fresh Reuben. I find that a little weird considering they could be running a BOGO on the Jamocha Cream Pie, or anything else on the menu for that matter, because nothing at Arby’s is even remotely Irish. I think a buy one, get one on an Arby’s boiled sadness potato might be a tad more appropriate. Though I can see how someone could think the Reuben is an Irish specialty given that it was created in Nebraska and it’s named after one Mr. Reuben Kulakofsky. At least they don’t think that just by turning something green, a chorus of leprechauns will rise from the shadows singing O’ Danny Boy. All that aside, let’s see if the Market Fresh Reuben is worth it’s salt. Get it? Most of the components are cured… That’s a joke son.

 

Arby’s describes the Market Fresh Reuben as this:

It all starts with freshly carved corned beef, which is then carefully topped off with melted Swiss cheese, tangy sauerkraut, creamy Thousand Island dressing and served on toasty marble rye bread, just for you. And since we freshly prepare your sandwich only after you order it, you will always have it fresh.

First off, let me just say that I think the Reuben is one of the greatest sandwiches ever created. From the briny, juicy corned beef, the slightly funky crunch of the kraut, the nuttiness of the Swiss, the creamy sweet tang of the Russian dressing, to the warm bitterness of the rye.  The Reuben sandwich has layers of depth that should satisfy any self-appointed sandwich fanatic. Arby’s take on the Reuben falls a bit flat.

The beef is way higher quality than Arby’s normal reformed roast beef loaf, but it lacks the great qualities from awesome corned beef. The bright beefy flavor of brisket brined in a range of spices, cardamom to juniper, was sadly absent.

The Swiss had little sharpness, but at least it wasn’t the American-Swiss hybrid that some fast food joints use. The kraut was surprisingly tame, I guess in an attempt to not offend those who don’t find the concept of salted spoiled cabbage appealing. The Thousand Island seemed muted and bland, and the bread wasn’t toasted enough and carried little to no rye-ish punch. Don’t get me wrong, it was still fairly tasty, it being a Reuben and all, but it just didn’t have the big bold flavors I have come to expect from the king of deli sandwiches. At $4.99 for just the sandwich, it’s no value either. For the exact same price I can go a half mile down the street and get a quality Reuben that is about three times the size as this and has all the flavor and tang I have come to expect. I’m pretty sure all of you can find a better Reuben for just a couple bucks more in your respected townships.

The combination of this sandwich needing more flavorful ingredients and the stiff competition places it as an average 6.50/10 on the GrubGrade scale. The Arby’s Fish Sandwich and seasoned curly fries would be way better method of ringing in old St. Patty’s day. Though you would still have to ask yourself the obvious question, “Why am I dining at a fast food restaurant with a cowboy hat in the logo to celebrate the day of St. Patrick?”

Pros: It is still a Reuben. Ordering food to review for GrubGrade off a menu with a giant sign mentioning GrubGrade. Horsey Sauce.

Cons: Stiff competition ruins this sandwich. Half toasted rye. Me for not trying this with Horsey Sauce.

Taste: 6.50/10
Value: 4.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10

More Info: Arbys.com
Nutrition Facts:
arket Fresh Reuben
Calories -640
Total Fat - 30 grams
Saturated Fat - 8 grams
Cholesterol - 55 milligrams
Sodium - 1610 milligrams
Carbs - 62 grams
Dietary Fiber - 4 grams
Sugars - 7 grams
Protein - 32 grams

43 comments on “Review: Market Fresh Reuben Sandwich from Arby’s

  1. Marvo says:

    I don’t know why, but the idea of fast food sauerkraut makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

  2. SkippyMom says:

    That pic’ of the open faced sandwich is pathetic. I wouldn’t bother ever ordering this because our local diner makes an honest to god, slap your mother, oh so good rueben with real corned beef and tangy thousand island that if I want to risk that much sodium I am going down smiling . . . BIG.

    Now I want to go to the Diner. Then again, I always want to eat after reading y’all’s site. Thanks. :)

  3. Mitchery says:

    The bread looks more impressive than the actual sandwhich if that makes sense…I love a good reuben, would’ve been nice if this was a success.

    • ljay says:

      Unfortunately the bread is a bigger let down then the rest of the ingredients imo. More white bread in taste in texture then anything else, the bread should be firm and flavorful rye. This is not.

      (btw, rye toast is THE KING of breakfast toast!)

      • Manavee says:

        This is the correct answer. I actually didn’t find the other ingredients that terrible for a fast food place (although chefprotoss’ point about being able to find a much better reuben for not that much more still stands). The bread however, had very little rye taste for me, which was a major disappointment.

      • Mitchery says:

        I guess pictures can be deceiving. I’ll just continue to make my own. I agree about rye toast. So awesome.

  4. Ray J. says:

    Arby’s Fish Sandwich was great! I’ll have to try the Reuben since it’s 2 for $6 here.

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Your description pretty much describes exactly how I expected this sandwich to be. I love reubens, but this sandwich seemed worse than something I could slap together myself.

  6. Cecil says:

    That picture is depressing. Where’s the beef? (sorry someone had to say it)

  7. chris says:

    I love the Arby’s Reuben. But, I have also never had a “real” one, so go figure.

  8. Asdf Z. Qwerty says:

    I think I remember that you’re from Virginia. You should try to visit the Arby’s in the Richmond, Va area. There are two of the largest many have the highest volume in the world. I’ve been to Arby’s in other areas and they don’t compare at all.

  9. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Anyone try the one with turkey on it?

  10. Biff Pickles says:

    Arby’s is pink slime wrapped in a bun. They could mess up a sloppy joe, let alone a reuben sandwich.

  11. Mike N says:

    My nearby Arby’s is accross the street from a McAlister’s Deli, where the Reuben is $6.99 including a pickle and choice of side. It’s still a chain, but I’d hazzard to guess it’s better quality and value than the Arby’s version. (P.S.: I haven’t seen McAlister’s reviewed on GrubGrade yet, I don’t think… *hint hint*)

    • ljay says:

      Not a fan of McAlisters reuben either ;-)

      • Mike N says:

        I haven’t had either because I don’t like sauerkraut, don’t like thousand island, and don’t like rye (except the whiskey version!) But I can’t imagine Arby’s could out do McCalister’s…

        • ljay says:

          I would agree with that. I’m just not a fan of McAlisters I guess. I realize they are pretty popular but I’ve eaten there twice and just found it to be just regular food. To me they are on the same level as Cheddars. Lots of people rave but I just don’t think the food is special and it all tends to be one note…salt.

          I do think that the more you cook at home the more you notice the level of salt when you dine out and I find most places use way to much salt for my tastes.

  12. ljay says:

    I haven’t looked up the origins of this sandwich but…

    1) There are a TON of Irish folks in Nebraska

    2) As an Irishman, I’ll be enjoying some reubens and Guinness Extra Stout tomorrow at the finest dining establishment in town. My house.

  13. Chefprotoss says:

    My point was that eating a Reuben on St. Patty’s day makes as much sense as eating spaghetti on Cinco De Mayo. Kulakofsky(not Irish, obviously) made a sandwich where not a single ingredient even originated or is eaten with regularity on the green isle, in Omaha Nebraska of all places. As an American-Irishman myself, I am baffled by the US’s St. Patrick’s day traditions.

    • ljay says:

      Yep, I understood your point. I was just commenting on the number of Irish in Nebraska and my St Patricks Day plans.

      Nice review btw CP

      On the origins side, here’s a great piece for any fellow food geeks: http://www.rowlandweb.com/reuben/history.asp

    • Hank says:

      The best Reuben (my favorite sandwich) I ever had was at an Irish pub. They make good corned beef and the sandwich used it thick sliced with a super nutty Irish swiss. Unbelievable.

      So that’s why it’s St. Patty’s day food. Corned beef.

      • Chefprotoss says:

        Just like every month should. be black history month, every day should be Reuben day =)

    • snooks36 says:

      I wish I knew the true origin of the Reuben Sandwich. At one time The Cornhusker Hotel was about the only place that served Reubens. That would be in approxl. 1953. They served them in the Pow Wow Lounge and it was a favorite place to go after a night out on the town. Oh I forgot…in Lincoln Ne. Omaha seems to have laid claim and the before mentioned name seems to be the one. He was a chef, but do not know if that would have been in Lincoln or Omaha. That said, Applebee’s doesn’t begin to compare. However Applebee’s was not even around in the 50’s. I went to Wendy’s the other day to try their Reubens, and I must say it was pretty good. It had way too much corned beef (I never thought I would ever say that!) but I did enjoy it….Oh and by the way, Applebee’s menu on line says that the Reuben is 8.99…yipes…..not on MY Soc. Sec.! LOL

      • snooks36 says:

        After finally finding out what the correct calories and FAT grams are, I don’t think I will be having a Reuben for a good long time. Rather spend my FAT grams on something else!

        Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional dish in this area. But sounds a bit more German-Russian dish than Irish? But my Grandmother that raised me said I was German-Irish so maybe that’s the deal. She always made Reuben Sandwiches after St. Patty’s day with the leftover cornedbeef. Wish I would have paid more attention to how she made them…..they sure were delish!

  14. Peter says:

    Thanks for the heads-up. I was going to use my BOGO today, but I think I’ll buy a brisket at Safeway and make my own this weekend. Reuben’s are by far my favorite sandwiches when done well (I usually ask for the 1000 Island dressing on the side, a little goes a long way).

    I actually always viewed Reubens as the in the province of Jewish Deli’s, not at all Irish – so point well taken.

    ‘Course, der Weinerschnitzel doesn’t sell schnitzel at all (mostly hog dogs), so the tradition of inaptly applied culinary metaphors continues unabated.

  15. Keith says:

    I believe a true Reuben is made with pastrami – a decidedly un-Irish delicatessen. Reubens made with corned beef and coleslaw used to be called Rachels, but nowadays I find that sandwiches marketed as a Rachel are made with turkey. But outside of communities with a Jewish culinary influence, the standard meat for Reuben seems to be corned beef.

    I once even went to a restaurant (in Pennsylvania this was) that had “New York Deli Style Pastrami” on rye with mustard… I ordered it and it was corned beef. It was delicious, but it wasn’t pastrami. That just goes to show, a trip to a real New York Jewish deli is worth it just to experience what real pastrami is – which is piled high on rye bread garnished only with spicy mustard.

    The consumption of corned beef is associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but that is more of an Irish-American tradition, rather than an Irish one.

    That said, trying this with horsey sauce isn’t a bad idea… because Arby’s will never win their attempts to replicate traditional sandwiches. See their “Philly” fail.

  16. wibia says:

    I would really have to want a Reuben to order this one.

  17. Crysta says:

    We used the BOGO coupon to try the Super Reuben, and we weren’t not impressed at all. Too much meat, the bread was sucky, and all the sauerkraut was in one end of the sandwich.

  18. DerekLutz says:

    A reuben in name only. My one go around with this sandwich featured stringy, fatty corned beef, their fast food version of kraut, too much dressing and the bland cheese. But worst is the bread, not rye at all, just colored to look like a marbled rye. I wouldn’t take one for free, let alone BOGO.

    A trip to Izzy’s here in Cincinnati took care of wanting a real reuben.

  19. jan says:

    The reuben in Topsham, Maine, was actually not bad. Lean and tender meat, cheese actually had the bite of real Swiss, and the kraut was good tho not enough of it. My only complaint was the rye bread: it tasted quite rye-ish, but was soft and seemed to be steamed, lacking the buttery crunch of a grilled sandwich. All in all, not a bad sandwich, tho not worth the 5-plus bucks it cost.

  20. joan says:

    Absolutely horrible sandwich—surely not worth the money—would not recommend.