Fast Food Review: New! Jr. Turkey Ranch Sandwich from Arby’s
McDonald’s doing oatmeal? Dunkin’ Donuts doing egg whites? Chick-fil-A doing spicy chicken on biscuits? Really folks, this is getting ridiculous! Where have our fast food staples gone? What happened to the days where I could count on McDonald’s serving me up fare that would lead to an early death, as opposed to – you know – farts and a haughty sense of breakfast elitism? At least I can count on Arby’s. At least they haven’t changed their tune, and are sticking to nothing but the same pre-chopped, low quality roast beef in all its salty-fatty goodness.
Oh, how silly of me – that was in 2010, not 2011! No, in 2011 Arby’s is adding a new item to it’s rapidly expanding Value Menu, and this protein sandwich choice comes from a bird of a different feather: turkey. That’s right, turkey. If serving up a lean cut of non-chicken white meat between a bun wasn’t crazy enough, Arby’s has even resisted the temptation to pair its latest creation with the familiar accompaniments of cranberry and gravy. The fast food world, needless to say, is in for a shock. We are truly living in uncertain times.
Launched amidst virtually no fanfare, the Jr. Turkey Ranch Sandwich is being offered as a limited time menu item on the value menu. I snagged mine at a Maryland mall location for $1.69, although I imagine that at non-mall locations it is offered at $1.00. Regardless, Arby’s has this to say:
The Jr. Turkey Ranch Sandwich features oven-roasted turkey, freshly sliced turkey with creamy ranch sauce, lettuce and tomato on a toasted sesame seed bun.
As usual, Arby’s sold me on this with their ad, which features a deliciously and well portioned sandwich piled high with thick-cut turkey, market-fresh veggies, and an intriguing peppercorn ranch sauce. $1.69? Sounds like a bargain. And even though I’ve made a staunch resolution to eat nothing but fast food crap this year, a little post Holiday healthy eating might be good for me.
OK, so we agree it’s an interesting concept, but does it work? Well, yes and no. While the size may not live up to the ad photo, it is a bit bigger than most value menu sized sandwiches, including the Jr. Ham and Cheddar. The bun is well toasted, and has a chewy, slightly sweet and nutty taste. Because the meat used is roasted turkey deli meat, the bun isn’t overwhelmed. That, unfortunately, might be part of the problem. The turkey itself is par for the course with what you’d expect to find from a pillow pack of Hillshire Farms roast turkey in the market, but with less than two ounces of meat on a fairly large bun, it gets lost. And what’s up with this description of “freshly sliced turkey”? I didn’t notice any difference in the two shredded deli slices on mine, and while they weren’t factory made salty or overly processed, they didn’t taste just out-of-the-oven fresh either. Eaten alone, it’s salty, a wee bit sweet and slightly savory, and it does get a little pepper kick from the tart ranch sauce, but I couldn’t help but lament that the meat to bun to lettuce ratio was out of whack.
As you noticed, I got my sauce on the side. I’ve always been a little leery of sauce overkill, and I wanted to taste it as is. I’m not a huge ranch guy, but I still liked the sauce, which is described as a “Parmesan Pepper Ranch Sauce.” It definitely has a black pepper taste and a kind of lemony tartness that most ranch sauce’s have, but I really did detect an extra savory flavor – no doubt the “Parmesan” element.
No, it ain’t the most flavorful sandwich. But it’s cheap and healthy (220 calories and 1 gram saturated fat) with a very good sauce. Once more, knowing the vast array of sauces Arby’s has in its arsenal, I can imagine someone coming up with just the flavor combination to hit the spot. But do yourself a favor and at least try to request double meat; without it, and you might just find yourself wandering over to the nearby McDonald’s in the mall wondering “do I dare” in a world where oatmeal has become the new burger and coffee the new coke.
Pros: Turkey for the cheap at a fast food restaurant. Healthy post Holiday eats. Non-slimy or overly sodium enhanced turkey meat. Warm toasted bun. Tasty and zesty Parmesan and peppercorn ranch sauce.
Cons: >Another sign of the approaching apocalypse as confirmed by a fast food chain going outside the norm. No way that sauce isn't that bad for you when they actually put it on themselves. Paying an extra .69 cents for something that should cost a buck. Too much bun for even a carbophile like me.
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.75/10
Price: 1.69 (Price may vary by location)
Overall GrubGrade: 7.75 (Good)
More Info: Arbys.com
Arby's Jr. Chicken Ranch Sandwich
Total Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sodium: 700 mg
Total Carbs: 26 grams
Fiver: 2 grams
Sugars: 5 grams
Protein: 15 grams