Fast Food Review: New! Ultimate Angus Philly from Arby’s
Well, it’s official. Add Arby’s to the list of best fast food and fast casual sub restaurants.
Earlier this month Arby’s rolled out the third sub in its “Ultimate Angus” line when the chain announced that it had perfected the “best Philly sandwich outside of Philadelphia.” I may not have eaten at world-famous cheesesteak meccas like Pat’s and Geno’s in the City of Brotherly Love, but as someone who was born not a half hour outside the city, I do think I’m qualified to appreciate a good cheesesteak. Having reviewed and raved about the first of Arby’s Angus subs, I was excited to see if the Ultimate Angus Philly really deserves its marketing title.
The Ultimate Angus Philly from Arby’s:
The Ultimate Angus Philly is featured on our famous toasted sub roll and piled high with thinly sliced Angus beef. We season the warm beef with Italian herbs, and then top it with fire-roasted green bell peppers, onions and melted Swiss cheese, all finished with a roasted garlic aioli.
At $4.99 for just the sandwich, the Ultimate Angus Philly may be the same price at a Subway footlong, but make no mistake about it: this sandwich is the antithesis of what they serve at Subway. I mean that in a good way, because where Subway tends to fall back on skimpy portions of oversalted roast beef and cold-toasted cheese, Arby’s gets it right by over-stuffing their hoagie style rolls with plenty of juicy Angus beef.
The presentation alone is enough to make you salivate. Opening the container, I found the sub to not only be warm, but exuding a fair amount of steam. I honestly have no idea how they assemble the whole thing, but it had that kind of “hot off the griddle” aroma, with the Angus beef literally melting the layer of Swiss cheese before my eyes. I was a little uneasy by not seeing the peppers and onions but after opening up the sub I found them plentiful and well charred.
Key word is charred. What you’re getting here really does look and taste like grilled onions and peppers, which lend an air of light crunch and sweetness to the beef. Make no mistake about it though, the beef is the star here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — if Arby’s regular roast beef is Carl Buddig, then Arby’s Angus beef is Boar’s Head. It really is top of the line. Lean but juicy, it tastes strongly of garlic and black pepper, even boasting a savory crust and tender interior that shows no sign of chewiness or stringy texture that you sometimes get with unmelted intramuscular fat. Incredibly savory and just the right temperature, it gets a creamy and mild counterbalance from the Swiss cheese, which unlike the kinds of cheese most fast food places use, actually comes melted.
Even the garlic aioli has a pleasant, but not overpowering, taste and tang. It provides a needed hydrophobic element to keep the structural integrity of the bread. That’s another thing I love about this sandwich — the bread. Served warm, the bread stays chewy and neutral, absorbing the juices of the meat and fusing with the melted cheese while providing a slightly crusty exterior that allows the protein to shine.
I really can’t say enough about this sub. While I can’t help but wonder if the addition of Arby’s outstanding bacon would make this even better, I can definitely see myself ordering the new Angus Philly on a regular basis. That Arby’s has introduced a kind of “Angus rewards” program — which lets you redeem ‘stamps’ on the purchases of four Angus subs for a free fifth sub — only means I’ll have extra incentive to pick up the Angus Philly in the future. Best Philly Cheesesteak outside of Philadelphia? Well,that’s debatable, but for $4.99 I’ll gladly save a trip fighting traffic on 95 to get my cheesesteak fix by going to my local Arby’s.
Pros: Flavorful, top of the line Angus beef taste. Over-stuffed hoagie roll. Charred peppers and onions have pleasant sweetness and just enough bite. Melted, creamy Swiss cheese. Garlic aioli lives up to the hype. $4.99 is comparable price for high-end fast food sandwiches.
Cons: Sodium bomb. Over 1000 calories when you add a small order of fries (guilty). Maybe a little too much in favor of the meat to bread ratio. Cheese is a bit mild tasting. Would be best thing ever with bacon.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Overall GrubGrade: 8.75/10
More Info: Arbys.com
Arby's Ultimate Angus Philly Sub
Total Fat: 30 grams
Saturated Fat: 9 grams
Cholesterol: 90 mg
Total Carbs: 49 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugars: 4 grams
Protein: 40 grams