Review: Buffalo Chicken Slider from Arby’s
It’s interesting to step back and look at how fast food has evolved over the last decade. About nine years ago, when I started college, I used to live off value menus. Arby’s had one of the better value menus out there, but these days, the chain is more likely to release a new premium, $6 sandwich than something on the low end of the spectrum. I’m more than happy with that approach since Arby’s “premium” meats (not to mention their cheeses and other toppings) usually live up their billings. But lately, I’ve noticed Arby’s has been focusing some attention on the value part of their menu. The new Buffalo Chicken Slider is the latest innovation to the “$1.29 menu,” which, from 2-5 p.m. daily, drops to $1.The new Buffalo Chicken Slider is described as:
A crispy chicken tender dipped in spicy buffalo sauce and topped with Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch. For when you want to step things up, but just a little bit, because it’s a slider.
As you can see, the sandwich looks pretty ridiculous in its holster. You may also want to avoid the drive-through with this one, since, if you do get it to-go like I did, you’re liable to get some leaking from the sauce.That said, the slider works well. Buffalo chicken isn’t anything ground breaking, but Arby’s doesn’t screw it up; the Buffalo sauce has a fiery cayenne and vinegar flavor that’s cut by the tang and sweetness of the ranch, which has both the standard buttermilk taste and an unexpected zesty aftertaste from the parmesan. Basically, the whole sandwich tastes like a boneless chicken wing, albeit without all the flavorless vegetation of the celery, not to mention a more sophisticated take on the cooling sauce. Thankfully, the breading on the chicken still had some crispiness despite a ten-minute car ride, and my only qualm with the chicken was that there was a meatless crispy end piece on my strip.In my opinion, Arby’s has the best rolls in fast food, and the “mini-bun” keeps the tradition alive. The best way to describe the mini-bun is to say it’s a kid-sized version of a Portuguese roll; it’s firm but not stiff, with some sweetness and a little bit of buttery flavor. It’s perfect for soaking up the sauce, and even gets some additional flavor from the flour on top.I liked the Buffalo Chicken Slider so much that the only downside I can see to it is that Arby’s doesn’t offer a full-size version of the sandwich. Regardless, the slider concept works, and at $1.29 the slider is definitely a comparable buy to a McChicken or other value menu chicken sandwich. If nothing else, the sliders prove there is quality even in value menu items.
Pros: Juicy and crispy chicken strip bathed in spicy Buffalo sauce and an upscale version of Ranch. Excellent “mini-bun” with doughy chew. Good value, especially between 2-5 p.m.
Cons: No full-sized version. A bit messy to get to-go. Looks like a bad sex joke.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 8.00/10
More Info: arbys.com
290 calories, 13 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 860 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of protein.