Review: King’s Hawaiian BBQ Brisket Sandwich from Arby’s
When Arby’s released their Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich last year, I praised in most areas and shamed in a few others. Overall I felt the sandwich was good and had a lot of potential to be an amazing fast food BBQ sandwich. The new King’s Hawaiian BBQ Brisket Sandwich at Arby’s should please those looking for a stripped down version of the original. Arby’s describes their King’s Hawaiian BBQ Brisket Sandwich like this:
Sweet and savory. Fluffy and smoky. We combined the best sweet buns in Hawaii with our Texas-smoked brisket to create a sandwich that makes both states proud. Send your mouth a souvenir from Hawaii and Texas without ever leaving Arby’s.
The King’s Hawaiian BBQ Brisket Sandwich has fewer ingredients than the Smokehouse version. I’m sure a lot of you will be happy (including myself) to know there’s no mayo this time around. There’s also no crispy fried onions of smoked Gouda cheese with this one.
Just like the Smokehouse version, the brisket is moist, tender and piled on. This is a meaty meal, just like Arby’s intended with their whole “Meatcraft” mantra. The consistency of the brisket was a little uneven in some spots where a couple of cuts seemed fattier than others. I figured I should point that out, but I still plowed through the sandwich happily. Arby’s continues to remind us that their brisket is hickory smoked for 13 hours. At a 244 grams serving weight, this ½ pound-plus sandwich is filling, but pricey at $5.49 for the sandwich alone.
The barbeque sauce is called “Smoky Q Sauce” and there’s a good amount of it in each bite. It’s smoky with some tangy sweetness… no spicy bite unfortunately. I felt there was also a slightly bitter flavor coming from the sauce and I’m wondering if it was more noticeable this time around considering there wasn’t a bunch of extra ingredients cutting into its flavor. The crinkle cut pickles first appeared in the King’s Hawaiian Roast Beef & Swiss sandwich and I loved them there. With this sandwich I welcomed their return. If the pickles were overly briny and sour, I’d probably struggle to find something good to say about them. The crinkle cut pickles work well and balance the flavors. There are only a few pickle slices, one more would’ve been perfect.This sandwich headlines its name with “King’s Hawaiian” and it’s definitely a quality bun that I loved in every sandwich Arby’s has used it with so far. With this sandwich, it’s still a great bun, but the old toasted bakery-style bun seemed to do a better job at containing the ingredients. The King’s Hawaiian bun is so soft that it kind of squishes down and flattens when gripping the sandwich. I enjoyed the subtle sweetness, but I think the bun worked a lot better in other sandwiches.
There are some hits and misses with the King’s Hawaiian BBQ Brisket Sandwich. If I could combine a few qualities of the old brisket sandwich with the new, I’d likely create a hall of fame sandwich. This version didn’t impress me too much. My next brisket sandwich order at Arby’s will likely be the original (and hold the mayo).
Pros: Plenty of meat. Crinkle cut pickles. Sweetness of the King's Hawaiian bun. No mayo!
Cons: Smoky Q sauce was a little bitter/vinegary and needs some peppery quality to it. Soft texture of the King's Hawaiian bun mixed with a lack of lighter layers of ingredients made for a flattened sandwich. Pricey.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.75/10
Overall GrubGrade: 6.00/10
More Info: arbys.com
Serving Weight – 244 grams
Calories – 660
Total Fat – 27 grams
Saturated Fat – 11 grams
Cholesterol – 160 milligrams
Sodium – 1200 milligrams
Carbs – 69 grams
Dietary Fiber – 3 grams
Sugars – 28 grams
Protein – 37 grams