Review: Loaded Italian from Arby’s

Nearly six years ago we published a review of the Classic Italian Toasted Sub from Arby’s.  A lot has changed at Arby’s since then including some noticeable quality upgrades.  Since I didn’t write that review from 2009 and the Classic Italian Toasted Sub has been updated to become the new Loaded Italian, it’s worthy enough for me to take a closer look and give it a proper GrubGrade review.
Loaded Italian
 Arby’s describes their new Loaded Italian sandwich like this:
You might want to sit down. This could take a while. We took the best of the Italian meats – ham, salami, and pepperoni, sliced them up thin, then stacked them higher than feasibly possible with melted Swiss cheese. But we didn’t stop there. We piled banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on there too, and drizzled it all with a red wine vinaigrette, topped with garlic aioli, all on a toasted Italian roll. OK, you can get up now.​
Yes, Arby’s has the meats and the Loaded Italian features three of them.  Recently we’ve covered roast turkey, smoked brisket, and of course roast beef.  The Loaded Italian has ham which is familiar to recent Arby’s sandwiches like the Brown Sugar Bacon & Pit Smoked Ham Sandwich, but it also features salami and pepperoni which we rarely see featured.

Loaded Italian 2The most prominent meat from just the visual aspect is the roast ham.  This ham is a lot different than the pit smoked ham found in the Brown Sugar Bacon sandwich as it’s more of a thin sliced deli style.  It lacks the sweetness of that thick-cut pit smoked ham, but it packs a good amount of smoky flavor.  This ham doesn’t have the same newness as the pit smoked version and that’s OK because it fits the Italian-style sandwich a lot better.  There’s more slices of roast ham than there is salami and pepperoni in order to thicken up the sandwich without overloading too much on the saltier meats.  You don’t need a ton of slices of salami or pepperoni to make an impact as their spiced, sharp flavors easily cut through the rest of the ingredients with just a couple of slices.
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I usually have a hard time finding a lot of impact from cheese unless it’s packed with it or super sharp so I didn’t expect much from the processed slice of Swiss.  Surprisingly the Swiss managed to be quite noticeable in flavor and texture which is a little shocking considering all the strong flavors surrounding it.  The cheese provided a little creaminess with a mild sweet nutty taste.  There’s a red wine vinaigrette and roasted garlic aioli in the Loaded Italian and they kind of became one.  I felt the roasted garlic aioli could’ve been scaled back a bit since gobs of the stuff seemed to jut out of every corner of the sandwich with each bite.  The aioli gave the sandwich some balanced soft, creamy textures with a nice garlicky complement to the salty meats.  This definitely isn’t a strong grubbing on the go sandwich since the aioli and oily red wine vinaigrette tend to mix in spots where you might run into issues with dressing drips.
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In addition to the meats and dressings, the Loaded Italian also features some tangy banana peppers which thankfully weren’t overdone and a little on the mild side.  There were just a few scattered pieces of banana peppers to break up the flavors in a few spots.  There’s also some red onion and a sliced tomatoes for a little added freshness.  The shredded iceberg lettuce didn’t do much for me, but it seemed to help cushion the toasted parts of the bread to prevent them from being saturated with the aioli and vinaigrette.  I loved the toasted, yet soft-where-it-needed-to-be sub roll and personally I feel it’s probably a step up from the ciabatta used in the Classic Italian Toasted Sub from 2009.  Another grubbing on the go issue did come from the sub roll though since it had an overly dusty top crust.
Loaded Italian Collage

At a price of $4.99 for the sandwich alone, the Loaded Italian seemed about what I expected.  It’s about 8″ long and Arby’s didn’t skimp on the meat… hence the “Loaded” name.  Yeah it’s really salty, but it’s expected from an Italian sandwich featuring salami and pepperoni.  A huge step up over Subway and maybe a little shy of Jimmy John’s territory make the Loaded Italian a pretty solid addition to the Arby’s menu.

Pros: Filling. Meaty. Dusty bun, but a great bun. Noticeable cheese for a change.

Cons: The creaminess of the aioli mixed with the runny vinaigrette made me think Arby's should have just used one or the other. Things got messy. I would have liked some more red onion.

Taste: 7.50/10
Value: 6.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 4.75/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 7.25/10

More Info: arbys.com
Nutrition Facts:
Serving weight - 306 grams
Calories - 630
Fat - 36 grams
Saturated fat - 12 grams
Cholesterol - 95 milligrams
Sodium - 2470 milligrams
Carbs - 47 grams
Fiber - 3 grams
Sugar - 5 grams
Protein - 31 grams

24 comments on “Review: Loaded Italian from Arby’s

  1. Pimousse says:

    That ham looks good! Definitely not the same ham used on their ham & cheddars.. Way to step up your game, Arby’s!

  2. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Looks like a good deal for the money.

  3. scram says:

    I liked this sandwich, but didn’t care for the banana peppers.

  4. ruckus says:

    sounds pretty good – I’ve been avoiding Arby’s since the last time I went there I got really stale buns, but I might give this a try

  5. Dank meme says:

    That sandwich looks really sad.

  6. rob says:

    Looks really good Arby’s is making a convert of me

  7. Michael says:

    Ham on an Italian is strange.

    Your photo looks way more loaded than the promo.

  8. Sndwch Gy says:

    The loaded italian is delicious but the salt borders the line of too much near the end. Only complaint I have.

  9. CulinaryZerg says:

    I’m sorry, but given how many other places actually specialize in making a good Italian sandwich–such as Jimmy Johns, Firehouse, PotBellys, Jersey Mike’s., etc.–I don’t see a need to try one from Arby’s any more than I’d want to order a hamburger from Long John Silver’s.

  10. Larry Painter says:

    We had the loaded italian and I wasn’t happy with it. I asked how much meat was in itandthey said three slices each. So much for loaded. A balony sandwich with two slices is more than I received. So much for Arbys.

  11. Kevin says:

    I just finished this sandwich about 5 minutes ago.

    The good: a lot of meat and the types of meat they put in the sandwich tasted good. Filling. I liked the vegetables they put on it including the banana peppers which I was surprised about. I’m usually not a pepper guy but they weren’t as spicy as I was expecting.

    The bad: I did not care for the vinaigrette or the other weird sauce that was on it. It just gave it a strange overall taste to me. I would have much preferred mayonnaise or a mayo combo. The bun was soft on the outside but since it’s supposed to be toasted I was expecting it to be a little more crunchy on the inside. It was not. It was basically just warm all over. And because of the vinaigrette the bun seemed to get soggy very quickly.

    Overall: Not bad. Would I order it again? Maybe if I had a coupon. Haha!

  12. David says:

    Living in Philadelphia my whole life, I have absolutely no desire to try an Italian with Swiss cheese or pepperoni on it, let alone an Italian from Arby’s.

  13. Jacqueline says:

    Sucked.not hot not toasted.my store did not give a rats ass.

  14. ThatOneGuy says:

    First of all the cheese is provolone, not Swiss. Also, who do people who have never tried it or claim that they never will comment on it? Their opinion are not valid. Anyway, for Arby’s, this is a good sandwich. However, like all fast-food chain restaurants, the quality can vary by location. I’ve eaten this sandwich three times now and each time it was perfect and delicious. The sandwich in the box looked just like the picture on the menu board and I was very pleased with the value. Way better than Jimmy John’s.

  15. K9Dave says:

    I just had this sandwich today, It was really good. The only con would be that it’s messy to eat.

  16. absinthe says:

    I’ve pretty much tried all the other Italian sandwiches that exist, but the Loaded Italian easily blows away the competition. I just had one. It was so good, I may go back for another for dinner. Unlike most American food (bland), this baby has some very good flavor. My new favorite sandwich.

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