19 February, 2012

Review: Arby's Fish Sandwich

I don't like Arby's. I haven't liked them since they stopped using whole beef roasts for their sandwiches (they use some kind of strange oval-shaped roast-like thing that they make by gluing various chunks of beef together. Eww.)

Anyway, I would never even give them a thought at lunch time if it weren't for the big signs in the front windows of the local Arby's advertising two fish sandwiches for five dollars, which is a decent deal.  The signs caught Maryanne's eye as we drove by yesterday, and it was lunch time, and Maryanne said, "Let's get that fish sandwich deal from Arby's for lunch."

Arby's has been advertising that they have "the best fish sandwich in the business." I am astonished to find myself agreeing with them. Their fish sandwich is pretty awesome. It's a fairly large patty, rather oddly shaped into an irregular pentagon. There is shredded iceberg lettuce - not too much, and obligatory tartar sauce - not too much. The fish had a very pleasant crunchy coating and the whole thing was served on a soft sesame roll. And I'm certainly not going to complain about the price, since the two of us each got a sandwich for that five-dollar bill.

Props also to Arby's for their curly fries and their mozzarella sticks, two more menu items which were very good and very fairly priced.

I would probably go to Arby's for their fish sandwich again, even if it were the regular price. But it won't be at the Arby's in my hometown.

You see, the Arby's in Enfield (right off I-91's Exit 48) is usually deserted. The half-mile stretch of Elm Street in town is home to a bunch of fast-food and casual-dining restaurants: Arby's, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Denny's, Friendly's, and Dunkin Donuts are all within eyeball range of each other. McDonald's, Arby's, and Burger King are right in a row, and Arby's regularly gets its ass kicked in terms of sales. Even at the busiest lunch and dinner hours when parking lots are full and long lines of cars wind around through the drive-thrus, Arby's drive-thru is empty and its parking lot barren. I finally found out why on Friday when we stopped for the fish:  The staff doesn't seem to know what's going on.

I don't understand how I can be at a fast food place with only two other customers and still have to wait over twenty minutes for two fish sandwiches, one medium curly fries, and one small order of mozzarella sticks. The manager and his employees seemed competent and intelligent enough, and the young man taking our order at the register was efficient and enthusiastic. And yet, there we were, waiting. And waiting. With our feet sticking to the floor (kind of disgusting, and another real anomaly, since the rest of the place seemed exceptionally clean.)

So, thumbs-up for Arby's fish sandwich, and thumbs-down for Arby's the restaurant (at least the one in Enfield.)


J. Astro said...

Just had a couple o' these for lunch today m'self, and they ARE pretty tasty. Especially with cheese on 'em. And I go the drive-thru every time. Can't stand eating inside fast food restaurants anymore.

cybele said...

Does your Arby's still have a sign like this?


Dave said...

cybele, the Arby's in town was built many years after the Big Hat signs stopped being used.

I think there's an Arby's in nearby Chicopee MA that has one like that, though.

Steve said...

As we learned (I think) back when I won 31 free Arby's lunches, your local Arby's is a lone wolf; a solo franchisee doing his own thing and failing miserably at it.

They don't participate in many of the national promotions and for whatever reason don't keep up with the times (Or take free lunch coupons.)

The deli type sandwiches (turkey, etc) were actually pretty good last time I had one and I've been known to pocket a few extra dozen horsey sauces for home use.

Dave said...

Arby's is OK - as is the BK Fish at 2/$4. But nothing compares with the original BK Whaler (from the 1970s). Not even the McDuck's Filet-O-Fish - the granddaddy (and best IMO) of them all. A Mickey D's Filet meal with a cuppa hot chocolate on a brisk Lenten evening .... it just doesn't get much better,

Christina said...

Reminds me of when I was in college and two carfuls of us college kids were going across state (PA) to some college for some convention...on a Friday in Lent. We stopped at a lone McD's on Rt. 80 and all ordered Filet-O-Fish and waited a long long time to get them all...I don't think these places serve a lot of fish..at least you can assume yours were cooked fresh..

Anonymous said...

I work at an arbys in Tennessee and are times are getting better and we try are best to keep the place clean and efficient. So not all of them are bad.

Boompa said...

The only reason I go to Arby's is to get their Fish Sandwich. No other fast-food Fish Sandwich can compare with the one at Arby's. I just hope they continue to carry it.

Boompa said...

The only reason I go to Arby's is to get their Fish Sandwich. In my opinion, it is currently the best fast-food fish sandwich available. I just hope they continue to offer it.

Boompa said...

The only reason I go to Arby's is to get their Fish Sandwich. In my opinion, it is currently the best fast-food fish sandwich available. I just hope they continue to offer it.

kassie719 said...

This afternoon, I decided to try the Fish Sandwich at Arby's. First thing I noticed was the 'fishy smell' and then, a definite fishy taste. This made me think that the fish was old and getting ready to spoil. Was in a hurry, ate the curly fries and the rootbeer, and hummed the sandwich. Just awful.