Food Review: Arby’s Deep Fried Turkey Club

At this point, you know I love the gimmick items, and can it get any more gimmicky than going to Arby’s the day after Thanksgiving to try their new Deep Fried Turkey Club? Right at the top — spoiler alert! — I’m going to tell you: I regretted this one. It wasn’t that good.

I mean, look at the presentation here:

The nihilistic Arby’s Twitter account is proving accurate at the moment.

Have you noticed that not only in fast food establishments, but so-called respectable sit-down restaurants, the idea of the sandwich has quite literally been stretched? That is, the purpose seems more to say, hey, how much craziness can we pile between two buns to ostensibly call this a sandwich? They’ve completely forgone any pretense of presentation for the sake of that, not to say nothing of functionality. In other words, shouldn’t the purpose of a sandwich be to hold all the craziness between the buns nice and tight? When I eat a burrito, the burrito experience is ruined if the burrito was rolled by someone who doesn’t know how to properly roll a burrito. The taco experience is ruined when all the nonsense begins immediately falling out of the taco. The pizza experience is ruined if all the toppings and/or cheese slide off the breading. Doesn’t the same hold for the sandwich? If all the craziness inside can’t be contained, you’re sacrificing the integrity of the sandwich for the sake of the crazy!

And that’s my sandwich rant, and it’s applicable to this sandwich. So, inside, we have pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, deep fried turkey breast, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, mayonnaise, and a star cut bun. For one, what a weird assortment of ingredients. I get it’s called a club and club sandwiches traditionally come with tomato, and even the bacon for that matter — and yes, bacon typically makes anything better —, but both seem superfluous. All of that, as you can see from those photos, is poorly stacked between those star cut buns.

The bacon was too hard, which is, again, the first time bacon has disappointed me as an addition to anything. Like, seriously, it hurt my teeth. The cheddar cheese was fine, but cheddar cheese isn’t the best cheese for a reason. The main star of the show, the deep fried turkey breast, was actually good. That’s the saving grace of the sandwich, if there is one. But, let’s be honest, it’s hard to get anything “deep fried” wrong, either.

I would say the main issue with this sandwich, aside from my rant about how messy and crazy it is, is that it’s overloaded with mayonnaise. I’m not much of a mayonnaise guy, but I will concede it does pair well with turkey. It’s not the best combo with turkey (that would be cranberry sauce, gravy as a condiment essentially, and any kind of mustard), but it’s doable. But they overdo it! They’ve practically drowned the poor bird, and the tomato, and the lettuce, and the bacon, and the star crust buns in the mayonnaise. Too much mayonnaise is a gross experience.

The outside the box (see what I did there?) saving grace here is that Arby’s apparently is back to having Coke? I’m pretty certain they used to go with Pepsi products, and I will say, the Coke was pretty tasty. Perhaps even classic McDonald’s Coke-level good. Otherwise, yeah.

As you can see from all of this ranting, as I forewarned you, I did not like this sandwich and would not get it again. If you’re feeling frisky and into gimmicks like me, go ahead and give it a whirl, but bring your swim trunks for the mayo bath, and be prepared to have messy hands.

They could improve the sandwich if they got out of the way of the advertised star: the deep fried turkey. The turkey works. Let it shine here instead of messing it up with tomato, bacon, and a killer dollop of mayonnaise.

If you have already tried this sandwich, what did you think?

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