Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Arby's Breakfast

What is this picture and what does it represent?  Well, the quick answer is that it’s the interior of the sandwich I ate one particular Saturday morning.  The long answer is that, due to circumstances that I’ll get into shortly, my brain wasn’t properly functioning, and I forgot to take any pictures of the restaurant’s exterior or interior.  So this is the opening image to today’s article.  See, after I summarily bashed McDonald’s breakfast, I received e-mail from a reader of this site who suggested I try Arby’s breakfast, review it, etc.  He not only guaranteed its tastiness, but also said he’d accompany me on my visit.  We made plans to meet at 9:00AM the following Saturday.  Would we be a team like Mario and Luigi, or vodka and cellular phones, or perhaps a different beast altogether?

If you don’t have an Arby’s in your area, for the record it’s got a Western theme, and their specialty is roast beef sandwiches, lovingly dubbed “Beef ‘N Cheddars” by the adoring public.  When I was in Hollywood a couple summers ago, I saw a prostitute with a sign advertising “Beef “N Cheddar for $35”, but I think she had something else in mind.  Our plan had us meeting at my local Arby’s, on Route 4, on Hamilton’s seedy East Side.  My breakfast buddy Paul showed up a couple minutes after I arrived, and we found out that this particular Arby’s didn’t open their doors until 10:00AM.  He offered to drive us across town; to the distinctively more posh West Side location where he assured me breakfast was being served.  By the time we walked in the door, I was ready for a cowboy to whip out a pistol and shoot curly fries directly into my mouth.

First off, the hashbrowns, or as they were called here, “potato cakes” I believe.  Paul promised they’d kick McDonald’s hashbrowns’ ass… he was so totally right!  These were amazing to me, like dinosaurs playing volleyball.  Well, to be fair, there wasn’t a whole lot going with them; they weren’t terribly flavorful, however, they weren’t grease soaked projectiles like the ones served up daily at McDonald’s, either.  I’d sit gladly upon a throne made entirely of Arby’s potato cakes, wearing nothing but ketchup and a smile.  I had to make note of Paul’s coffee.  Although the picture doesn’t do it justice, there was a very weird chemical film on the top of his coffee, similar visually to the mixture of gasoline and water.  Once we were secure that this wasn’t any of Ivan Ooze or King Koopa’s chicanery due to the insistence of the staff, we continued with our meal.

Behold… our sandwiches!  I got the ham, egg, and cheese croissant, while Paul opted for his personal favorite, the ham, egg, and cheese on sourdough.  This sandwich was better than anything that I’ve ever eaten off McDonald’s breakfast menu.  The main reason being it tasted extremely fresh; it wasn’t greasy, didn’t disrupt my stomach (and subsequently cancel my breakdancing plans), and ultimately, was delicious.  You can opt for bacon or sausage instead of ham, which I’ll most likely try on a future visit.

Here’s Paul, one of my beloved fans, wondering what he has gotten himself into spending a morning with a guy who worships Good Will Hunting.  That’s me, with the heinous hair, and bewildered expression.  I think I was having an odd daydream of monster trucks crushing dogs filled with orange soda… or maybe I was eyeing Paul’s hashbrowns.

Lastly, I decided to get something sweet for dessert and stumbled across this gem.  I didn’t have to swing across crocodile infested water by a rope like in Pitfall, just simply stroll up to the disinterested teenage girl working the counter and order.  This is their apple turnover, it also comes in cherry, but that dredges up too many memories of Mrs. Pac-Man, and I didn’t want Paul to see me cry.  This thing wasn’t remarkable, but it was flaky, in a good way, and worth the pocket change I spent on it.

In conclusion, Arby’s is a much better place to go to for breakfast than McDonald’s.  The food is much better.  It’s healthier, better tasting, and less scary.  Also, something I didn’t note above, it’s a lot more affordable.  And finally, they give you two hashbrowns… instead of the one Ronald’s silly ass forks out with their combos.  Paul… thanks for the idea and invite, driving me around and suffering through my surely banal conversation about old Alf episodes and the characteristics of African elephants.

Overall Grade: B+ 

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