Arby’s Roastburger: Coulda, Woulda, ShouldaBy Todd • Jun 25th, 2009 • Category: Burger Blog
A few months ago, I was sitting at a red light and noticed a sign for Arby’s new sandwich, something they were calling the “Roastburger.” There was a big picture of it on the window sign. From where I was sitting, a parking lot and three lanes of traffic away, I would have sworn that I was looking at a big fat cheeseburger with a heaping mound of Arby’s awesome roast beef sitting on top.
I broke several traffic laws and did a monster U-turn to go see if I was right. Imagine my disgust when I realized that I was not. Upon closer inspection, this wasn’t a burger at all. This was merely a roast beef sandwich loaded up with some fancy burgeresque toppings.
Not cool. I was really disappointed. I drove away thinking, “Man, that sounded like it would be a great burger.” Every time I drove past an Arby’s or saw an ad for the Roastburger, I was convinced that they were missing out on a golden opportunity for something really great.
Yesterday, I put my theory to the test. My Arby’s was running a promo: Free Roast Beef Sandwich with Any Drink. I took my free sandwich, my medium soda, and drove right over to Burger King (‘cos we’ve established how I feel about BK), where I ordered a one-dollar cheeseburger off of the Value Menu. Then I went home and started my little DIY Roastburger project.
My first decision was the bun. Whose would I use? In truth, I wanted to use Arby’s bun to more closely re-create what I thought I had seen that day in the Arby’s window. But the cheese on the BK burger had glued itself to its bun, and I didn’t want to do any damage during extraction. And really, once I got to looking, they were eerily similar buns anyway. For all I know, both chains get their buns from the same supplier. So I took the Arby’s roast beef and deposited it underneath the BK cheeseburger. (My fantasy Roastburger had the roast beef on top, then the cheese, then the burger… turning the roast beef into a kick-ass burger topping. But oh well. Using a cheeseburger as a roast beef topping is probably what Arby’s what would have done anyway.)
Three words: I WAS RIGHT. My DIY Roastburger was great. Neither the burger nor the roast beef overpowered the other. I got a really great blended taste of both in each bite. Glad I didn’t get cute and do a double cheeseburger or add bacon or sauces or any other toppings. This was a really nice change-of-pace sandwich that, for all the world, I think would sell well if it were on the Arby’s menu. And it was certainly worth the $2.85 I paid to try it out for myself.
There you go, Arby’s. Your next big thing. The Roastburger The Way It Should Have Been The First Time. I know that’s a little long to slap up there on the menu, but I think it’s kind of catchy. I know for a fact it’s damn tasty.