Arby's Menu Items You Should Absolutely Never Order

When you find yourself in the mood for meat, there's nowhere better to go than Arby's. You've seen the commercials. Trust us, the guy with the booming voice isn't lying when, using the exact same intonation as a squire announcing the arrival of a king, he declares, "WE HAVE THE MEATS!"

Arby's does have the meats, and a whole lot more. Salads, jalapeño bites, milkshakes, they have it all. Arby's has come a long way since their humble roast beef beginnings, but while some may call it "progress," we're more inclined to call most of it "a waste of everyone's time." Well, no more. From now on, you'll know exactly what not to order at Arby's without having to stand there dumbstruck in front of the menu with an impatient line of people behind you. So don't be shy, and go get those meats. Just don't say we didn't warn you about what to avoid.

Arby's Reuben sandwich is just a mess

Generally speaking, sandwiches should remain somewhat intact when you eat them. Things shouldn't be falling out, dripping too much, or worse, turning to mush. This is the problem with Arby's Reuben sandwich. It's a mess, and assuming you're older than the age of 2, there's no excuse for messy food. It gets all over your fingers, there's never enough napkins around, and if you're in public people are probably watching and judging you. 

The main issue here seems to be the bread. This is a sandwich that needs super sturdy rye bread to hold in the saucy stuff, including thousand island dressing and a pile of sauerkraut (which, by the way, could be a lot more "sour"). This bread, however, doesn't stand a chance. Not only does it get soggy, but it doesn't even taste like rye. And while it appears at first as if you get a fair bit of meat, most of it is pushed in toward the middle and tapers off as it gets closer to the crust, creating a gap where there's only bread and maybe some dribbles of thousand island. Not that it matters; by then the whole thing has self destructed. You know what? Forget it.

The wraps are Arby's are sadly outdated

Excuse us, but what are wraps doing on the Arby's menu? This isn't the 90's. People aren't bedazzling their jeans, Melrose Place is off the air, and nobody cares about wraps anymore. (Unless, of course, they're called "burritos.") Wraps are relics. They may have been all the rage back in the day, but so were Dunkaroos, and you certainly don't see those anywhere. Nowadays, wraps are what you see at corporate luncheons and 7-Eleven. That should tell you everything.

In truth, wraps were never even that great in the first place. They were notoriously dry and totally unimaginative, and these are no exception. They're also not as good for you as you think. The roast turkey ranch and bacon wrap, for example, is a whopping 620 calories, half of which come from fat. To compare, a cup of macaroni and cheese is only 376 calories, and only about two-fifths of that come from fat. So not only are they terrible, but they're unjustifiably so. Time to leave these things in the past where they belong.

Arby's gyro is short on adventure

According to their web site, "Nothing says 'I am an adventurous eater and interesting person' like eating a gyro at Arby's." This is a slight exaggeration. An adventurous eater and interesting person wouldn't go to Arby's to eat a hot gyro, they'd go to Japan to eat a potentially deadly blowfish. In fact, the only thing remotely adventurous about this gyro is the fact that it has tzatziki sauce, which is basically yogurt with cucumbers and dill. (Well, that, and the fact that it's fun to say the word "tzatziki.") Unfortunately, the rest of it falls a little short. 

Gyros are meant to be meaty. Usually they're made with sizzling hot lamb shavings from a vertical rotisserie. Arby's, however, makes theirs with slices of roast beef or turkey, meats that aren't even close to lamb in taste, texture, or substance in general. It's like the poor man's gyro. As one writer for Spoon University put it, "it would appear Arby's has given up trying to create a reasonable facsimile of the real thing." So if you want an authentic gyro, forget about this one and just go to a gyro shop. 

Don't order milkshakes and meat together at Arby's

Let's be clear: milkshakes are awesome. They're like candy you can sip through a straw. They're also the perfect summer drink, and because most places have them, they're a good excuse to have ice cream and lunch together without judgement. But before you go ordering yourself a yummy Arby's milkshake to go with one of their towering, meat-tastic sandwiches, you should know exactly what it'll do to your stomach.

Different food groups require different enzymes to digest. This includes milk — and, by extension, milkshakes — neither of which combine well with other foods. Milk differs from other proteins in that it's a complete food all by itself that gets digested in the small intestine, so when milk is present in the stomach, it inhibits the secretion of enzymes you need to break down other foods. Then you're just stuck with a big ol' pile of chewed up brisket sitting there for who knows how long, and probably really uncomfortable. And if that's not enough reason to keep the milkshakes away from the meat, consider this: a medium Ultimate Chocolate Shake, one with "premium Ghirardelli chocolate and drizzled with even more real, premium Ghirardelli chocolate" (oh, yeah), is a whopping 570 calories. Hello, that's almost a whole meal. In ice cream. Maybe think about having one only every once in a while. Just sayin'.

Arby's jalapeño bites are the wrong kind of hot

It's hard to go wrong with any food you can toss up and catch in your mouth. However, Arby's jalapeno bites might have to be the exception, and not just because they're slightly too long and awkwardly shaped. It's because they're way too weird and freakishly hot. And by hot, we actually mean scorching. Arby's website describes them as "spicy jalapeno halves with melted cream cheese, battered and fried for a fiery treat," but what they fail to mention is the part where they burst open in your mouth and burn the enamel right off your teeth. All you can do at that point is wait for what one reviewer calls this "tongue-coating mess of paste" to either dissipate or permanently settle. 

But there is hope. The jalapeno bites come with a small tub of what they call Bronco Berry Sauce. It resembles cherry pie filling and tastes oddly of flowers. We're not quite sure it goes with the jalapeno bites, but at least it won't scald you.

Avoid anything with cheddar cheese sauce at Arby's

If there was ever a food that never should have been invented, it's cheddar cheese sauce. It's kind of disgusting. We're inclined to compare it to the popular "cheese food" known as Velveeta, but if we do you might conclude this horrifying collection of barely edible sludge is actually food. And while there are plenty of equally day-glow orange products on the market we're happy to recommend — namely, Sour Patch Kids and Flamin' Hot Cheetos — this definitely isn't one. One might suspect they make it in a lab, but that seems way too generous. Clearly it's made under a bridge somewhere by trolls.

Now this may or may not be a surprise, but cheese used to be like, four ingredients. The main one was milk. The first ingredient in Arby's cheese sauce, however, is water, followed by canola oil, modified corn starch, then cheddar cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), something called maltodextrin, and a bunch of other scary sounding words. Suffice it to say, this is not the most natural food in the world, or the most appetizing. As one Redditer put it, "I'll just say this: Cleaning out the cheese goop pump when closing was enough to prepare me for working with human stool, sputum, and blood lab specimens without blinking years later." Yikes.

Arby's strength is not their salads

We get it. Arby's wants to be known for more than just the fast food restaurant that only serves meat. It was bad enough when everyone thought they only served roast beef — which would be a terrible business model — but in their defense, every Arby's does have a ridiculously large, cowboy hat shaped neon sign outside that says, "Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich is Delicious" so you really can't blame anyone for getting the wrong idea.

Salads are the outliers of fast food. They're the kid at a 5th grade birthday party nobody ever talks to at school, but the birthday kid's mother made sure he got invited anyway so he wouldn't feel left out. It's possible you didn't even know Arby's had salads — even though they've been on the menu since 1991 — and if not, take our word for it, you're not missing much. The Chopped Side Salad, comprised of a handful of lettuce, diced tomato and a sad sprinkle of cheese, is equally as dismal as the Crispy Chicken Farmhouse Salad (or turkey, in some locations) with added meat and bacon. As one person put it, "your salads are pitiful." That's what happens when you try to compete with places like Subway and Panera, two far superior salad makers. 

Do yourself a favor, and stick to the meats.

Arby's French Dip is a sodium bomb

No doubt about it, the French dip is a classic, and a fan favorite at Arby's. You have to love a sandwich you're encouraged to dunk over and over again in hot meat juice. Funzies, right?

Uh, wrong. Sodium-wise, the Arby's Half Pound French Dip is the absolute worst thing on the menu for you. We're talking about 3,400 milligrams of artery-hardening, blood pressure-raising, possibly brain damage-causing sodium. The American Heart Association recommends taking in 2,300 milligrams a day, so in one sandwich you're already into the next day's allotment. Then there's the fat content which, according to the Cleveland Clinic, should be 20-35 percent of the total calories you eat. The half-pound French Dip is 740 calories, and 310 of those are from fat. You don't need a math degree to see that you're crushing that limit — and you haven't had any curly fries yet. And for the record, we are aware nobody goes to Arby's expecting to see a smorsgasburg of tasty health food. Look what we said about salads. But at one point you have to draw the line, and this might have to be it.

Avoid anything with turkey at Arby's

Question: Does anyone actually like turkey? We're guessing no, because turkey sucks. It's bland, it's tragically dry, and it kind of squeaks when you chew it. Turkey is the reason people hate Thanksgiving and it needs to be stopped before it officially ruins another holiday. We think tryptophan might be a myth and that it's the turkey actually boring you to sleep. It's what you get when you drain the moisture and taste out of chicken. Turkey wishes it was chicken. At least then no one would have to drown it in gravy just to avoid ending up with a wad of dry meat stuck in their throat.

In fairness, it's not really their fault. it's almost impossible to cook a turkey all the way through without drying it out, because turkeys are frickin' huge. And since eating raw birds is a great way to get salmonella poisoning — which can kill you, by the way — they have to sit in the oven until they're done. Chickens, on the other hand, are smaller and much easier to cook. Stay with that and you can't go wrong.

Go easy on the fried stuff at Arby's

Fried food is, well, amazing. What's not to love about breaded stuff, boiled in scalding hot oil and loaded with trans fats? The increased risk of heart disease? Or the toxins that can form in foods during high-temperature cooking? Or... oh, never mind. You get it.

Here's the thing about fried food, and, for that matter, any other food that will eventually kill you if you eat enough: it's called moderation. Nobody likes it, but moderating what you eat doesn't mean you'll never get to go to Arby's for those unbelievably delicious mozzarella sticks you love again, it just means don't go every damn day. That's just asking for trouble, and you'd probably get really sick of them anyway. And if you can't stand life without something crispy to bite into, you can always be that person who deep fries stuff at home using heart-healthy olive oil or sunflower oil. Your body will thank you.