Why you should think twice before ordering gyros from Arby's

The gyro and its culinary cousin, the shawarma, are the scrumptious descendants of the Turkish Döner kebab, per Spoon University. First sold in the 1970s by a Turkish immigrant living in Berlin, this dish is made up of meat that's prepared and cooked on a vertical spit. After thinly slicing this meat, it's then served within a pita or flatbread and dressed up with various fresh toppings (via BBC Travel). 

If you've ever eaten a legit German Döner, your mouth has known true joy. Have it with olives and fried halloumi cheese, and your mouth is in heaven and a half. The mere sight and smell are enough to inspire fits of thunderous hunger, which is fitting, since the German word for "thunder" ("Donner") sounds a bit like "Döner."

Sadly, it seems that Arby's gyros don't inspire that same rumbling thunder-hunger in people. To be fair, you can't expect lightning to strike twice, especially when dealing with a fast food derivative of the mouth-satisfying gyro, which is itself a derivative of oral perfection. So what can you expect?

Arby's has the 'gyro meat'

Looking at the signature items on Arby's online menu will reveal three gyro options: the "traditional Greek" style, roast beef, and roast turkey. The company seems particularly pleased with the roast beef variant, writing, "Nothing says 'I am an adventurous eater and interesting person' like eating a gyro at Arby's." That level of enthusiasm is conspicuously absent from the descriptions of the other gyros. The page for the Greek gyro arguably doesn't describe much of anything. Its protein is generically listed as "Gyro meat."

Immediately, this all reads like accidental self-mockery. Surely, the roast beef gyro is more of a glorified sandwich than an adventure in your mouth. Spoon University contributor Jared Sebby remarks, "As a fresh take on the roast beef sandwich, it does okay." As a gyro, it does less okay: "It's just not exactly the best gyro, but it qualifies." It might also qualify as unhealthy.

The adventurous roast beef gyro contains 550 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 1,290 milligrams of sodium. The nondescript "gyro meat" option clocks in at 710 calories, with 44 grams of fat and 1,360 milligrams of sodium. The turkey version provides 470 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 1,520 milligrams of sodium. With any one of these, you might be biting off more than you should chew, considering that you may get a mouth full of meh.