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best fast food roast beef sandwich

 Are you in the mood for a delicious and hearty roast beef sandwich, but don't have the time or energy to make it yourself? Look no further than your local fast-food joint. While fast-food restaurants may not be the first place you think of when it comes to high-quality sandwiches, there are some hidden gems out there, particularly when it comes to roast beef. From Arby's famous roast beef to lesser-known regional variations, we've compiled a list of the best fast-food roast beef sandwiches around. Get your taste buds ready for a mouthwatering journey through some of the most satisfying roast beef sandwiches in the fast-food world.


I. Introduction

A. Definition of fast food roast beef sandwich

A fast food roast beef sandwich is a popular menu item found in many restaurants and fast food chains around the United States. According to Wikipedia, it is "made out of sliced or sometimes chopped, roast beef," and is commonly served on a bun with toppings such as American cheese, lettuce, and tomato. The sandwich can be served hot or cold and comes in a range of styles and variations.

One variation is the classic roast beef sandwich, which can be found at restaurants such as Arby's. This sandwich is made with thinly sliced beef, served on a sesame seed bun and topped with Arby's Sauce. Another popular variation is the beef 'n cheddar sandwich, also from Arby's, which includes "thinly sliced roast beef, cheddar cheese sauce, and red ranch sauce" on a sesame seed bun.

It's important to choose the best fast food roast beef sandwich based on several factors. Quality of beef is important, as a low-quality cut can result in a tough and flavorless sandwich. Freshness of bread is also crucial, as stale bread can ruin an otherwise delicious sandwich. Lastly, the variety of toppings can make or break the sandwich, with options ranging from simple lettuce and tomato to more complex sauces and condiments.

Overall, the fast food roast beef sandwich is a beloved and ubiquitous menu item found throughout the United States. As one critic notes, "Despite being a simple preparation of meat and bread, the best roast beef sandwiches have a way of conjuring powerful taste memories." [1][2]


B. Brief history of fast food roast beef sandwich

The first fast food roast beef sandwich hit the American market in the early 1960s. Mike Davis, creator of the NEBA chain, introduced the sliced beef sandwich into a growing market of chain burger restaurants. The roast beef sandwich was a sign of the upward-bound middle class, who could afford to consume beef sliced rather than ground to bits. The NEBA chain faced competition from other roast beef chains like Arby's Beef Corral, RoBee's (later became Roy Rogers), and Heap Big Beef, among others. Burger King and McDonald's also began testing roast beef in some of their units, while Minnie Pearl's planned to add roast beef to its chicken menu.

NEBA hailed from the Albany NY area, before moving to Hollywood FL. The first NEBA Roast Beef and Mike's Submarine unit opened in Pittsfield in 1965, the first in Davis’s home state of Massachusetts. Franchised units later opened in Florida and southern states, but the chain never made it to the West. NEBA eventually hit its peak in 1969 when there were 70 units in the U.S. Having sold the Canadian branch, Davis, 35, was worth $15 or 20 million at that time. However, in 1970, he resigned as the chairman a month before the corporation declared bankruptcy.

Despite NEBA's decline, Arby's became the competition-busting roast beef leader with 400 units by the mid-1980s. Meanwhile, other roast beef chains, such as Rax -- which once had over 500 locations -- fell victim to over-diversification and over-sophistication, leading to their demise. [3][4]


C. Importance of choosing the best fast food roast beef sandwich

Choosing the best fast food roast beef sandwich may seem like an insignificant decision, but it can make all the difference in your satisfaction and overall health. Here are some reasons why:

1. Quality of beef: The quality of the beef used in the sandwich can significantly impact its flavor and nutritional value. As Londi’s Restaurant states, “the quality of the ingredients quality of beef and way of preparation is what gives the real expected and delicious taste to the beef roast.” Leaner cuts of beef such as sirloin steak and brisket tend to have lower fat content and are packed with protein and essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B12.

2. Freshness of bread: The bread used in the sandwich should be fresh to ensure its quality and flavor. Fresh bread not only tastes better but also provides a healthy dose of fiber and carbohydrates to keep you energized throughout the day.

3. Variety of toppings: A good roast beef sandwich should have a variety of flavors and textures to balance out the rich and savory taste of the beef. From crispy lettuce and juicy tomatoes to tangy horseradish sauce and melted cheese, the right combination of toppings can elevate your sandwich to the next level.

When it comes to fast food roast beef sandwiches, Arby’s stands out as a top contender with their Classic Roast Beef Sandwich, Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich, and Beef 'n Cheddar Classic Sandwich. As the American Heart Association recommends, it’s important to choose options that are lower in saturated fats and avoid those that contain trans fats. By being mindful of the quality of ingredients and nutritional value of your sandwich, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal without compromising your health. [5][6]


II. Criteria for choosing the best fast food roast beef sandwich

A. Quality of beef

When it comes to the best fast food roast beef sandwich, quality of beef is a crucial aspect to consider. As a consumer, you always want to ensure that you are getting your money's worth and that the beef in your sandwich is of top-notch quality. Here are some factual data to support this idea:

- According to Food & Wine magazine, "Quality roast beef should have a pronounced beef flavor and be hand sliced to a uniform thickness."
- Another important factor to consider is the grade of beef. The USDA grades beef based on factors such as marbling and maturity. The higher the grade, the more tender and flavorful the beef will be.
- In an article by Thrillist, Chris Kronner, the chef-owner of KronnerBurger in Oakland, California, says, "The thing about roast beef is that it's pretty flavorless. It's really about the quality of the cut of meat and the way it's processed."
- One way to ensure quality is by choosing restaurants that prioritize sourcing high-quality meat. For example, Arby's boasts on their website that they use "100% USDA Choice Top Round roast beef, freshly sliced every day in every store."
- Freshness of the beef is also important for taste and safety reasons. Eating stale or expired beef can lead to food poisoning.

In conclusion, when it comes to the best fast food roast beef sandwich, quality of beef should be a top priority. Choose restaurants that prioritize sourcing high-quality, fresh beef to ensure that you are getting the best sandwich possible. As Food & Wine magazine notes, "a great roast beef sandwich is hard to beat" - and quality beef is a key component of that greatness. [7][8]


B. Freshness of bread

When it comes to the best fast food roast beef sandwich, one of the critical factors to consider is the freshness of the bread. No matter how high-quality the beef or how delicious the toppings, stale or dry bread can ruin the entire sandwich experience. Thus, finding a fast food joint that prioritizes the quality of their bread is crucial.

According to Cheapism, some of the best places known for their fresh bread include:

- Sarcone's Bakery in Philadelphia: "Their hoagie rolls are crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and are the perfect vehicle for holding heaps of juicy, tender roast beef."

- Kelly's Roast Beef in Massachusetts: "The seeded roll the thinly sliced beef is piled on is grilled and crusty, making it perfect to sop up any condiments you like."

- Al's Beef in Illinois: "Its carved by hand off a huge choice top round roast right on the counter, then piled on kaiser rolls baked daily."

These restaurants prove that fresh bread is non-negotiable when it comes to a top-notch roast beef sandwich.

When ordering your sandwich, make sure to ask about the freshness of the bread. As Sarcone's Bakery owner, Louis Sarcone Jr., puts it, "You want the bread to be almost as fresh as possible. That's the key. If you have a fresh roll, you're going to have a great sandwich."

Ultimately, prioritizing the freshness of the bread when choosing a fast food roast beef sandwich can take your sandwich game to the next level. As Al's Beef proudly declares, "It's the bread that makes us the best!" [9][10]


C. Variety of toppings

When it comes to choosing the best fast food roast beef sandwich, one of the important factors to consider is the variety of toppings. The toppings can make or break the sandwich, and elevate it from ordinary to exceptional. A good roast beef sandwich should offer a range of toppings that cater to different tastes and preferences.

One popular option for toppings is cheese, which can add richness and flavor to the sandwich. According to Jane's Kitchen, "Cheese makes everything better from corn chips to roast beef sandwiches." Whether you prefer classic American cheese or something more exotic like goat cheese or mozzarella, cheese is a delicious addition.

Another must-have topping for many is a sauce or spread. BBQ sauce is a classic choice that can add sweetness and smokiness to the sandwich. Mayo, horseradish sauce, and spicy mustard are other popular options. As Jane's Kitchen notes, "Don't be afraid to mix and match to create different flavor profiles."

Aside from cheese and sauces, there are plenty of other toppings to choose from. Some people like to add veggies like lettuce, tomato, and onion, while others prefer more unique toppings like fried eggplant or giardiniera peppers. As Cheapism points out, "From Baltimore pit beef to California tri-tip, here are some drool-worthy roast beef sandwiches lauded by critics and reviewers."

Ultimately, the best fast food roast beef sandwich is one that offers a variety of high-quality toppings that complement the beef and bread. As Cheapism advises, "Choose a sandwich with quality beef, fresh bread, and a variety of toppings to really take it to the next level." [11][12]


III. Top fast food restaurants for roast beef sandwich

A. Arby's

Arby's is a fast food restaurant chain that has been quietly and steadily innovating to become one of the best fast food chains in the US. They have been ahead of the trends in offering more variety and healthier options. Their classic roast beef sandwiches are always consistently delicious, world-renowned, and satisfying. The meat is of high quality and the buns are incredibly soft and saturated with roast beef jus, making them delicacies on their own. Arby's also offers a variety of toppings to choose from, ensuring that each customer can customize their sandwich to their liking. In addition, Arby's has some of the best curly fries in the game, with the perfect amount of flavor and crunch. Arby's Meat Mountain sandwich is what makes them stand out from the crowd. They literally throw every meat they have in their store onto their signature buns to make what is perhaps the pinnacle of carnivorous indulgence.

"Sometimes those gambles work, and they get a core item like the Smokehouse Brisket. Sometimes they launch items like porchetta to little fanfare. Think about that. Arby’s, an old-school drive-thru mega-chain with nearly 3500 locations, made porchetta. While everyone else was coating meat in smashed-up chips, Arby’s launched a mass-produced take on an artisan Italian roasted pork product. That’s just insane. This is a chain famous for its off-color roast beef with neon-orange cheese sauce." - (Thrillist)

Arby's has not compromised on the quality of their food and has increasingly taken risks with their innovations. They have been able to introduce unusual items like porchetta while still maintaining their menu's consistency and keeping prices reasonable. Arby's is proof that just because a fast food chain has been around for a while, doesn't mean it can't be innovative and delicious. [13][14]


1. Classic Roast Beef Sandwich

The Roast Beef Sandwich has been a staple in the fast-food industry for decades. Arby's, in particular, is known for putting roast beef on the map with their classic sandwich. However, with so many options available, it's important to choose the best one. Here's what you should consider:

- Quality of Beef: The beef must be the star of the sandwich and should be well-seasoned, tender, and juicy. As a reviewer from put it, "the thinly-shaved roast beef carried a generous mound of meat."

- Freshness of Bread: The bread must be fresh and preferably toasted, not soggy or stale. A fresh bun can enhance the flavor and texture of the sandwich.

- Variety of Toppings: From horsey sauce to cheddar cheese, the toppings can make or break a roast beef sandwich. Look for a variety of toppings to add flavor and texture.

Arby's Classic Roast Beef sandwich may have been unimpressive in the review, but it's still a classic choice for many. Arby's has been serving up roast beef since 1964 and their Classic Roast Beef Sandwich is still a fan favorite. As their website describes it, "Our classic roast beef is thinly sliced and piled on a toasted sesame seed bun. Try it with our delicious Arby’s Sauce® or for an extra kick, go with the zesty Horsey Sauce®."

So, if you're looking for a quick and tasty roast beef sandwich, Arby's Classic Roast Beef may be the way to go. Just make sure that the beef is high-quality, the bun is fresh, and the toppings are plentiful. As they say, "We have the meats [15][16]


2. Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich

Arby's Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich is one of the limited time items on their that have gained popularity amongst many customers. The sandwich slow-smoked brisket that is smoked for at least 13 hours and topped with smoked Gouda cheese crispy fried onions, BBQ sauce, and mayo, all served on a toasted bakery-style bun.

Many customers have shared their experience of trying the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich. While some have praised the sandwich for its taste, others have found it to be average or below average. One food review states that the brisket did not carry all the smoky notes expected from being smoked for 13 hours, and the preparation was less-than-stellar. The crispy onions were almost non-existent and lacked a true crunch being almost mushy. Another review mentions the presence of gristle and fat, making up almost the entire slice. 

However, there are also positive reviews of the sandwich. One reviewer mentions that the melted cheese on top of the roast beef was his favorite part of the sandwich, while another mentions that the bun was perfect since it was larger and thicker, able to hold up to all the ingredients, and toasted. The sandwich also delivers enough smokehouse flavor and is a tasty alternative for when you want something different from a plain old roast beef sandwich.

In conclusion, while the Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich has received mixed reviews, one can try it out and decide for themselves whether it's worth indulging in. As the sandwich is a limited time item, it's worth trying before it's no longer available. [17][18]


3. Beef 'n Cheddar Classic Sandwich

The Arby's Beef 'n Cheddar Classic sandwich is a staple among fast food roast beef sandwiches. Thinly sliced roast beef, gooey cheddar cheese sauce, and zesty Red Ranch sauce are served on a toasted onion roll. According to Arby's website, their sandwich is "Roast Beef stacked high on a toasted onion roll with melted Cheddar cheese sauce, tangy Red Ranch sauce, and crispy onion tanglers."

But what sets Arby's Beef 'n Cheddar sandwich apart from competitors? For starters, the quality of the roast beef is top-notch. Arby's uses a three-hour roasting process to cook their beef, resulting in tender meat that is packed with flavor. The thinly sliced roast beef is key, ensuring that each bite is easy to chew and enjoy.

Additionally, the cheese and sauce combination is what really makes this sandwich stand out. The cheddar cheese sauce is creamy and flavorful, while the Red Ranch sauce adds a delicious tangy kick. According to CopyKat Recipes, "The sweet and tart flavor of the Red Ranch sauce and the creaminess of the cheddar cheese sauce complement each other perfectly."

But don't just take our word for it - the Arby's Beef 'n Cheddar Classic sandwich is consistently a fan favorite. In fact, it is often ranked as one of the best items on Arby's menu. According to Mashed, "It's impossible to deny the greatness of this roast beef masterpiece."

So next time you're in the mood for a fast food roast beef sandwich, consider giving Arby's Beef 'n Cheddar Classic a try. With its high-quality roast beef, delicious cheese and sauce combination, and consistently positive reviews, it's sure to satisfy your cravings. [19][20]

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