I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.
Greetings from Greencastle, Pennsylvania
N 39° 04.743’ W 076° 342.668’ Elev. 627 ft.
If you sail the Interstates for a living, eating fast food is an inevitability. Eventually you will be tired enough or hungry enough or it will be the only thing available or whatever. It’s going to happen. While I avoid fast food as much as possible, sometimes there are actually good things to be had, occasionally at a reasonable price.
Here’s an example:
Arby’s, the nationwide chain that built its business based on possibly the weirdest excuse for roast beef in the known Universe, actually does a couple of things right.
The first is its Three Pepper Sauce. They have it in most of its restaurants but it’s only available in the pump dispensers; it doesn’t come in packages. The stuff is fairly spicy and really tasty.
Depending on the price of a Jr. Roast Beef — they used to be a dollar everywhere but I’ve seen the price as high as $1.49; I won’t pay over $1.20 — I’ve been known to buy a couple of them just as an excuse to mix a little of the Arby’s Horsey Sauce (a faux creamed horseradish affair) with the Three Pepper Sauce.
By and large, though, the Jr. Roast Beefs are pretty paltry meat-wise. Curiously, some Arby’s serve Jr. Roast Beefs that are markedly more generous with the meat than others even though they all supposedly weigh the portion.
But the thing Arby’s is really doing right these days are Fish Sandwiches. I kept passing by and seeing either “Try Our Fish Sandwiches, 2 for $5” or “Get Hooked On Our Fish Sandwiches …” on the marquees. So I finally bit like a fish and, lo and behold, they are great. And here in Pennsyl-freakin’-vania they only cost $4 for two. Because it’s closer to the ocean?
The sandwich is a gigantic piece of cod, served on a sesame-seed bun with lettuce and tartar sauce. I would recommend getting them with extra tarter as the piece of fish is so big they’re a little dry otherwise. Of course, it’s all a matter of taste. The fish itself is actually really moist, and it isn’t greasy at all.
Overall I still find Arby’s to be kind of suspicious. In fact, I’m convinced — with no proof, of course — that Arby’s Roast Beef is actually constructed by Buddig, the company responsible for what can only be described as the weirdest luncheon meats ever devised by man or machine.
And evidently I’m not the only one that feels this way. There is an episode of The Simpsons — based on William Golding’s literary classic Lord of the Flies — where the Springfield Elementary kids become stranded on a tropical island. Starving, one of the twins (Sherri or Terri?) utters the classic line: “I’m so hungry I could eat at Arby’s.” Ouch.
And so we roll.
Arby’s Roast Beef, nationwide
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.