Slightly Sarcastic Reviews: Arby’s

If you had a choice, would you eat anything else? (Courtesy photo by Mike Mozart)

Since 1964, Arby’s has been one of America’s largest providers of greasy heart attacks on a bun. From their classic roast beef to their French Dip and Swiss, no other restaurant gives you so many ways to raise your cholesterol levels with every bite.

Manhattan has two Arby’s locations: one in the southwest by Target and one in the northeast by Walmart. I chose the northeast Arby’s for this week’s Slightly Sarcastic Review because those are my two favorite cardinal directions, so let’s get to it.

The Restaurant: D-

The northeast Arby’s location seems to have taken its color choices from the Kansas State Student Union, which is to say everything looks terrible. Gray is the new black these days — the floors are as cold and colorless as the fluorescent lights above them, and the occasional splashes of obnoxious red and post-Chipotle brown only serve to make it more of an insult to your eyeballs.

Not pictured: aesthetic excellence. (Courtesy photo by Nellis Air Force Base)

The interior’s only saving grace is that it has a lot of large windows, allowing you to get a glimpse of the beautiful world outside that you’re intentionally avoiding so you can eat a cheap dollop of roast beef.

The Service: B-

I was served at the counter by a fast-talking young man who avoided making eye contact like I avoid my ex-girlfriend. Despite the awkwardness, I did find him fun to talk to. He took my order correctly and handled my request to pay with two debit cards like a pro.

Everyone else behind the counter seemed a little on edge, though. The lady who I presumed to be the manager bore a striking resemblance to the villainess from the movie “Matilda,” right down to the hairstyle. While I was recalling traumatic movies from my childhood, my order was called just when I was starting to get tired of waiting.

The Food: B+

I try to give every restaurant the benefit of the doubt, so I ordered the most appetizing thing possible for someone as picky as me: a chicken cordon bleu sandwich with curly fries, a fountain drink and a chocolate shake.

The curly fries at Arby’s already have a reputation for being the gastronomic manifestation of God’s love on Earth, so I won’t get into the greasy details. This is a review, not a thousand-page love letter.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy with a side of curly fries." -Matthew 5:7 (Courtesy photo by Wikimedia Commons)

The chicken cordon bleu sandwich had crispy chicken, ham, cheese and mayonnaise in satisfying portions, with no ingredients overwhelming my tastebuds. As someone who treats carbs like an Egyptian treats cats, I was surprised that the buns were my least favorite part. They were too sticky and spongey, and they got stuck to the roof of my mouth — but it was a small price to pay for the anti-PETA protest I got to enjoy between the buns.

The chocolate shake was easily the worst part of the trip. It was presented to me as an overflowing mess that leaked sticky nonsense all over my hand like it had just discovered a new favorite video on Brazzers. I had to ruin an entire napkin just to hold the cup on the ride home, and even then it still leaked some ice cream onto my seat somehow. I’d recommend sticking with the cookies for dessert.

The Verdict: C+

While most of the food is greasy and great — especially for the price — I think the northeast Arby’s location in Manhattan is better enjoyed by getting your order to go.

Kyle Hampel is the reviews and opinion editor for the Collegian and a junior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

Those words you just read were written by me, Kyle Hampel. I am a 2019 graduate in English. I have strong feelings about barbeque pizza and the Oxford comma. I am a former copy chief, community editor, feature editor, designer and deputy multimedia editor. Beloit, Kansas, is proud to call me their own, along with several other towns I've lived in that aren't as special to me.