Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so we decided to take a look at a fast food turkey offering. No other restaurant would dare serve turkey, so we headed to the local Arby’s to try their Deep Fried Turkey Club.

Arby’s describes the Deep Fried Turkey Club on their website as:

Deep fried turkey breast*, natural cheddar cheese, pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a toasted star top bun. It’s not your aunt’s thanksgiving turkey dinner, but maybe that’s a good thing.

For year’s Arby’s has been pushing the limits on what meats fast food chains will deliver. With brisket and lamb on the permanent menu, Arby’s really does have the meats. Around this time of the year, they even have deep fried turkey with multiple sandwich options, including the Cranberry Deep Fried Turkey sandwich and wrap, in addition to the Club we tried.

Deep frying a turkey has taken off the last few decades, with the added benefits of crispy skin and super moist meat, and only the small caveat of maybe burning down your house. I’ve honestly never tried deep fried turkey until now, so I might not be the best judge of its acclaim. But let’s take a look anyway.

Arby’s to me, is the classiest and most premium of the fast food chains. It can be defined as expensive, yet really good. This sandwich is the prime example, coming in at nearly $6 for the sandwich alone around my area. That is getting pretty close to sit down pricing there.

After unveiling the sandwich, dressed to the 9’s with not only a box enclosure but a paper cloak, I’d have to say that the overall girth of the sandwich was a little underwhelming. All of Arby’s promo materials give the sandwiches the look of an unhinged meat pile that the bun can barely hold together. This sandwich definitely looked tamed and domesticated.

While all of the sandwich elements were present, what really stood out to me was the flatness and relative sterile feel of the pepper bacon. Sure it was peppery and had some zest, but I couldn’t believe how it looked like it got ran over by a semi on the way to the sandwich. Also, the amount of mayonnaise was out of bounds. Slathered and smeared, it felt like the Arby’s employee applied the condiment with a mop, not a knife.

Looking at the cross section, there was a decent pile of the deep fried turkey present. It was thick, juicy, and definitely tasted super moist and flavorful. Typically I think white meat turkey is pretty bland and dry, unless you slather it with gravy. But this bite clearly showed me the appeal of deep frying your bird.

Overall, I felt this sandwich underperformed. The sandwich was quite small for nearly $6 a la carte option. The bacon and turkey, while both tasty, looked substantially less present than the promo photo made it look. The mayonnaise was too damn plentiful, overpowering the taste profile. The Turkey was definitely the star of the show here. Deep Fried Turkey is the way to go, but for the value, you might be better off doing it in your driveway at your socially distanced, family gathering.

Arby’s Deep Fried Turkey Club: 5/10