Arby’s Reuben sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

The Worst Corned Beef Sandwich I Ever Had Was…

What was I thinking?!?

Before we begin with the worst corned beef sandwich I ever had, also included in this article is a review of a different sandwich because I was able to get a sandwich free of charge with the purchase of one at Arby’s.

The Worst Corned Beef Sandwich I Ever Had Was…

The first time I have ever sampled anything from Arby’s in my life was the Classic Crispy Fish Sandwich, which was actually decent — especially for a dollar plus tax — and I then tried the small mint chocolate shake, which was not bad either…

…so when someone recommended to me that I try the Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich at Arby’s after I lamented that I could not get an authentic corned beef sandwich or pastrami sandwich which one can get at a real delicatessen in New York, I was perplexed. He thought it was excellent and could hold its own against an authentic New York sandwich — so when I received a coupon with which I could buy one sandwich and get one free, I decided to use it instead of ignore it like I usually do.

Arby’s Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

I decided to also try the Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which contains a filet of chicken, parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, spicy Buffalo sauce, shredded iceberg lettuce, and what is known as a star cut bun.

Arby’s Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

The sandwich was spicy enough; but the chicken was not crispy — nor did I particularly care for the texture. The heat of the Buffalo sauce did not help to elevate this sandwich to delicious; but it was edible at best.

Arby’s Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Nutritional Information For the Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Fillet: Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (salt, buttermilk powder, whey powder, hydrolyzed corn protein, dried onion, dried garlic yeast extract, dextrose, dried chicken broth, maltodextrin, lactic acid, calcium lactate, natural and artificial flavor, modified food starch, dried honey, dried cane syrup, citric acid, lemon juice concentrate, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate), Modified Food Starch, Sodium Phosphates. Battered and Breaded With: Water, Bleached Wheat Flour, Wheat Flour, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Leavening, Natural and Artificial Flavoring, Wheat Gluten, Yellow Corn Flour, Wheat Starch, Spices, Lactic Acid Powder, Maltodextrin, Buttermilk Powder, Cocoa Powder, Dried Garlic, Dried Onion, Dried Yeast, Sugar. Breading set in vegetable oil. Cooked in Vegetable Oil.


May be cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Egg, Soy and Fish (where available).

Star Cut Bun: Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Sugar, Yeast, Palm Oil, Salt, Dough Conditioner (wheat flour, wheat gluten, contains 2% or less of: hydrolyzed wheat gluten, enzymes [wheat], ascorbic acid [vitamin C], organic wheat starch), Calcium Propionate, Dry Malt, Dough Strengthener (sodium stearoyl lactylate), Dough Conditioner (calcium sulfate, wheat starch, wheat flour, contains 2% or less of: enzymes [wheat], salt), Dough Conditioner (yellow corn flour, colors [turmeric, paprika], contains 2% or less of: natural flavor), Cocoa (processed with alkali), Ascorbic Acid (oxidation), Shine Agent (modified starch, sodium alginate, mono-and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60).


Buffalo Sauce: Water, Cayenne Red Pepper, Distilled Vinegar, Soybean Oil, Salt, Contains 2% of less of the following: Modified Corn Starch, Brown Sugar, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavors, Spice, Xanthan Gum, Extractives of Paprika and Turmeric (color), Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (preservatives), Modified Guar Gum, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to preserve flavor), Butter Oil.


Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch Sauce: Soybean Oil, Buttermilk, Water, Egg Yolk, Parmesan Cheese (part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Peppercorns (packed in water, salt, vinegar), Salt, Garlic (including dehydrated), Spices, Onion (dehydrated), Xanthan Gum, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural Flavors, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (preservatives), Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor). CONTAINS: EGG, MILK.

No nutrition information was given for the shredded iceberg lettuce.

Arby’s Reuben sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

The Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich contains corned beef, a “natural slice” of Swiss cheese, Thousand Island spread, sauerkraut, and marble rye bread. I asked for the sandwich to be prepared without Swiss cheese, as I do not like Swiss cheese — but I do like sauerkraut.

Arby’s Reuben sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

The crust of the marble rye was way too soft to be considered as any sort of a “rye” bread, as the texture of the bread itself was more like enriched white bread which one would find in a grocery store. The sauerkraut was rather limp and had virtually no flavor; and I would have much preferred real spicy brown delicatessen mustard instead of the Thousand Island spread…

…but the worst part was the corned beef itself. Its flavor was nowhere near reminiscent of that from an authentic New York delicatessen — “This is a Reuben sandwich inspired by the New York standard”, according to the official description from Arby’s — and it was chewy, stringy, and contains many globules of fat. Not the melt-in-your-mouth fat; but hard fat which was practically impenetrable with normal teeth.

The corned beef was not piled high on the sandwich as pictured in official photographs which are marketed by Arby’s — and in this case, that was actually a good thing, as both the textures and flavors of this sandwich were absolutely disgusting, in my opinion.

Arby’s Reuben sandwich
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Nutritional Information For the Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich

Corned Beef: Beef, Water, Sodium Lactate, Contains 2% or less of the following: Salt, Flavorings, Sugar, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Erythorbate.

Swiss Cheese (Natural Slice): Part Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes.


Sauerkraut: Cabbage, Water, Kraut Juice, Salt, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Sodium Bisulfite (to retain color).

Marble Rye Bread: Enriched Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folate), Water, Yeast, Wheat Flour, Salt, Fumaric Acid, Malted Barley Flour, Malt Powder (dried corn syrup, barley malt extract), Contains 2% or less of the following: Acetic Acid, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Wheat Gluten, Caramel Color, Pumpernickel Flour, Rye Flour, Ground Caraway Seed, Sugar, Calcium Propionate (preservative), Dough Improver (malted wheat flour, enzymes, 2% or less of ascorbic acid), Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes.


Thousand Island Spread: Soybean Oil, Water, Dijon Mustard (vinegar, mustard seed, salt, white wine, citric acid, tartaric acid, spices), Red Wine Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Egg Yolk, Pickles, Sugar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tomato Paste, Salt, Corn Syrup, Caraway Seed, Distilled Vinegar, Garlic (including dehydrated), Spices, Xanthan Gum, Onion (dehydrated), Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Propylene Glycol Alginate, Oleoresin Paprika, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Bell Peppers, Mustard Seed, Dextrose, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Alum, Natural Flavors, Polysorbate 80.


Nutritional Information Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich
Serving Weight 224 grams 308 grams
Calories 500 680
Calories from Fat 210 280
Fat — Total 23 grams 31 grams
Saturated Fat 4.5 grams 8 grams
Trans Fat 0 grams 0.5 grams
Cholesterol 55 milligrams 80 milligrams
Sodium 1,860 milligrams 2,420 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates 49 grams 62 grams
Dietary Fiber 4 grams 4 grams
Sugars 7 grams 5 grams
Proteins 24 grams 37 grams

Keep in mind that the recommended daily amount of sodium which one consumes should not exceed 2,300 milligrams per day, according to the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. The Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich alone contains 2,420 milligrams of sodium. One sandwich actually exceeds the total daily amount of sodium which one should consume.

Final Boarding Call

The Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich costs $5.79 and was practically inedible; and the Buffalo Crispy Chicken Sandwich costs $5.78 and was almost decent — both prices are before tax was added — but one of the sandwiches was free of charge with my coupon…

…and it still was not worth it — especially as the nutrition information reveals that neither sandwich is exactly considered health food.

I think I have had more than enough of Arby’s after this experience…

All photographs ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Um, well, it was Arby’s.

    I am not a fan of fast food overall, but these do look especially nasty. The fat pustules on the corned beef would have rendered it inedible on glance alone. And, the artificially-red, square chicken breast half covered with a glob of white paste? No wonder the texture is off. There are not many Picasso-esque chickens roaming about.

    I suppose it is all in a day’s work for a travel blogger, but… how did you even swallow this assortment of food???

  2. So, you went to a fast food chain known for their roast beef sandwiches. You tried the chicken, the corned beef, and the fish. Then wrote a review on everything except what they’re known for. Hmmmm.

    1. I am weird that way, James Whitley.

      Besides, I do not care for roast beef in general — even though I will eat it once in a while.

      When I went to pick up the fish sandwich, the person behind the counter accidentally also included a roast beef sandwich with cheese sauce.

      I returned it because I did not pay for it. The woman behind the counter said I could keep it. I opened the wrapper. It looked disgusting and I could not bring myself to eat it…

  3. Are you getting the Pfizer vaccine now that it’s fully FDA approved? Without it, I’m not sure your readers will have the privilege of reading anymore riveting posts on corned beef sandwiches!

  4. I can never get past the smell of corned beef, it smells like something’s backside to me (and not in a good way) so I wouldn’t know a “good” one from a “bad” one. Same goes for pastrami.

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