Dish Up Arby’s Curly Fries in Your Kitchen [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]
Arby’s, the fast food restaurant known for excellent roast beef sandwiches, is just as well known for their succulent seasoned curly fries. Now, Arby’s is branching out by selling their fries in your grocer’s freezer. I put them to the test to see if what you cook at home is just as good as what you get at the drive-thru.
Quick service restaurants began to take off in the late 1950’s thanks to baby boomers love of cars and the expansion of the interstate highway system. Food service veterans Leroy & Forrest Raffel decided they would open a different type of fast food restaurant that offered something other than hamburgers. On July 23, 1964, the first Arby’s was born in Boardman, Ohio, just south of Youngstown. The first menu featured roast beef sandwiches, potato chips and iced tea.
The Raffel Brothers, who had owned a restaurant equipment business, wanted to call their eateries “Big Tex,” but that name was already in use by another restaurant in Akron, Ohio. They settled on Arby’s, which stands for “R.B.” the Raffel Brothers initials.
Within a year, they sold their first franchise to a restaurant in Akron and the chain expanded quickly. The famous “Arby’s Hat” sign was introduced in 1968.
During the 1970’s, Arby’s introduced more, soon to be iconic, products including, Arby’s Sauce, Horsey Sauce, Beef n’ Cheddar sandwich and curly fries. By this time, the chain was opening about 50 restaurants a year.
After being sold several times, Arby’s found themselves in the hands of Triarc Companies, Inc., who would later also purchase the Wendy’s fast food chain, making the two eateries temporary sisters. Triarc decided to spin-off Arby’s and retain a small stake in the company. On July 13, 2011, the deal was done with Roark Capital Group, taking control. Roark is an Atlanta, Georgia based company that purchases businesses with high debt and uses cash flow and equity to pay it off. Arby’s was their largest ever buyout at $431 million.
One of Roark’s ideas to generate cash has been partnering with ConAgra Foods to distribute Arby’s fries in grocery stores. The fries are prepared, flash frozen and sent directly to stores.
Preparation is simple. Preheat the oven to 450º and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake 16 – 18 minutes. (There are no microwave directions on the package.)
While mine were cooking, I prepared my own BBQ-Ranch sauce. ½ cup BBQ sauce mixed with a ½ cup of Bacon Ranch salad dressing. I also like mine with a side of ketchup as well. I like a little variety.
As for the taste… they truly are Arby’s fries! The home version didn’t seem as greasy as what you get in the drive thru and the taste is nearly identical. I would give them 9 out of 10. They absolutely work as a substitute if you can’t make it to the restaurant or don’t have one in your area.
The nutrition facts for a 1 1/3 cups serving:
Total Carbs: 25g
I’ve noticed there are a great deal of Arby’s fries fans out there. When I first discovered these in my local store, I posted a message on Twitter and got numerous responses asking where I had found them and what my thoughts were. Arby’s themselves responded and forwarded my comments on Twitter as well. (See, it pays to follow me on twitter @jerseyjoe50!)
These frozen fries are the latest attempt for Arby’s to entice customers back to their stores. They’ve also introduced a new sliced turkey line of sandwiches for a limited time and will offer a special candy cane holiday shake this year at Christmas.
Arby’s is just the latest fast food chain to sell their products in your grocer’s freezer. Other chain food items I’ve encountered include:
• Burger King French Fries
• White Castle hamburgers
• Nathan’s French fries and onion rings
• TGI Friday’s has an entire line of appetizers from spinach dip to wings
• UNO Pizza sells several flavors of their pizzas
• PF Chang’s sells several of their signature entrees and appetizers
Name: Arby’s Curly Fries
What: frozen fries from the restaurant sold in stores
Cost: around $2.50 per bag
JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:
These are worth it. They also would make a nice side dish for having a steak, burgers, or chicken. They’re simple to cook and really don’t take a lot of time. I always try to keep a bag on hand and won’t hesitate to serve them to guests. But, it won’t stop me from visiting their restaurants as often as I do! I love my Arby’s, it IS good mood food!
Image credit: ford8n
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