arby's meat mountain

What is the Arby’s Meat Mountain? And can I still get one?

One food reviewer compared it to 'a children's birthday party where the parents felt like they had to invite everyone in the class.'


Phil West


Posted on Sep 11, 2023   Updated on Sep 11, 2023, 3:49 pm CDT

Arby’s is an American fast-food institution, and the year it celebrated its golden anniversary, it coined the catchy slogan “We Have the Meats,” but offered all of them in one legendary sandwich called the Arby’s Meat Mountain.

In offering a deep dive on its origins and people’s reactions to the mammoth sandwich, we’ll attempt to shed light on two key questions: “Why?” and “Can I order that?”

First, what is Arby’s?

According to its website, Arby’s was founded in 1964, and touts itself as “the second-largest sandwich restaurant brand in the world with more than 3,500 restaurants in nine countries.”

Arby’s also has a bit of a “funny online for online reasons” reputation. In 2018, the Daily Dot pegged the Nihilist Arby’s account as one of “11 Twitter accounts that got us through 2018.” The review said of the mysterious account, “Nihilist Arby’s soothes our soul. It desperately waits for the end of times, where we’ll be put out of our misery—bloated from the Arby’s we’ve-got-the-meats philosophy.”

It added, “Almost every tweet is capped off with the simple ‘Enjoy Arby’s’ or ‘Eat Arby’s,’ a cheerful way to end one of the gloomiest Twitter feeds in existence. Nihilist Arby’s hates fast food. It hates you. And clearly, it hates itself. But in the worst of times, when all hope is lost, it makes me feel just a little bit better about the burning world all around us.”

What is the Arby’s Meat Mountain? And what’s its origin story?

According to a 2014 article in the Washington Post, the Meat Mountain was a concept borne of marketing. “Arby’s faced a key problem as it moved to attract customers: People thought the restaurant served mainly roast beef. To change that, the company made this poster showing a tall stack of every meat on the menu, from bacon to brisket.”

The article then notes, “And then something unexpected happened. People started coming in and asking, ‘Can I have that?’ said Christopher Fuller, the company’s vice president of brand and corporate communications. So Arby’s began granting their wish.”

arby's meat mountain

At 2014 price points, it was $10, and not officially on the menu but gettable if the employees at your particular Arby’s were willing to play along. According to the article, it comes wrapped in paper, as it doesn’t fit inside a traditional Arby’s clamshell box. It includes:

  • 2 chicken tenders
  • 1.5 oz. of roast turkey
  • 1.5 oz. of ham
  • 1 slice of Swiss cheese
  • 1.5 oz. of corned beef
  • 1.5 oz. brisket
  • 1.5 oz. of Angus steak
  • 1 slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1.5 oz. roast beef
  • 3 half-strips of bacon

According to the Fast Food Calories website, this all adds up to 1030 calories, 51 grams of fat, 58 grams of carbohydrates, and because it’s so much meat, 87 grams of protein.

A 2017 Eater article reported on a limited-time offer where customers could order it “Denali-style” and get “a wild-caught Alaskan pollock fish filet” added to the mix without an additional upcharge.

Why? Why would you want to order that much meat?

According to The Next Summit, a mountain climbing site that has compiled a staggering number of inspirational mountain climbing quotes, Sylvester Stallone once said, “I’m always looking for a new challenge. There are a lot of mountains to climb out there. When I run out of mountains, I’ll build a new one.”

That seems appropriate. Some people really enjoy eating challenges. The Meat Mountain presents a formidable one. Arby’s effectively built Americans a mountain of meat.

NPR once had a food column on its site called The Salt, with a regular Sandwich Monday feature, and the crew there understood the appeal of conquering the Meat Mountain. One of its writers observed, “So many meats. This sandwich is like a children’s birthday party where the parents felt like they had to invite everyone in the class.”

Another quipped, “I know that eating like this will shorten my life but after tasting it I did the math and determined that it’s worth it.”

Getting more serious, they reported, “Against all odds, it’s delicious. And this may surprise you, but it’s not subtle. It’s salt and fat, with a surprising crunch from the fried chicken and bacon hiding within.” They couldn’t resist setting up another joke, though, saying, “Chefs spend a lot of time trying to find the right ingredients. What we know now is all you need to do is use all the ingredients.”

Can I still get an Arby’s Meat Mountain?

I went to a North Austin Arby’s for a late Monday lunch—my own personal Sandwich Monday, as it were—and am happy to report that in the Year of our Lord 2023, it’s still possible to get an Arby’s Meat Mountain.

The older gentleman behind the counter who rang me up said, “Oh, an old-timer!” appreciatively as I ordered. And “Meat Mountain” was an option in the register system; the sandwich by itself is now up to $12 from its initial $10 price point; it can also be part of a combo for $15.50 for a medium drink and medium curly fries.

(Alas, I was not able to order it Denali-style, though I tried.)

arby's meat mountain cut in half

As far as taste, I concur with assessments about the salt and fat carrying the day. The chicken tenders at the base of the sandwich provided requisite crunch, but proved a little problematic, as a morsel escaped the bounds of the sandwich and fell to the Arby’s tile about halfway through my taste test. (Not being a python, I cut the sandwich in half to better navigate it, and judiciously ate just half, with designs to take the rest home to my wife, likely to judge it and me for eating it.)

On the whole, it’s very much like a mountain. It’s something you probably want to do in stages. It’s not something you’re going to tackle every day. But if the “We Have the Meats” slogan sings to you, you might want to put on your eatin’ pants, find your way to an Arby’s, and quest for the summit.

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*First Published: Sep 11, 2023, 3:00 pm CDT