Why You Should Never Order A Salad At Arby's

When you're trying to adopt a healthy eating plan, sometimes the closest and easiest option is fast food. But you can still try to make good choices at the drive-thru. Almost every fast food chain offers some form of salad, even in its most basic form. McDonald's, for example, has a whole salad menu with options like Chicken Caesar and Garden Salads, for which you can also add chicken — and get fruit on the side (via McDonald's website). Coming in with a bit more variety, Wendy's website shows more distinct options like the Southwest Avocado Salad, Taco Salad, Jalapeno Popper Salad, Apple Pecan Salad, and more — all under 700 calories.

When it comes to Arby's, while their salad menu isn't quite as extensive, they do have the choice of either a Crispy or Roast Chicken Entree Salad, containing crispy pepper bacon, chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese with ranch dressing (via their website). Arby's "Market Fresh" options seem innocuous enough, and while they're not the most gourmet selections, they will do the trick in a pinch. But there's reason why you should take caution before ordering one. 

Arby's strength is not their salads

While the Arby's salad menu may taut a variety of vegetables, many have found it to amount to nothing more than a sad handful of lettuce with just a sprinkle of cheese, which is faux pas even for the most basic side salad. The review site Chicken Salad Lover was particularly upset about the meat pieces in the chain's Crispy Chicken Farmhouse Salad, lamenting in a review that they're "very tough and dry." The writer also had complaints about the cheese, calling it a bit slimy and a weird color. Sounds appetizing, right?

Similarly, Eat This, Not That ranks Arby's Chopped Farmhouse Salad with Crispy Chicken amongst one of the worst menu items at the chain, though their reasoning has more to do with health reasons than the taste. As they note, the salad is not the worst pick for nutritional value, but when you start adding on the buttermilk ranch dressing it comes with, you instantly consume 210 calories and 330 milligrams of sodium. The article points to other choices that are far superior including the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich and the Turkey Gyro.