Tampa Bay Food Monster

…eating food since 1985.

Posts Tagged ‘turkey’

Arby’s Grand Turkey Club

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on November 5, 2012

TYPICALLY, change is a good thing. like, changing a poopy diaper, for example. where once there was poopy, now there is none. and this works! because there was a problem before. but then there are times when changes are made to things that don’t necessarily need change. this may be one of those times.

…prepare yourself.

this is where we’ve come. this is the brave, new world you were looking for.

yes, arby’s has changed their logo. and no, this is not my poorly photoshopped guess at what it may be like; this is the actual logo. let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and glance at arby’s former majesty:

yes, now that’s more like it. much is the same, yet much has changed. the font has lost its fun time western style and moved to a simple, clean piece of modern mundanity. the apostrophe has morphed into what i think is supposed to be a meat slicer, ruthlessly cutting into the ‘s’. and the hat itself (it’s supposed to be a hat) has undergone a 3D makeover, in keeping with the recent surge in popularity of three-dimensional media. this effect can be achieved in photoshop elements, or its nearest competitor, MS PAINT. the decision to leave the font two-dimensional is both baffling and distressing, causing my mind to bend in a similar fashion to when i look at an m.c. escher image.

…and i mourn what we’ve lost. the new logo is not great. what was once vaguely recognizable as a hat (from its own all-but-lost origins) is now some floating abstraction. the new font comes at the cost of its old identity. it’s no wendy’s train wreck, but it’s not an improvement.

arby's new thang

it’s not just a logo – it’s a whole rebranding. they are pushing the freshness/sliceness angle, which works for them what with all the slicing they do. and to increase that amount of slicing, they are throwing in a whole new chunk of meat to cut at: turkey bird.

arby’s has introduced three turkey-blasted sandwiches – turkey classic, turkey ‘n cheddar classic, and the grand turkey club. basically, it’s as though this turkey meat is floating alongside the beef meat as just another option. which is a pretty decent idea. in a real-life deli, you get a whole assortment of different kinds of meats, all of which are sliced up right in front of your face. this is the same as that! fresh! variety! etc!

turkey club box

arby’s offered to buy me one of their new sandwiches. to check out dat new meat. i opted for the grand turkey club, assuming “grand” meant that it was the best. the other sandwiches are pretty much identical to their beef analogues, with the addition of mayonnaise, honey mustard, or ranch dressing to the classic. the grand turkey club is along the lines of a non-grand turkey club, with turkey, lettuce tomato and mayo, swiss cheese, and bacon all on a harvest wheat bun rather than toast.

the box claims this is the greatest thing since sliced roast beef. there is also lettuce escaping through the bottom, and a dab of mayonnaise has gotten out as well. these are indicators of things to come.

arby's grand turkey club

open the box up, and we find with a giant turkey sandwich just waiting to burst out. it’s all packed in there, with good amounts of everything. a solid amount of turkey, enough to satisfy my hunger. nice, crisp lettuce, and fresh tomato, playing a big part in the overall feel of the sandwich. decent slices of bacon. probably some swiss cheese. and a full bucket of mayo.

mayonnaise everywhere

oh god. yeah. there’s a lot of mayonnaise here. now, i’ve gone to great lengths to make it known that i do not care for mayonnaise, but i can tolerate it. i believe there was too much mayonnaise on here even for a lover of mayonnaise. it was the first taste you noticed. it was almost the only taste you noticed. and it really took away from my enjoyment of this sandwich.

but let’s assume, for the sake of a fair review, that this sandwich was never intended to have so much mayonnaise on it. taking it for what it is, the sandwich is not bad. their toppings are decent (good lettuce and tomato, decent pepper bacon). the swiss cheese was all but lost behind the mayo, which is disappointing. the bun was actually a very solid choice, playing a bit sweet against the turkey.

and the turkey itself? it was good. it was not great. it was not bad by any means. good turkey. tender, with good flavor. a bit salty, not overwhelmingly so. but nothing special. i did not detect any exciting seasoning, nothing mind blowing. it was just turkey.


they politely request you try the turkey. you would not be worse off for it. but what this boils down to, for me, is that the turkey is not good enough by itself to convince me to go to arby’s. it does not change what arby’s is to me. for me, it is just another menu item. and, speaking as someone who loves arby’s roast beef sandwiches (RIP big montana!!), the presence of turkey as an option is not going to change my order from whichever sandwich they can pack the most roast beef onto. all i want from arby’s is a pile of roast beef on a warm, pillowy bun, doused in a packet of arby’s sauce.

as with the old logo, all i want from arby’s is simplicity, and what i’ve grown to love them for. aaaaaaaand maybe a talking oven mitt.


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Thanksgiving 2010

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on November 26, 2010

thanksgiving spread

thanksgiving is an awesome holiday because it is all about celebrating food. what a great idea!

in honor of this sacred day, here are a bunch of photos from my family’s thanksgiving dinner.


delicious crescent rolls

green bean casserole

the essential green bean casserole

dat delicious dark meat

turkey separated out by white and dark meat. dark meat wins. flawless victory.

the stuffing

incredible stuffing

cauliflower casserole

a wonderful cauliflower casserole

sweet potato caserole

a new take on the sweet potato casserole, featuring bananas on the inside!

mashed potatoes

mountains of mashed potatoes: the essential slop building block.

perfect pumpkin pie

a perfect little pumpkin pie.


the fully loaded plate

and this is how we do it.


BONUS: here’s my family’s secret recipe for post-thanksgiving “slop”!

1. grab all your leftovers; throw them in a large microwavable bowl.

2. nuke ’em.

3. stir.

4. eat.

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Cole’s BBQ

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on September 16, 2010

so i’m a big fan or barbechu. it’s one of the ultimate ways to enjoy meats. so simple, yet so brilliant. devastatingly, it’s been quite some time since i’ve had some decent barbecue, so i set out to resolve that issue.

cole's bbq

we hit up cole’s bbq on palm pointe drive, just south of i75 and bruce b. downs. my friend has been there many, many times, and highly recommended it. it’s a little place, looking fresh and new among the rest of the ever expanding plaza, and it just recently opened in april. there are a few tables and chairs, seating about thirty inside, but they do carry out and catering. it is family owned, which is always nice to hear. the staff is really friendly and helpful. there are some televisions set up around the inside, playing football games, football games, and football games. but honestly, i don’t care about any of that. i just want some barbecue!!!

and barbecue they had. they had a good menu of just about every type of barbecue you could want – turkey, chicken, beef, pork. they had wings and ribs, and sandwiches. and they had a few combo meals, and a lunch special. also: SWEET TEA. so i ordered up some sweet tea, and we got started out on some of their wings (of course!).

cole's hot wings

cole’s offers either smoked or fried (we opted for fried at my friend’s request, although i certainly would have liked to try smoked), and you can get it with their sweet barbecue sauce, hot barbecue sauce, or mild barbecue sauce. we went with the hot sauce, which turned out to be a great choice – it was hot enough to want to have a drink after finishing with one, but not so much that it inhibited the experience. they were nice and crispy on the outside, with a smokey flavor on the inside (i guess they smoke them then fry them). the outside had parts that almost seemed charred to me, which i liked quite a bit. and they were a decent sized wing. i really enjoyed them, although they are not what you’d think of as a traditional buffalo wing by any stretch of the imagination.

cole's bbq lunch special - turkey sandwich with potato salad, and an order of baked beans.

my friend ordered the lunch combo, which was a sandwich and a side of potato salad or cole slaw. she went with a turkey sandwich, and the potato salad, and ordered a side of baked beans. i tried the turkey, and it was really good; it was tender, like all their meats, with a rich smokey flavor. on each table are three bottles of their different barbecue sauces, and adding them to the sandwich is a must (which comes without any sort of sauce on it). but it’s just about five or six bucks for the meal, which is a good deal considering that this is REAL barbecue.

cole's bbq combo with ribs and chopped pork, and baked beans

and HERE is the main event! i ordered the two meats, one side combo. i chose ribs and chopped pork as my meats, and baked beans for my side (other options: collard greens, macaroni and cheese, green beans, potato salad and coleslaw). and the plate came with a slice of toasty garlic bread. i think i made the right choice here.

the meat, all the meat, was nice and tender, smokey, and delicious. the ribs were my favorite, having been prepared with a dry rub on the outside, giving it a nice salty taste and a rough texture. they were cooked perfectly, moist on the inside. the chopped pork was really good too, and there was quite a bit of it hidden underneath the ribs. it was a little bit dry, so it needed the sauce, but the sauces were all so good you wouldn’t be eating without them anyway. i kept switching between the sauces, each with their own unique qualities. near the end, i just started mixing them all together, so i could get a nice combination of the hot and sweet, along with the savory flavor of the mild.

the baked beans were also REALLY good, nice and sweet and thick. i wish i had gotten a full bowl of them like my friend had… i could have kept eating them for a while. and the garlic toast was actually really good too! i wasn’t expecting much from it, but it was perfectly toasted and had a great buttery garlic taste.

this place is spectacular. it’s not really the greatest hangout in the world, but their food is the best barbecue i’ve had from a restaurant. i will no doubt be returning to sample the rest of their menu.

Cole's BBQ on Urbanspoon

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