Dave Molter

Column Dave Molter

Dave Molter is a freelance writer and Golden Quill and Keystone Press Awards winner. He also is a freelance musician in the Pittsburgh area.

Go, sell it on the mountain

August 26, 2014

If the Meat Mountain won’t come to Dagwood, Dagwood will have to go to the Meat Mountain.

A special report published Monday in The Washington Post reveals Arby’s is set to offer a sandwich that will contain more than a half-pound of assorted meats and cheeses. Dubbed the Meat Mountain by Arby’s, the concoction will set you back $10 but will be an off-menu item that will require you to ask a trained roast beef wrangler to round up one.

The Meat Mountain contains two chicken tenders, 1.5 ounces of roast beef, 1.5 ounces of roast turkey, 1.5 ounces of ham, 1.5 ounces of corned beef, 1.5 ounces brisket, 1.5 ounces of Angus steak, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of cheddar cheese and three half-strips of bacon. Having trouble envisioning it? Imagine that several 18-wheelers carrying pigs, cows and chickens collided with a Sargento’s cheese trailer and a Wonder Bread truck. Voila! Meat Mountain! Your personal preference for condiments dictates if the final truck in this pileup is from Hellmann’s, French’s or Vlasic.

Arby’s claims they developed the idea for the Meat Mountain after some customers saw in-store posters meant to illustrate the various meat choices offered by the chain, mistook the picture for a real sandwich, and asked for it. Luckily, the poster did not also illustrate a 5-gallon cup filled with Arby’s various beverage choices. But remember … if the Beverage Bucket shows up at Arby’s next week, you saw it here first.

The arrival of Meat Mountain comes at a curious time in light of efforts by legislators and health groups alike to make fast food healthier and a 2013 New York City effort to ban the sale of sugar-laden beverages larger than 16 ounces (an effort that failed, by the way). Just last week, NYC Councilman Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would ban fast-food restaurants from offering free toys and other incentives with kids’ meals if the food contains more than 500 calories and more than 600 milligrams of sodium. The bill would also require the meal to include a fruit, a vegetable or a whole-grain serving. We care a lot about keeping our kids from becoming obese.

But what good is keeping kids slim and healthy if, 10 years down the road, they can sashay into Arby’s and order up a Meat Mountain or two?

A better question is, why would anyone want to spend $10 on a single sandwich when that same $10 could buy several packages of cold-cuts, some cheese and a bag of kaiser rolls? That’s enough processed critter parts and coagulated milk protein casein to create a veritable Rockies of sandwiches. By the way, don’t fall for the “three half-strips of bacon” marketing ploy. Do the math: Three half-strips of bacon is only one and a half strips of bacon. But three sounds like so much more, right? The same way that $49,999 Mercedes is “less than $50,000.”

But perhaps the best question is, why would anyone want to climb Meat Mountain?

Because it’s there.

Seriously, when was the last time you thought, “I’m feeling a bit peckish. I’m gonna rustle up a stack o’ jumbo and three half-slabs o’ cheese and throw ’em between two hunks o’ that sourdough loaf!”

Never, that’s when. But now that you’ve read about it …

I know, it’s America. We deserve to overeat in ways that the citizens of Third World countries can only dream of.

But, please, follow the posted detour around the Meat Mountain.

It’ll save you at least 2,400 half-calories.



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