If you’ve never eaten at Barn’rds, please call me. We’ll go together. I freaking LOVE this place. I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to review it. You know how people rave about Arby’s? I do NOT like Arby’s. Occasionally I’ll think I crave their curly fries and Arby’s sauce, only to eat it and remember their fries have a funny taste (almost like dirty grease?). Sure they’re crunchy and all the other things good fries should be. And don’t even get me started on Arby’s “wonderful” roast beef sandwiches. I’ve tried them. Several times. I used to assume I was just getting an odd bad sandwich. But, nope, they really just aren’t that good. Go to Barn’rds and you’ll know what a good roast beef sandwich is. I PROMISE.
I’m salivating looking at this little guy.
OK, so here’s the thing about Barn’rds. They’re family/locally owned. And they give exceptional service. And I mean exceptional. They truly seem pleased you’ve come in (and aren’t a bother like so many restaurants make you feel). They greet you. Ask you how you are. Don’t rush you to order. But they make your order a priority. This most recent time I came in, a guy even held the door open for some patrons leaving, and held it open for me as well. Even though he could have easily let the door shut because I was perfectly capable of working the door myself (the leaving patrons had children, leftovers, and all the trappings of children – bags and whatnot). So he holds the door open, and says, “Welcome! Come on in!” Hell yeah I will!
The guy working the register (if I were truly a “regular” I’d probably know everyone’s names like lots of people there do, but anyone who knows me knows I’m not a conversation starter) also greeted me like he’d been waiting all day to see me. I knew I wanted roast beef. And settled on the Barn Stormer (roast beef, tomato, lettuce, onion and dressing (I don’t know what the dressing is, but a regular probably would).
Their sandwiches come with a choice of fries, potato salad and chips. And they also offer a healthy alternative for a bit more. I know this includes soup and fruit. I think there may also be an option of a salad. I didn’t write it down. But you have several side choices.
Of course, I chose fries. Hey, you eat their fries and tell me if you’d be able to resist. Although I suspect all of their soups are homemade. Whoever my dinner date is, we can choose a side, then share fries! You know, like a Joey sharing buffer of fries. Oh, these fries. Yum. Where was I? All I can think about is jumping around in a moon bounce full of Barn’rds french fries. Focus.
Alright, so I pick a table and get a side of BBQ sauce because, well, the fries + BBQ sauce is the way to go. And my food’s ready.
Now do you want to go with me?
How about NOW?
OK, let me describe this sandwich, if I can. The bread is awesome. It’s soft but crusty. One complaint I have about Arby’s are their store bought buns. I don’t like them. Store bought buns kind of disintegrate and fall apart. This bun was sturdy, crusty, very homemade-y, and a perfect balance to its toppings. And the roast beef. Oh, the roast beef. I do NOT like deli roast beef. The only roast beef I’ve ever found in a store that I like is the Black Angus roast beef (I’m not even sure that’s a brand – but that’s how I order it) at Walmart. And I HATE the deli department at the Walmart near my house. Both the service, and my suspicion that it’s dirty as hell back there. So I never order roast beef. And most sandwich places (Subway, for example) also have, in my opinion, gross roast beef. Jason’s Deli has good roast beef! Mmmmmm… Jason’s Deli. OK, focusing.
Anyway, the roast beef is meat perfected. And then there are several (not just one wimpy slice) slices of tomatoes. Shredded lettuce. Just a few onions (not onion overload like my arch-enemy Subway does when you ask for onions. Is it me or do those “Sandwich Artists” hate their lives and you for ordering a sandwich?). And then the dressing. I had a hard time distinguishing what the dressing was. But it wasn’t glopped on, and it didn’t run out all over the place.
Pretty much, this sandwich seems to have been perfection in proportions over the last twenty-eight years. They opened in 1982 – one of the workers was having a conversation with another table and I heard him mention it.
That’s the other great thing about this place. It’s clean. And it actually is clean. One worker was in the dining area the entire time cleaning. As soon as someone left he’d not only clean the tables, but the chairs as well. When I sat my stuff down at a table, he asked if it was clean because they’d just gotten through with a rush and he hasn’t had a chance to re-clean every table. And more than one employee verified I had everything while I was eating, asked if I needed anything else, and asked how my food was when I was done. It wasn’t overwhelming at all. I was studying, and they were very considerate, asking truly because they wanted to make sure my experience was pleasurable. When I left, they thanked me again for my business and asked me to come back soon.
Oh! And I left out a big part! When I ordered he asked if I wanted a cookie. I declined because I didn’t know what their cookies looked like. For those cookie lovers out there, there are jars of (wrapped) cookies. They all look homemade. There were giant pumpkin shaped sugar cookies. I felt like I was at Karla’s or my parents’. They looked ah-mazing. And normally I’m not wowed or tempted by cookies.
New goal: Try every single thing (except potato salad!) on their menu. Who wants to conquer this with me? Boom.
Eating these fries was like a religious experience.
I don’t know if this place would want to be considered fast food, but they have a drive through, and they’re as quick (or quicker) than most places categorized as fast food. I’m putting this place at the top of both my fast food and sandwich favorites list. So let it be written, so let it be done.