**Today's meal has been sent courtesy of Raybern Foods**
A few weeks ago we were contacted by the people at Raybern Foods and they wanted to take the Tasty Lies challenge to see how their food held up to the packaging. So we received a bunch of sandwiches from them, I passed them out to the team (including one to our newest reviewer Megan), and you'll be seeing those over the next couple of weeks!
You may have seen Raybern's sandwiches before, I often see them in the deli section of the Super Wal-Mart here in town. They're a California-based company that makes a million sandwiches a week by hand. Pretty impressive! They've been around since the 70s and have the best-selling Philly Cheesesteak in the market. No small feat for a couple guys from near my hometown.
What kind of sandwiches do they make, though? Well, subs essentially. They are branded as New York Deli style sandwiches with a big old list of variations, including; Pastrami, Philly Cheese, Chicken Philly Cheese, Ham, Roast Beef, Chicken Bacon Ranch, and a bunch more. All told we've got seven reviews coming your way, so let's get to it! The first person to dig in was me!
So here's the deal: I like sandwiches, I like steak, and I like chipotle-flavored things. So when I opened the box and saw this sandwich I was quick to claim it. I've had one or two Raybern sandwiches in the past, late night stops at Wal-Mart makes for oddly stocked refrigerators the next morning. I'd not seen this one before though, so I was anxious to try it.
The packaging looks pretty much exactly what I'd hope for this sandwich to be; A bunch of steak and cheese with some chipotle pepper sauce. It looks pretty hearty and it's a fairly big sandwich, making it a really nice-sized meal. What did it really look like?
It looks about what I expected. It's not as put together as on the packaging, but the idea is definitely there. There's a good amount of steak and cheese, the bread doesn't look beat to hell after being frozen, and it's a pretty big sandwich! Let's check out the inside…
There's actually more cheese than I was expecting, which is a welcome surprise. The package's promise of a lot of steak is delivered on, and the chipotle ranch sauce isn't slathered on and overdone. Those who know me know it's easy to go overboard on sauce in these frozen meals. They don't go too far with it here and I'm thankful for it.
What really surprised me was the taste, it was actually pretty delicious. The chipotle pepper ranch sauce has a nice amount of bite mixed with a little smokiness that worked insanely well with the steak and cheese. I was a little afraid going in that something like this would essentially resemble their Roast Beef and Cheddar or Philly Cheesesteak quite a bit, but that chipotle sauce really set it apart.
The steak wasn't a super high-grade of filet mignon, but it certainly wasn't scraps either. It worked really well as sandwich steak. It was easy to bite through, not overly chewy, and not tough at all. Another big standout in my particular sandwich was the bread. After many frozen meal sandwiches, paninis, etc. I've gotten accustomed to being let down by reheated bread. I can't speak for everyone else's sandwiches but the bread on mine was soft and warm, it was actually pretty perfect.
The only drawback of the sandwich for me was the calorie and fat count. The sandwich is technically a 2-serving sandwich and if you follow that guideline you'll be okay. I'm pretty hungry at lunch though and didn't follow that, instead eating the entire sandwich. It was a filling lunch, but it rang in at 720 calories and 36 grams of fat. Combine that with 1720 mg of sodium and that's more than I usually like to burn on a lunch. That said, sometimes it's okay to splurge a bit.
In looking at McDonald's, that's a couple hundred more calories and a little more fat than a Big Mac. However, it's less of both than any of the sandwiches in their Angus line. So really it's not terribly out of whack with what you'd be getting into with fast food sandwiches. Have an apple and some water instead of fries and a Coke and you're on the right track.
If you'd like to try a Raybern's sandwich, head on over to their Facebook page and snag yourself a coupon to save a dollar on two sandwiches. Not a bad deal for just hitting a Facebook button!
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