Annals of fast-food excess

Caught on tv yesterday: two, count them, two, recent commercials for excessive fast-food offerings: Wendy’s Baconator (970 calories of bacon, burger, and cheese) and Arby’s new Loaded Italian Sandwich (an Italian sub with lots of ingredients and a mere 630 calories). The latter led me to Arby’s competitor Subway, which offers an “Italian B.M.T.”, with a modest 410 calories, but that’s in their 6-inch sandwich — it’s 820 in their footlong version.

Fast-food excess: the history on this blog.

2/9/15, “Hash-brown built-in”, on the Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap

6/9/15, “Annals of advertising: patriotism, sex, and overwhelming mouthfuls of food”, on Carl’s Jr. / Hardee’s Most American Thickburger

6/11/15, “One more monstrous food item”, on Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza

6/27/15, “In the monstrous food sweepstakes”, on deep-fried Big Macs

The Baconator from Wendy’s. With a super-macho name: think The Terminator. It’s been around for a while; from Wikipedia:

The Baconator sandwich is a hamburger sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Wendy’s.

The Baconator was introduced in April 2007 as part of a “back to basics” reorganization by Wendy’s new CEO Kerri Anderson. The addition of the product is part of a push to add menu items that appeal to the 18-34 year old demographic and expand late-night sales.


The Double Baconator: 6 strips of bacon, half a pound of beef, cheese — 970 calories for $5.89. Only the bacon speaks to me, and an advertising point is that the bacon is freshly cooked, not microwaved.

Arby’s Loaded Italian Sandwich. “We have the meat!”, the ad intones, aggressively. From the Brand Eating site on 7/25/15:

Arby’s introduces the new Loaded Italian Sandwich as their latest limited time menu item.

Not sure how high they are stacked but the new sandwich features a laundry list of ingredients (compared to most of their menu anyway) including pepperoni, salami, Swiss cheese, banana peppers, roast ham, vinaigrette, red onion, tomatoes, lettuce, and garlic aioli on a toasted Italian roll.

The suggested price for the sandwich is $4.99. [630 calories]


The field of Italian submarine sandwiches is a very crowded one, and it’s not clear to me what sets Arby’s Loaded Italian apart from the competition (though it looks like a perfectly decent sandwich).

Subway’s Italian B.M.T. The Subway chain specializes in sandwiches, sandwiches, sandwiches, and the company’s name even alludes to subs, so it was the obvious place to go to check on the competition in the world of Italian submarine sandwiches. From their menu site:

Italian B.M.T.®. This all-time Italian classic is filled with Genoa salami, spicy pepperoni, and Black Forest Ham.


The site says that this jaw-stretching beauty is only 410 calories, but that turns out to be for the 6-inch version. The company is known for its footlong sandwiches, and the footlong Italian B.M.T. supplies 820 calories.

On the name: B.M.T. in the sandwich name originally stood for Brooklyn-Manhattan-Transit (the subway corporation — in line with the name of the sandwich company), but now, according to Subway, stands for “Bigger, Meatier, Tastier”. Oh my. Hard to believe the company isn’t exploiting  the sexual (as well as gustatory) connotations of the slogan; compare ads to make male performance harder, longer, stronger, etc., and of course the 1999 movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.

(As far as I can see, there’s no IRT or IND sandwich at Subway, just BMT.)

One Response to “Annals of fast-food excess”

  1. rjp Says:

    6″ Italian BMT, toasted, with cheese, bbq sauce, plus lettuce and tomato was my favoured lunch item in 2005/6. Highly recommended.

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