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Baltimore Pit Beef Inspiration for Arby's?


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Am watching Bourdane's tour of the Rust Belt. He starts in Baltimore at Chap's Pit Beef. For some reason I haven't tried pit beef yet. Definitely a reason to stop in Baltimore my next trip south on I-95.

What perked up my ears was the reference to Tiger Sauce. When I was opening manager for the first franchise Arby's (Maple Heights OH, mid 60's), Arby's was a lot different from today. Back then whole muscle top round was roasted rare/medium rare. Served on a bun that looked like a kaiser roll, but much softer. One of the three sauces offered - "Tiger Sauce" - a blend of horseradish and mayonnaise. Same thing the pit beef places have been serving a lot longer than Arby's.

Chap's grills cuts of meat rare, slices it and puts it on a kaiser roll. Most popular condiment Tiger Sauce. I'm guessing that Baltimore pit beef was the Raffle brothers' inspiration for Arby's which started up in Akron - not that far from Baltimore.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Am watching Bourdane's tour of the Rust Belt.  He starts in Baltimore at Chap's Pit Beef.  For some reason I haven't tried pit beef yet.  Definitely a reason to stop in Baltimore my next trip south on I-95.

What perked up my ears was the reference to Tiger Sauce.  When I was opening manager for the first franchise Arby's (Maple Heights OH, mid 60's), Arby's was a lot different from today.  Back then whole muscle top round was roasted rare/medium rare.  Served on a bun that looked like a kaiser roll, but much softer.  One of the three sauces offered - "Tiger Sauce" - a blend of horseradish and mayonnaise.  Same thing the pit beef places have been serving a lot longer than Arby's.

Chap's grills cuts of meat rare, slices it and puts it on a kaiser roll.  Most popular condiment Tiger Sauce.  I'm guessing that Baltimore pit beef was the Raffle brothers' inspiration for Arby's which started up in Akron - not that far from Baltimore.

Wow, I remember Tiger Sauce and when Arby's used real meat. I'm from Cleveland too and when I was in high school in the 60's Arby's was our regular place to go for a late night snack. After they started using synthetic beef we stopped going there.

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Wow, I remember Tiger Sauce and when Arby's used real meat. I'm from Cleveland too and when I was in high school in the 60's Arby's was our regular place to go for a late night snack. After they started using synthetic beef we stopped going there.

Doesn't it hurt when you have to actually type the words "when A***'s used real meat."? :cool:

At what point is the business decision made to serve up a chunk of solidified meat paste and call it roast instead of serving up an actual roast? Or paint on brown "grill marks" on a hamburger patty that's coming out of a microwave?

I have to look and see when that "No Reservations" re-runs, we had a power flicker and it knocked out my DVR.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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At what point is the business decision made to serve up a chunk of solidified meat paste and call it roast instead of serving up an actual roast?

The was a tremendous beef shortage - I think in 1969. All the fast food companies that sold hamburgers or roast beef sandwiches were seriously hurting. I was working corporately for McDonald's at the time. Probably one of the toughest decisions the corporation has ever made. They raised the price of their hamburger from the original 15 cents to 18 cents.

At the same time Arby's had been selling their roast beef sandwich for 69 cents. They elected to hold price and compromise their product, switching to a comminuted roll of beef - chunks held together with a spice and salt paste, rubbed for color, placed in a cryovac bag and boiled.

Though cost was the justification, it could have been that Arby's operations department was looking for an excuse to stop roasting fresh beef. Cost, production planning and quality control is difficult to manage when a fast food restaurant is roasting beef from raw.

It was a life lesson for me. Better to raise the price than compromise on quality.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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