If you’ve followed this blog at all (and thank you!), you know I’m a fiend for food and food advertising. I must try all the things, including Arby’s’ new — or returning — Wagyu Steakhouse Burger. The especially fun part of the experience for me was knowing with absolute certainty I was going to butcher (heh) the pronunciation of “wagyu,” and not caring. I’m not afraid to look stupid! So, I said it like it looks, or at least, my approximation of how it looks: “wag-ew.” Looking at a YouTube video, I see it’s more like “wah-goo.”
That aside, the premise of Arby’s re-introducing the wagyu burger is not just that they are all “we have the meats,” (insert trademark symbol) but that they felt their competitors’ burgers weren’t up to par. I don’t think I’ve ever had a wagyu cut of burger or steak before my first experience with it a few days ago at Arby’s. Obviously, wagyu comes from Japan, and in my Googling, actually encompasses four breeds of beef cattle. So, that’s interesting. When a restaurant, including Arby’s, advertises wagyu on their menu, what does that mean? Which breed of beef cattle is it? Wagyu beef is considered the best cut it seems because of omega-3 fatty acids, which means it’s high in fat. One thing I do know is that fat makes food yummier. It’s also a more marbled texture (I don’t understand that) and melts in your mouth (fair enough). I’m referencing this article.
From the Arby’s site, the burger is: wagyu blend burger topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and burger sauce on a toasted buttery brioche bun. Made with a blend of Wagyu and ground beef. Limited time only at participating locations while supplies last. Well, that’s curious, what does “wagyu blend” mean? Is it a wagyu cut or not? Maybe it’s the usual beef mixed in with some unknown percentage of wagyu beef? Whatever the case of mysterious beef, I obviously said, “No, thanks,” to the pickles. I forget what other option they offered, but I got the burger in the ranch bacon variety, which is self-explanatory.
The thing is, since I’ve never had this kind of beef before, I don’t really have anything to compare it to besides any old normal cut of fast food beef — and it doesn’t seem fair to judge wagyu beef based on Arby’s, with all due respect to Arby’s — but it was good! Messy because I find any fast food deluxe sandwich to be a messy situation, but I could certainly taste a difference; however, not enough to blow my mind or anything. Or make me want to seek it out again. Melt-in-your-mouth? I wouldn’t say that. Marble texture? Hard to tell between the ranch and tomato. But good? Sure! I ate it; I devoured it. I think of Arby’s as specializing in cheddar roast beef sandwiches, not hamburgers, so it’s kind of different and fun to have a hamburger from them, but it was good. I would recommend it to those not afraid of fast food.
Have you had this offering yet, or wagyu beef in general?