Is Arby’s New Burger Worth the 58-Year Wait?

Image for article titled Is Arby's New Burger Worth the 58-Year Wait?

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

Known for having “The Meats,” Arby’s has never given us a burger to back up that claim… until today. According to a press release sent to The Takeout, Arby’s is offering two new Wagyu Steakhouse Burgers from May 23 to July 31 at select locations.

In keeping with its well-known slogan, Arby’s wasn’t shy about making some bold claims within the announcement of its Wagyu Steakhouse Burger and its Bacon Ranch Wagyu Steakhouse Burger. So naturally, we put those tall claims to the test.

Why Arby’s is adding a burger to the menu

Although meat has always been Arby’s main focus and its biggest point of pride, the fast food chain has never taken a stab at selling a burger until now. After almost 60 years of business, what inspired this new menu item?

“In this case, consumers told us they have settled for mediocre fast food burgers, but wanted a higher quality option,” said Patrick Schwing, Chief Marketing Officer of Arby’s, in the press release. “So, we spent over two years researching and developing a Wagyu Steakhouse Burger worthy of the Meats Place.”

The press release describes the new burger as an American Wagyu blended patty topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, and a “special burger sauce” on a toasted buttery brioche bun. Customers also have the option to add bacon and ranch to the burger.

Image for article titled Is Arby's New Burger Worth the 58-Year Wait?

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

How does the new Arby’s burger taste?

The 6.4-ounce burger, which is 50% larger than McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, uses a blend of 52% American Wagyu and 48% ground beef to deliver a premium steakhouse burger,” reads the press release. There’s no question this is a big burger: that patty is thick, thick. So thick, in fact, that I didn’t even finish the burger. A quarter of it had to be left behind because if I had forced myself to eat the whole thingI likely would have been reduced to a food coma so severe I wouldn’t be able to write these words.

Where Arby’s fails to deliver on his promises is in the cook of the burger. The promotional materials specify that the burger is cooked “using Sous Vide style, a unique method that locks in juices and rich flavor, producing a juicy, tender burger with a slightly pink center.”

Perhaps you’ll see something I did not when looking at the photo above, but both myself and fellow staff writer Lillian Stone confirmed that there was no pink to be found in the center of this meaty monster. HASt $7.44 for just the sandwich, I have to admit it is a bit disappointing not to see the cook on the meat that was promised.

By no means was the burger overdone, though. It was still juicy and delicious despite its lack of a pink center. It’s also very possible that the burger sauce the patty was slathered with contributed to the perception of juiciness, but either way, each bite was more than satisfactory. The sauce had a creamy but lightly tangy flavor that paired so well with the Wagyu.

Arby’s talked a big game with this one. By insinuating all other fast food burgers are mediocre, The Meats purveyor set a bar high for itself, and to the brand’s credit, it did deliver a tasty and filling burger. Waiting 58 years was apparently the right move.

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