It’s no secret people have strong opinions about Arby’s. You’re probably a fervent supporter or you wouldn’t touch (or eat) their roast beef sandwich with a ten-foot pole. I fall in the former camp. The chain proudly announces “We Have the Meats,” but never before in 58 years has that included a hamburger. I’ve always taken a strange pride in this absence (because in my mind, I operate a profitable Arby’s franchise, and yes, we still serve potato cakes). I’m pleased by the fact that Arby’s succeeds by doing something different and doesn’t feel the need to sling an average burger. So while Arby’s doesn’t NEED to offer a burger, what happens when it wants to? Perhaps it realized it had already served most legal meat products and decided it was time to beat all the other joints at their own game – ground beef.
The Deluxe Wagyu Steakhouse Burger offers up a 6.4-ounce patty that’s a blend of 52% American Wagyu and 48% ground beef. It’s topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, and burger sauce on a toasted brioche bun. Since Arby’s restaurants don’t have grills, they’ve decided the best cooking route is sous vide, claiming this results in a medium-well burger, something you rarely see in fast food.
This looks like a classic burger with just a handful of ingredients done right. At first glance, it didn’t appear that hefty, but upon closer examination and consumption, it’s a weighty patty. Many times in the world of fast food, I don’t want this much ground beef. I avoid items like the Quarter Pounder or anything double beef at Taco Bell because it’s more mediocre meat than I want to eat. I didn’t feel this way about the Arby’s burger at all. It tastes meaty in a good way, and the interior of the patty matches the advertised pictures: pinkish, juicy, and not the gray throughout that I’ve come to expect from most hamburgers that are handed to me within three minutes of my ordering.
The cheese was perfectly melted, and the vegetables were fresh and actually contributed something to the eating experience. The pickles are thicker cut and tasty, and the red onion is crunchy with a not-too aggressive bite. The sauce is your standard mixture of condiments. I enjoyed it, maybe more than Big Mac sauce, but there’s too much. It’s applied to both the top and bottom bun and should be contained to just one. I liked its thinner consistency and it had a good flavor balance, the only issue being the ratio of sauce to every other part of the burger is off. It makes for a sloppy situation and because the meat here genuinely does seem to be of a better quality, they could have showcased the wagyu more by saucing less.
Since it lacks a grilled element, you won’t be getting any char on the patty’s exterior, but the texture and quality of the meat and toppings exceed the expectations I have for burgers of this size in a drive-thru setting. If hamburgers are part of your fast food repertoire I’d encourage you to grab this one while you have the chance. It’s available through July 31st, and after that, Arby’s will hang up its ten-gallon hat from the burger game, and both fans and (fake) franchise owners like me will rest assured that they don’t have to serve burgers, but if they want to, damn it, they can.
Purchased Price: $6.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 715 calories, 43 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 97 milligrams of cholesterol, 1567 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugars, and 39 grams of protein.