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Arby’s Deluxe Wagyu Steakhouse Burger Taste Test

Courtesy of Arby’s

In a major first for the meat-centric fast food, Arby’s unveiled its new Deluxe Wagyu Steakhouse Burger and the Bacon Ranch Wagyu Steakhouse Burger on May 23. It was a pretty big deal, considering the chain has had just about every type of meat on the menu except a classic burger. But while Arby’s was tossing its bun into a crowded fast food arena, it was also promising to deliver something no one else was offering.

The Deluxe Wagyu Steakhouse Burger comes with the patty cooked sous vide-style, topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, a special burger sauce, and stacked into a buttery brioche bun. The Bacon Ranch Wagyu Steakhouse Burger has the same patty, topped with bacon, American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and parmesan peppercorn ranch on the same toasted brioche bun.

Arby’s customers can order a burger made with American Wagyu beef for $5.99 or $6.99 for the Bacon Ranch version. The chain says it is a “cross between Japanese Wagyu and high-quality continental breeds of cattle,” and promises the burger is 50% larger than the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder.

But could the promise of such stacked burgers live up to the hype? And could these Wagyu burgers hold their own against the existing lineup of fast food burgers? Here’s the Thrillist review.

The Deluxe Wagyu Steakhouse Burger IRL. | Photo by Opheli Garcia Lawler

first impressions

In our real-world testing, both versions of the burger immediately lived up to Arby’s first promise. These sandwiches were heavy. I didn’t get out a scale and double-check, but I didn’t have a hard time believing that they were each at least 6.4 ounces. Both patties came thoroughly charred on the outside (in a good way!), reminding me of a homemade burger cooked perfectly on a backyard grill.

The Bun

The buttery brioche buns were toasted as promised and did what any excellent burger bun does, which is hold the whole thing together. It did the job, but nothing about it stood out particularly. Brioche buns are pretty standard these days and these buns tasted like just about every other one out there. Then again, this is a burger that has a lot going on, so a nice, consistent bun that doesn’t distract from the flavors of everything else is really the best thing you can ask for.

The Bacon Ranch Wagyu Steakhouse Burger. | Photo by Tony Meverick

The Wagyu Beef Burger

I’ll be honest. I was skeptical. For me, burgers from fast food joints rarely stand out. So I wasn’t expecting much for this one either. I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. This burger was not only big, but it tasted great—with the beefiness and char that you typically have to pay a few bucks more for from a fast casual chain. From the first bite, it was clear that the quality of the meat wasn’t overhyped. The sous vide preparation made it taste like I was eating a burger that cost way more than $5 or $6. It might not compete with anything on a steak house’s menu, but it definitely stands out in the fast food arena and, frankly, can compete with burgers from fancier chains like Shake Shack and Five Guys.

Bacon Ranch vs. Deluxe

Flavor-wise, the Bacon Ranch blew the regular Deluxe version of the burger out of the water. The crispy saltiness of the bacon and the parmesan peppercorn ranch just appealed to my taste buds way more than the standard special burger sauce. The special burger sauce just left me thinking about what the sauce was made of instead of enjoying its flavor. For the extra dollar you pay for the Bacon Ranch, it felt like you were upgrading from a bistro burger to a steakhouse burger.

Final Thoughts

Both burgers are worth your time if only to try out this Wagyu beef blend that really tastes a cut above competitors’ beef patties. I found the Bacon Ranch version of the Wagyu Steakhouse Burger to be the tastier, more satisfying option. Still, the Deluxe was definitely a good time for those who prefer something without bacon. I can picture myself ordering the Bacon Ranch again, though maybe not for at least several days. Eating 6.4 ounces of burger left me feeling extremely full.

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Opheli Garcia-Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.

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