by Brian Kendall and Samantha Calimbahin
A $120 sandwich for lunch ... why not?
B&B Butchers and Restaurant at The Shops at Clearfork rolled out its new A5 Wagyu Katsu Sando sandwich last week — A5 Japanese Wagyu Ribeye, panko-crusted, brushed with Tonkatsu sauce and sandwiched between two slices of whole milk bread sourced from Japan. It's served with zucchini fries and pickles, plus a hefty price tag that B&B proprietor Benjamin Berg says is cheaper than what you'd find on the east coast (according to Berg, this sandwich is $180 in New York).
The sandwich is an off-menu item served at lunch and dinner, and will become a permanent part of the menu once DFW Restaurant Week ends Sept. 3.
So, worth it or nah? Our editors — executive editor Brian Kendall and managing editor Samantha Calimbahin — gave it a try and offered their honest thoughts.
Brian: As a person admittedly more used to Potbelly and Jimmy John's than ordering a 'wich from a fine dining establishment, the stone slab plating struck me as modern while staying true to the recipe's minimalism — this is, after all, still a sandwich. Interestingly, the sandwich is cut into thirds — again, an anomaly in the sub/'wich world — which properly displays the star of the show: the rare Wagyu beef. So if the sight of raw meat is unappetizing to you, you'll likely turn your nose up at it.
Samantha: Naturally as a millennial, I'm inclined to take photos of food once it hits the table (you know, for the 'gram). But, admittedly, it's not the prettiest sandwich. I joked with Brian that it reminded me of a hotdog. I did like the way it was plated, the way the zucchini fries are crazily mangled beside the sandwich. A note for Instagrammers: Overhead shots might not work for this one.
Brian: In short, I dug it. The perfectly toasted bread, which is both sweet and buttery, combined with the lightly seared coating gives the rare Wagyu beef a much-needed crunch. The barbecue sauce also adds the right amount of tanginess. While the nearly-raw meat is a little cumbersome to bite into, I can see why there's much ado about this beef. It's incredibly tender and practically melts in your mouth. Oh, and don't sleep on its supporting cast — those zucchini fries are delicious.
Samantha: I tend to get queasy with rare meat. I almost always order my steak medium well and opt for the cooked sushi (shameful, I know). This sandwich, however, came as a pleasant surprise. The meat was tender; the panko crust nicely offset the raw texture. The bread — super buttery. It's a rich, hefty sandwich. Honestly, my biggest hang-up was the doneness. But B&B told us the restaurant isn't snobby when it comes to how customers want their meat. If you want it cooked through a little more, they'll do it.
Brian: If you have the means, I'd say yes. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities (and only once-in-a-lifetime purchases) when you can say you tried a $120 sandwich. It's worth it for the anecdotes alone — "every bite was worth $10." But beyond trying it for curiosity's sake, it's probably not worth shelling out that kind of dough to the casual diner.
Samantha: I mean, I get it. It's A5 Wagyu beef. It's a big deal. The $120 price tag makes sense to me. But would I do it again? For funsies? Yes. For lunch? Probably not.