A $120 Sandwich?

Washington Avenue steakhouse heats up with $120 splurge-worthy sandwich

Washington Ave. steakhouse heats up with $120 splurge-worthy sandwich

B&B Butchers wagyu katsu sando
The $120 katsu sando hits the menu next week. Photo by Daniel Ortiz

Typically, steakhouses are pretty staid when it comes to their menus. They don’t really change.

Maybe somebody should tell to Ben Berg. The owner of B&B Butchers always seems to be tweaking the offerings at his Washington Avenue restaurant.

Berg’s latest innovation hits the menu next week: a Japanese-style katsu sando. Inspired by a trend in New York and Japan, the sandwich features between six and seven ounces of authentic Japanese A5 wagyu beef that’s panko-crusted and deep fried. Served on Japanese-style white bread with a little katsu sauce and a side of zucchini fries, the sandwich will retail for a splurge-worthy $120. Obviously, that's not cheap, but Berg says his cost on the beef alone is about $75. So why serve it at all?

“We have the Japanese beef. I’ve had the sandwich in New York,” Berg tells CultureMap. “I loved it. It was fantastic. I really just wanted to do it.”

It took Berg and chef Tommy Elbashary about a month to perfect the recipe by identifying the right cut of beef and creating the sauce. After securing the right style of bread from a local bakery and purchasing appropriate plateware, the sandwich is ready to serve to the general public. It will be an off-the-menu special for now but should go on full-time after Houston Restaurant Weeks.

In 2016, B&B became the first Houston restaurant to be certified to serve authentic Kobe beef. Berg says he now sells about a pound a day. Given that, he thinks he could sell two or three katsu sandos a day. The response to a couple of test runs has been favorable.

“People are blown away by it. They loved it,” Berg says.

For $120, they better. Knowing Berg’s obsession to detail and creative mind, they almost certainly will.