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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Here's the beef

The Joseph Decuis restaurant in Roanoke gets a nice writeup in the Star for its American version of Kobe beef, for which the restaurant owners keep their own herd of Japanese Wagyu cattle:

What has come to be called American Wagyu is typically a cross between Japanese Wagyu and black or red Angus.

American Wagyu steaks often cost more than $50 a pound; a 6-ounce fillet from Joseph Decuis is more than $40. At the much ballyhooed Kobe Club in New York City, an 8-ounce American Wagyu fillet is $85. A Kobe sampler for two costs $395.

Yikes. Throw in a good bottle of wine, and we're talking real money. I've never had Kobe beef, but I may have to try it at least once. I love a good steak, and the difference between the Choice you can get at the supermarket and the Prime that's served in good restaurants is worth paying extra for. Here's where to order your own if you want to have Prime at home.


Harl Delos
Thu, 06/12/2008 - 10:25am

That $395 "sampler" is American "Kobe" beef. You have to go to Japan for the real stuff (which is more expensive yet). It's illegal to export Japanese Kobe beef to the US.

Not all USDA Choice is the same. The stuff you get at chain supermarkets is what they call "low choice", just barely over 5% intramuscular fat. The stuff you get at a good meat market can have 50% more marbling, and still be categorized as USDA Choice. USDA Prime starts at 8% intramuscular fat, but the stuff they serve at top steakhouses runs about 11%.

Some butcher shops sell great meats. Some sell meat that's only marginally better than supermarket meats. And I once bought hamburger at Hill's in Georgetown Square that when I got home, I smelled it, and sealed it VERY securely in a plastic bucket before I tossed it in the garbage - I didn't want the feral dogs in the neighborhood to get sick.