Arby's New Burger Is 3 Animals In One

The chain known for its roast beef sandwiches has added a new blended burger to the menu.

Arby's kitchen usually puts out some pretty safe bets—after all, its mainstay is a traditional, dependable roast beef sandwich. But whenever it chooses to deviate or experiment even the slightest bit, Arby's typical caution gets tossed out the window. Take, for example, the notorious curly fry vodka the brand released two years ago, or the Meat Mountain on the secret menu that contains 3,536 milligrams of sodium. These items seem designed to generate buzz and stand out from the pack—and the newest Arby's menu item seems calibrated to do the same.

Next week, America's favorite roast beef slinger will release the brand-new, limited-time-only Big Game Burger, which includes ingredients that aren't often, if ever, seen in fast food. Hint: the name is a double entendre. 

What is Arby’s new Big Game Burger?

The Big Game Burger patty is a blend of beef, elk, and venison, topped with Swiss cheese, pickles, crispy onions, and a dark cherry steak sauce. This might actually be the most efficient way to eat three animals at once.


Having eaten elk before, I can attest that its flavor isn't all that far off from beef. It's leaner, which some people really like about it. Venison, on the other hand, does have a gamey quality to it that's hard to describe. Eaten by itself, venison has a strong flavor that not everyone enjoys, so blending it with beef makes a lot of culinary sense—you want to cue people into the fact that this is a burger. In preparations like sausages and burgers, venison is also often blended with pork fat to improve the overall texture.

The dark cherry steak sauce is also notable, since fruit makes a great accompaniment to red meat; its tannic qualities complement the mineral flavors found in venison.

This isn’t the first time Arby’s has served game meat

While the idea of a fast food restaurant serving game meat seems pretty darn novel, it's not the first time Arby's has done so. After a brief market test in 2016, Arby's released a sandwich nationwide the following year featuring a slab of venison.


I tried the sandwich way back then, and it was decent, but the idea of Arby's selling venison was better than the product itself. Playing with form and function like Taco Bell does can be its own kind of fun and can often result in wacky, viral products, but Arby's has instead chosen to source a unique ingredient, an approach that seems to work best for the brand. Arby's also served a duck breast sandwich in 2018 at 16 locations across the country, further expanding the notion of which proteins fast food can offer us.

The Big Game Burger debuts September 12 at a price of $8.79. That's slightly more expensive than the average fast food burger, but hey, when else are you going to be able to say you had elk and venison from a fast food joint? If customers are even half as curious about this burger as I am, then it's likely to go fast, and once it's gone, it's gone. Happy hunting, everyone. At least you can do it from the driver's seat of your car.