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Going to The Cheesecake Factory this weekend (never been) and looking over the menu online.. I noticed that their burgers are made with "American-style kobe beef." Does this actually mean anything, or is it some fancy marketing gimmick? Sincerely, a hardcore skeptic. ;)

asked by campagnes over 6 years ago
9 answers 2577 views
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added over 6 years ago

Great question!! I've been looking into this as well and from what I gather, it's a cross breed of the Wagyu and Angus. They are fed beer, but the feed is not the same as in the Japanese Kobe. That's pretty much all I know, but I think to some degree, it's a marketing ploy. Or at best, 1/2 Kobe!! ; )

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added over 6 years ago

Tiggy is right. It's Wagyu and Angus, not the same as Kobe, but not bad either. I wouldnt get it from the Cheesecake Factory and expect it to be good though. Stick to the pastas or salads. They are closer to an applebees. I'm a fan of their pizzas. I forget what it's called, but the one with pine nuts is good. Have fun!

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added over 6 years ago

Ah, gotcha. That's kind of what I suspected.. a watered-down version of Kobe. Probably still good, but honestly, after looking at The Cheesecake Factory's fabulous cocktail menu, I'm not sure that food will enter the equation at all. :) ha.

Thanks TiggyBee!

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added over 6 years ago

and thanks too, JessieLK.. we must've posted at the same time. :) Pizzas.. check. Everything sounds so good that it's good to known what's ACTUALLY good or not.. suggestions welcome!

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added over 6 years ago

Kobe beef is a designation concerning the origin of the beef. I would venture to say less than 1% of 1% of the beef labeled Kobe is actually Kobe beef. The Japanese are extremely wary of selling their products to other nations (*see Japanese rice varietals, Wasabi). What is labeled Kobe or Wagyu is really just a breed of cattle (ie Herefordshire, Angus) and is almost never, ever real deal Kobe beef.

It is actually a popular misconception that Kobe beef is fed beer and massaged daily. Even in Kobe, Japan, the farmers do not have that kind of time, and the myth has mainly been propagated to keep the cost as high as it is.

So, Wagyu is just the breed of cattle, it can be raised to taste like regular cattle, so it is important to know how it was raised (ie What was it fed?). To me personally, nothing can beat corn fed meat, it is fattier, more flavorful, and has a much better texture. Grass fed beef is dry, tasteless, and lean.

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added over 6 years ago

I agree. Some friends of mine recently gifted me with some grass-fed beef that friends of theirs raise and slaughter themselves. They RAVE about this beef, so I was excited to try it. But after tasting it, however, I was really disappointed. I found it to be exactly as you described - dry, very mild flavor, too lean. I'd actually say it was some of the worst beef I've had. But not to their faces. :)

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pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

I see nothing to dispute in the previous descriptions of kobe v wagyu, with one caveat if you ever drive by the feed lots in Kettleman City, CA you will never touch beef again. Wagyu is at least more of an artisan product with a pretty fair amount of marbeling.
Regarding Cheese Factory, it's like Claim Jumper. Massive portions of mediocre food. The hook is that you'll take most of it home with you (and feed it to the dog).

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added over 6 years ago

Their burgers taste like plain ol' burgers as far as I can remember, nothing memorable. Unless the Kobe thing is new, I'd be skeptical. Maybe a gimmick to charge more money?

We love Cheesecake Factory. I mean, where else will you find a 500-page menu? And a gazzillion different cheesecakes? The banana one is really nice. And they do a seasonal pumpkin one too I think.

The omelets suck. Don't order them, ever. The meatloaf is really good. The crispy chicken costoletta (sauce on the side) is one of my favs. And go early, or you'll be waiting for hours. Can you tell I've been there way too many times? ;-)

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added over 6 years ago

You know, I'm not a huge banana fan, but I was eyeing that banana cream cheesecake.. might have to give it a shot. Thanks for all the pointers, everyone! We'll be going on my birthday.. wonder if they do any kind of birthday special thingie (without the raucous birthday singing.. oy!). :)

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