$200 Burger: Delectable Or Despicable?

It may be the most exotic, the most expensive and the most controversial burger ever flipped in a fast-food joint.

"This is not just ordinary beef, this is special?" CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips asked.

Burger King's Chef Mark Dowding said: "Absolutely; this is Wagyu."

Premium, prohibitively priced, Japanese-style Wagyu, flame-grilled, garnished with Italian truffles, Spanish cured ham, aged balsamic vinegar, Champagne onions and popped onto a saffron- and truffle-dusted bun.

Isn't it all a little elaborate for a hamburger?

"Absolutely not," Dowding said. "Absolutely not."

Total cost of ingredients, the chain says, about $80 a throw.

By the time it gets to the counter, it sells for just shy of $200. For a burger!

So is it worth it?

"Orgasmic," one customer says.

Which is a lot to ask of a burger.

To some this is a burger - a high-end burger. It would have to be at $200 a pop. To others, though, it isn't a burger. It's grotesque on a bun.

"Outrageous," said Dave Tucker, with the anti-poverty group "War on Want."

To food crisis campaigners trying to draw attention to the millions of poor around the world, who are struggling to survive at a time of shortages and rising prices for basic commodities, this is the wrong burger, and the wrong message, at the wrong time.

"To come out with this kind of hugely expensive and over-the-top burger and to have 80 million people going to bed hungry every night is just to shoot yourself in the foot," Tucker said.

The chain, which is donating the proceeds from this promotion to charity, calls it "deliciously decadent." Delicious is a matter of taste.

Nobody's arguing with decadent.
  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.

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