December 8, 2023

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Assessment: 2021 Lenten fish sandwiches

.- A good deal has improved in the 3 years given that CNA’s very last rating of fish sandwiches. 

The Chick-Fil-A fish sandwich, which we at CNA crowned the winner of the 2018 fish sandwich rankings, is not on the menu any longer. 

Bojangles as soon as experienced a place in close proximity to CNA’s Washington, D.C. places of work but has closed that cafe. The chain’s “Bojangler” fish sandwich positioned fourth out of the six speedy food items sandwiches sampled by CNA in 2018.

This 12 months, as Lent is upon us at the time all over again, CNA put five rapid-food items dining places head-to-head (or fin-to-fin?) to evaluate their fish sandwich offerings. 

New to CNA’s 2021 critique is Arby’s fish sandwich giving. In addition, various other restaurants showcased on the 2018 overview have current their fish sandwiches since then. 

Observe: This assessment features only fish sandwiches, described as a piece of fried fish and other toppings and condiments in among bread. All things had been purchased as specified on the menu with no modifications, and ended up attained at the travel-through and consumed at home. The scores include a five “🐟” scale, with one staying the cheapest rating and five the maximum position. A “pandering” reward is awarded to constrained-time fish sandwich choices for the Lenten time. All price ranges are for Washington, D.C. place areas and may possibly vary in the course of the state.



Crispy Fish

Rate: $4.29

Calories: 570

Web page description: “Put away your fishing boat and rubber fishing trousers. Arby’s wild-caught Alaskan Pollock is crispy-fried to golden-brown perfection. We top rated it with tartar sauce and shredded lettuce.​” The sandwich is also accessible as a “King’s Hawaiian Fish Deluxe” on a King’s Hawaiian roll with the addition of cheese and tomato. 

Initially impressions: The sandwich arrived wrapped in a focused fish sandwich wrapper, and also arrived with a packet every single of Arby’s Sauce and Horsey Sauce. The fish was decidedly a lot more on the yellow end of golden. Arby’s has “the meats,” but could it have the fish, as well? I was intrigued.

Evaluation: I preferred the sesame seed bun, which type of elevated the working experience. The iceberg lettuce would have tasted greater as romaine–it was forgettable and flavorless. The fillet alone was sizable but, yet again, tasted alternatively flavorless and was neither crunchy nor crispy. There was an proper sum of tartar sauce. I tried out the Horsey Sauce and the Arby’s Sauce on the sandwich, which simply manufactured it taste like horseradish and…Arby’s, I guess, respectively. It did not improve it, it overpowered it. There was nothing unique about this sandwich, aside from the bun. It would have benefitted from pickles. 

Pandering: Certainly, this is a minimal-time offering. 

Score: 🐟🐟🐟 and a half 

Burger King

Huge Fish

Cost: $4.49

Energy: 513 

Website description: “Our high quality Large Fish Sandwich is 100% White Alaskan Pollock, breaded with crispy panko breading and topped with sweet tartar sauce, tangy pickles, all on best of a toasted brioche-style bun.”

To start with impressions: The internet site claims that tartar sauce goes on the sandwich, but I’m rather sure that my sandwich arrived with mayonnaise instead. The sandwich was wrapped in a committed wrapper exclusively for fish. It smelled respectable. There was a large amount of lettuce on the sandwich. I preferred that the pickles ended up crinkle-minimize. 

Review: The Big Fish has the very same challenge as the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish–there’s very little overtly mistaken with it, but there’s almost nothing overtly great about it either. The addition of iceberg lettuce and pickles extra an interesting texture to the sandwich, but I would have most popular romaine lettuce instead. Though some of the other sandwiches endured owing to a relative lack of sauces, the Significant Fish had a layer of “tartar sauce” (Burger King statements) unfold on equally the bottom bun and on major of the fillet. The overload of “tartar sauce” gave the unique feeling of “wow, this is extremely unhealthy,” as I was feeding on the sandwich, which I guess is an proper emotion for Lent. The fish was not crunchy, and had a identical texture to a french fry. The lettuce was flavorless. It was not undesirable, but I’m not likely to go working for a Major Fish yet again except if I’m on the New Jersey Turnpike on a Friday. Also the Huge Fish gave me a belly ache immediately after I ate it. 

Pandering: No, this is on the permanent menu.

Score: 🐟🐟🐟 



Value: $4.79 

Calories: 380 

Site description: “This McDonald’s fish sandwich has fish sourced from sustainably managed fisheries, topped with melty American cheese and creamy McDonald’s tartar sauce, and served on a soft, steamed bun.” A website link on the web page for customers to “learn what variety of fish is in Filet-o-Fish” sales opportunities to a 404 error. 

To start with impressions: It looked like a regular Filet-O-Fish, and was packaged in a cardboard box. I experienced to wait a short time in advance of I received the sandwich, so I suppose it was freshly designed.  

Critique: There was absolutely nothing poor about this sandwich, but there was not a total ton exemplary about it both. The fish wasn’t soggy, but was not super crispy possibly. The tartar sauce tasted like…tartar sauce. I’m unclear as to why there was half a slice of American cheese on the sandwich, as it was unattainable to discern the flavor less than the tartar sauce. It would have been pleasant to have pickles or some other vegetable topping as perfectly to insert texture and dietary price to the sandwich. I’m not mad I ate a Filet-O-Fish, but I’m not heading to hurry back again for yet another one particular anytime before long. 

Pandering: No, this is on the long lasting menu, but there have to be consideration given to the actuality that this was the authentic “hey, I want Catholics to try to eat at my restaurant on Fridays” menu merchandise. (We will ignore the Hula Burger.)  

Ranking: 🐟🐟🐟


Cajun Flounder Sandwich

Cost: $4.49 

Calories: 670 

Website description: “Our all new Flounder Fish Fillet, served on a warm and toasted buttery brioche bun, with crisp barrel treated pickles and tartar sauce.”

Very first impressions: The sandwich I received was wrapped in a foil bag, and had a paper wrapper on the sandwich itself–which I suppose was to preserve the structural integrity of the sandwich. The fillet alone spilled out from the bun and was not, contra the sandwiches at Wendy’s, Arby’s, and McDonald’s, a sq., earning it come to feel fewer-processed. 

Review: This detail is superior. There was a level of spice that was not overpowering, but was an attention-grabbing contrast to the brioche and condiments. The bread was capable to hold up to the sizable flounder fillet, and the flounder experienced much more of a “meatier” taste to it than the pollock sandwiches of other rapid foods chains. The pickles were being tasty, but my sandwich could have benefited from a little bit more tartar sauce. If you live in close proximity to a Popeyes, this is unquestionably worth having–although it is noticeably extra calorie-dense than other options. 

Pandering: Indeed, this is limited time only and was launched the week just before Lent. 

Score: 🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟


Wild Caught Alaskan Fish Sandwich 

Value: $4.39 

Calories: 530

Website description: “Wild caught Alaskan pollock fillet, crunchy panko breading, topped with creamy dill tartar sauce, pickles, lettuce, and American cheese. Proof that ice fishing is basically thoroughly truly worth it.”

Initial impressions: The sandwich was just as the website described it, and it came wrapped in foil. A handy sticker reading “fish” was put over the “chicken” print on the foil. I noted that as opposed to McDonald’s, Wendy’s puts a complete slice of cheese on their sandwich. 

Evaluation: Right after my initial bite I explained, out loud, “Well carried out, Wendy.” I did not have super significant hopes for Wendy’s right after my 2017 review (which was, not coincidentally, the past time I had a fish sandwich at Wendy’s), but this was actually a fairly solid sandwich. The fish was crispy–there was an audible “crunch” audio when I bit into it. The cheese was not executing significantly for me, but the pickles and romaine lettuce were a awesome touch. The pickles have been thick slash and flavorful. I believed the sandwich could have applied a smidge more tartar sauce, but this was a good fish sandwich. 

Pandering: Of course, this is a restricted time providing and changed the prior Wild Caught North Pacific Cod Sandwich of many years past. 

Rating: 🐟🐟🐟🐟 and a half

Remaining Ideas: 

Though I was let down to see the Chick-Fil-A fish sandwich go, I should say that I was total fairly impressed with this year’s slate of fried fish in among buns. Wendy’s and Popeyes, who had quite solid showings in 2018, both equally improved their choices–which was no uncomplicated process. It was intriguing to see the embrace of foodstuff tendencies–both equally Burger King and Wendy’s boast about panko breading their sandwiches. (But only Wendy’s fillet really tasted crunchy.) It was also attention-grabbing to see how the fish items have shifted in excess of the several years–Alaskan pollock would seem to be the go-to fish now, as opposed to cod. And I however have no concept what was basically in the Filet-O-Fish. 

The improvements in the restricted-time choices confirmed the obvious deficiencies of the tried-and-true standby at McDonald’s. It would not damage McDonald’s to toss on some lettuce or pickles to their Filet-O-Fish, or possibly add a taste to the tartar sauce. It would greatly boost the expertise. McDonald’s could beforehand relaxation on its laurels as the original Catholic-pandering restaurant for Lenten Fridays, but individuals times may be numbered now. 


Ideal fillet: Wendy’s Wild Caught Alaskan Fish Sandwich 

Worst fillet: McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

Greatest bread: Wendy’s Wild Caught Alaskan Fish Sandwich

Least expensive solution: Arby’s Crispy Fish

Priciest solution: McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

Fewest energy: McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish

Most calories: Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich 

Best overall: Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich