Fast-Food Fried Fish Sandwiches: Popeyes vs. Burger King vs. McDonald’s vs. Wendy’s

I’m a person of small discipline as well as less faith, therefore it is a long time since I have’ve also pretended to offer anything up for Lent. But we respect other individuals’ spiritual nutritional limitations, therefore final weekend we undertook a four-store fried-fish bike crawl to look for the most readily useful fast-food sandwich choice for the people lowering from the walking proteins throughout the dark and solemn days that fall between Mardi Gras and chocolate bunnies.

McDonald’s introduced the Filet-O-Fish 50 years back, with regards to had been way more typical for Roman Catholics to forgo meat on Fridays year-round; other chains have actually followed with comparable fish that is token. I realize why you might purchase these items for spiritual or social reasons, but being a fast-food agent that is free I never ever been tempted to stray from beef and chicken sandwiches.

We figured the seafood items had been afterthoughts slapped together for captive audiences that did not have choice that is much the situation. Prior to the recent dawn for the nutrition-information age, I am able to visualize my mother and her type duping on their own into thinking your message «fish» conferred some type of magical wellness properties that canceled out of the «fried,» however these times no body who cares about might be found is astonished to find out that these sandwiches are on a single fatlength while the burgers.

But aside from why these specific things occur, they are doing, and therefore it really is my responsibility to break straight down the talents, weaknesses, and tartar sauces of this four leading national fast-fried fishwiches. We went along to McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Popeyes. (In addition attempted KFC, nevertheless the surly counterwoman managed me like I became the largest Moby-head when you look at the ocean whenever I asked for the Fish Stacker marketed on the site: «We provide chicken.» Yes, you will do, rather than perfectly.)

Popeyes: » Big Catfish that is easy Sandwich

What Is Brand New On Serious Eats

My very first stop had been Popeyes. I did not see a fish sandwich regarding the menu board, however the supervisor said that for $3.99 he could place a few bits of fried Alaskan pollock on a po’boy roll with lettuce and tartar sauce. That sounded about right, but I happened to be uncomfortable utilizing the proven fact that I happened to be benefiting from form of unique sandwich that is customized to my fast-food celebrity status and/or the typical supervisor occurring to exert effort Saturday afternoons.

Well, the receipt said «Big Simple Catfish Sandwich,» maybe maybe maybe not » Secret Awesome Thing for Serious consumes Correspondent,» therefore even though the catfish/pollock matter continues to be murky, this indicates any commoner could possibly get fried seafood at Popeyes.

This sandwich had been shockingly good. A big the main surprise originated in my low objectives, given, but any objective eater would be impressed with how good Popeyes fries a bit of white seafood. The batter had been extremely sharp. It was mostly unseasoned (the flecks of black colored pepper had been simply for show), but that is right for effortlessly overrun fish; there was clearlyn’t much flavor into the soft, flaky catpollock inside.

However it nevertheless created for a great sandwich with three distinct textural levels: The irrelevantly toasted bread supplied a spongy situation that gave method to a crunchy surface protecting the fish middle that is mushy. The lettuce that is shredded tartar sauce offered the sandwich a curiously Big Macish scent if the top had been eliminated. Maybe the trick to your Unique Sauce is lemon, because that ended up being the flavor that is only in Popeyes’ tartar sauce beyond mayo and pickles.

Burger King: BK Big Fish

Then up had been the BK Big Fish. This is certainly a significant sandwich: $3.69 gets you 16 square ins of seafood for a circular bun with tartar sauce overslathered on minds and tails. The doughy, chewy bun ended up being toasted on both edges, also it had been the most wonderful size for the seafood patty. Once you take away the terrible squares of white and brown iceberg and employ them to clean away half the tartar sauce, you have got your self a fairly severe dinner.

The fry task isn’t as good as Popeye’s, but it is respectable, in addition to seafood is firmer and results in as more authentically ocean-going: you realize instantly you are taking fish, seafood, and nothing but seafood (and pickled mayo). Then this is your sandwich if you really like fish on its own terms, rather than as a compromise. The batter had also less taste than Popeye’s, nevertheless the seafood had been therefore assertive it mightnot have mattered if it absolutely was covered with bacon and Tabasco. The textural comparison had beenn’t since pronounced as Popeye’s, however it was extremely evident and appreciated.

McDonald’s: Filet-O-Fish

My fried seafood research then ran aground in the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish (usually around $2.99; this McDonald’s ended up being operating a particular of 1 FOF and medium fries for $3.33). Criminy! This is my least favorite of this fish’wiches.

It is constructed on a squishy bun that produces for a limp sandwich. The half-slice of orange cheese gluing the seafood to your base bun does not assist much, either. They normally use two times as much tartar sauce since the competition, that we suppose provides some taste to the rubbery disk of soggy seafood; that taste is mayonnaise. But yes, of program everyone loves the FOF, especially the folks at SEHQ. Here’s just what AHT editor Robyn needed to state:

«Admittedly, my affinity with this mixture of fried, breaded fish, prepared orange cheese, and gloppy, tangy, pickle-studded mayonnaise for a soft, squishy bun has a great deal to do with nostalgia.»

Wendy’s: North Pacific Cod Sandwich

Things completed strong within my final stop, Wendy’s. Their North that is limited-time-only Pacific sandwich is another behemoth, nearly since whaled-out as the BK Big Fish but plenty big enough to justify $3.99.

The lettuce had been the Wendy’s standard, one giant leaf of bad but effortlessly excised iceberg, together with man aided by the tartar sauce gun had quite a itchy trigger hand, however the crux associated with the matter—the seafood and bread—showed form that is fine. The bun had been one of several string’s brand new premium buttered-and-toasted figures, and it also ended up being the very best of the bunch. The panko that is fried ended up being almost because sharp as the Popeye’s batter, while the seafood ended up being top-notch. It had beenn’t since pungent as BK’s, nonetheless it was more discernibly piscine than Popeye’s or McDonald’s. The textural comparison from bread to fried to seafood ended up being exemplary.

The fish’wich that is best within the Water?

The Popeye’s and Wendy’s sandwiches are both excellent. We additionally such as the BK Big Fish; it really is well-prepared by any measure, though specific viewpoints will just vary based on just how fishy-tasting you prefer your fish.

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