Fishing for the Best Fish Sandwich



This is the time of year that we're reminded of the fish sandwich. Realizing that not all fish sandwiches are created equal we decided to taste test the fish sandwiches at five of the national - and sometimes global - chain fast-food restaurants. This test should not be repeated at home, unless you have a large bottle of Pepto-Bismo and Tums or a cast-iron stomach. The sandwiches were graded on fish quality, bun (we love bread) and condiments. Here they are in the order of our liking.


#1 - Culver's North Atlantic Cod Filet Sandwich

This bad boy is hand-battered and cooked to order. The filet is a crispy golden brown and the fish is white, tender and moist. It's served on a lightly buttered (this is the home of the butter burger after all) hoagie roll. Delightfully topped with the best tarter sauce ever, which features olives, capers and sweet relish worthy of any 5 star restaurant. Crisp romaine lettuce and shredded Wisconsin cheese round out this sammy. 

What put this sandwich on top is the quality and texture of the fish, the toasted roll and the shredded cheese. 

Culver's also offers the Cod Filet as a dinner and has a Hand Battered Walleye Pike Sandwich for those looking for a little bit more fishy flavor. 

Fish quality = A+     Bun = A+   Condiments = A+  Calories = 663


#2 - Wendy's Premium Cod Fillet

You might be surprised to see Wendy's at number 2. Their hand-cut 100% North Pacific Cod was fresh very white and delicious. Panko breading make this sandwich really crunchy and flavorful. Their toppings are lettuce and tartar sauce. Simple yet tasty. Their buns were typical Wendy's burger buns - but they were fresh and soft.  

Fish quality = A  Bun = B  Condiments = B-  Calories = 510


#3 - McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

A perennial classic - this fish sandwich is made from "flaky filet of white fish from the deep, cold waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering, Baltic and North Seas." Wow, that sure sounds like a lot of places. The fish quality, given all the varied sources of origin, is quite good - very white and moist. It's topped with a blob of tangy tarter sauce, which always seems to ooze out onto your lap. It all rests atop a very light McDonald's classic steamed bun. This sandwich overall is much smaller than most but it delivers the consistent McDonald's taste everytime. If you're feeling extra hungry you can try the double filet-o-fish. We do miss the singing bass in the commercials, but if nostalgia strikes, you can see it here Gimme back that Filet-O-Fish!

Fish = B+  Bun = B  Condiments = C  Calories = 380 


#4 - Burger King Big Fish Sandwich 

This is a big sandwich ala the Whopper from Burger King. The breaded filet is actually a tad bigger than the cornmeal-dusted grilled bun. Unfortunately, on our taste-test sandwich, the filet was clearly left too long in the fryer. It was dark brown, too crispy (yes, there is such a thing) and therefore the fish itself was a bit dry. The fish also had chunks of darker fish meat that was very unappealing to the eyes. The lettuce was a big hunk of iceberg and the tartar sauce turned an opaque white on the probably way-too-hot filet, making the whole sandwich ultimately not very appetizing.  

Fish = F  Bun = B  Condiments = C-  Calories = 640


#5 - Long John Silvers Fish Sandwich

We thought a restaurant that specialized in fish would have a fin up on the competition, but sadly LJS was a huge disappointment. The fish filet was overcooked and tasted like day-old grease. Nothing special about the fish they were using. In fact, we don't even know what kind of fish they were using. No mention of any type of fish or where it came from was made. It is simply a "fish sandwich." The cornmeal topped bun was soggy and tasteless. The sandwich also included shredded iceberg lettuce and shredded cheese, but they couldn't save this shipwreck of a sandwich. 

Fish = F     Bun =  D   Condiments = C-  Calories = 670

That's our take on the fish sandwich extravaganza taste test. Let us know what your favorite is and we'll pick a random winner to receive a special PoshPorts gift. We don't really remember who's idea it was to try consume all of these fishy fast food feasts, but you likely won't be seeing us do it again anytime soon.