Yesterday's Great Lent Gourmet entry was about our quest to find out how some of the major fast food chains' fish sandwiches compare - and whether or not they are a viable option for the consumer who wants something suitable for Lent (click here to see yesterday's entry). In case you haven't read yesterday's post, March 25 (2016) is one of the two days that the Greek Orthodox Church (and we believe all other Orthodox Christian churches) permits the eating of fish. March 25 is the day of the Annunciation (exactly 9 months prior to Christmas Day). The other day happens to be Palm Sunday.
Today we will share with you our personal opinions of the fish sandwiches we tasted. Again, for those who haven't read yesterday post, we explicitly asked each of these fast food chains to only include the fish, the bun and any vegetables (lettuce, pickle, etc.) when serving us our sandwich.
Let's start withe Arby's. Arby's is one of the places that I have fond memories of going when I was young. I used to love the "Horsey Sauce" there. It is just horseradish mayonnaise, but, when younger, I thought the name was hilarious. Now, I can honestly say that it has been 10 or more years since having gone to an Arby's for anything. Even when driving past one, this is not what I would choose for fast food. But, today we did, and I am glad!
Arby's has two different fish sandwiches. Okay, they are the same sandwich, but with different bread. The other one on the menu had a flatbread instead of a bun, but we wanted to compare apples to apples, and chose the sandwich on a bun.
The Arby's bun was flat and tasteless, and after having bitten it, we thought maybe the flatbread would have been a better choice. But, then, we tasted the fish. This tasted just like the breaded fish used at church when there is a makaria meal or mnimosino (memorial dinner after a funeral) . It was flavourful, not overwhelming, and a good size. You can see in the picture that we sliced the fish in half to see the inside of it. We found that the fish had a decent texture and that it was pretty decent. The shredded lettuce on the sandwich was messy, but gave the overall bite a little crunch. And, a little crunchy texture can be nice on a soft soft bun.
We had several people taste this sandwich, as well as the others. We all agreed that this was a good fast food fish sandwich, and of all the ones we tasted, the various tasters ranked this either #1 or #2 in order of preference.
|Arby's Fish Sandwich options - served in two ways, one on a bun, the other on a flat bread.|
Our big surprise with the McDonald's Fish Sandwich was how flat it was -- flat fish, flat taste, flat bun. McDonald's has always been the "go to" fast food because it is tasty, easy, and rather inexpensive. But, now, we have decided otherwise.
The fish is watery. There is no individual flavour that stands out of this fillet to make anyone believe this is directly from a fish. And, when you smell the fillet, there is not really a fish smell -- it actually smelled more like a McDonald's restaurant (the overall smell when you walk in to order) than like fish.
The coating on the fish was unique. To us, it tasted like cornmeal. And, you may know that with cornmeal, it is not flavourful at all, but it is all about what you add to it. The other thing about cornmeal is that it is grainy. The texture combined well with the fish, so we do not complain too much of this. But, neither the fillet nor the coating were flavourful, and we now know why McDonald's puts cheese on the fish sandwich. For all the tasters, this was the least favourite fast food fish sandwich and ranked number 4 our of 4.
|McDonald's Filet-o-Fish (without the mayo-based sauce and cheddar cheese that's normally included)|
|Cross-section of the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish|
|Cross-Section of Wendy's Northern Cod Sandwich (U.S.A.)|
|Burger King's Extra Long Fish Sandwich - although it was the longest of all four sandwiches, it weighed less than the Wendy's fish sandwich and the fish itself was equal in weight to that of the Wendy's fish sandwich|
|A cross-section of the Burger King Extra Long Fish Sandwich; notice the amount of breading.|
Source of image: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/fish-quotes/
Please note that today's quote is not meant to offend any of our readers. We genuinely believe in the value to community in attending church and we do so regularly. However, we thought that some of our readers might find it thought provoking.