Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wendy's Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet [Review]


In the world of fast food fish sandwiches, there is little to differentiate one sandwich from the next: Bun, Lettuce, tartar, fish, and repeat. This means the slightest misstep can have severe repercussions preventing the sandwich from attaining glory. Add to the fact that these sandwiches are usually only available or only advertised during the 40 days and 40 nights following the religious holiday known as Ash Wednesday and you have yourself a crowded and competitive fish sandwich market. Can Wendy’s Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet sandwich hold up against their fast food foes or the local Fish Fry? Continue after the jump to find out.


Wendy’s, Arby’s, and Burger King all have nearly identical fish sandwich offerings consisting of the classic sauce-fish-lettuce combo. The major diversion comes from McDonald’s fillet-o-fish sandwich which has only a single piece of cheese atop the fried fish square—they’ve chalked up their fish to complete gimmick status years ago.



According to the Wendy’s website, their sandwich is 100% “hand-cut” cod fillet, coated with panko breading and topped with their new butter toasted buns. Although the exterior of the fish wasn’t as crispy as one should expect from panko breading, it did have a good firm texture and a slight crunch. The fish was also rather meaty, tender and fairly flakey. For once in my life I actually managed to receive a good solid piece of leaf lettuce from Wendy’s, which usually is ghostly white. The major downfall was the tartar sauce. The sauce basically just tasted like mayo, with a tiny bit of relish, rather than a tangy tartar sauce you would prefer.


As I was eating my Wendy’s sandwich I couldn’t help but compare each aspect to the Arby’s sandwhich I encountered last month. Like I mentioned before, when your ingredient list is short, you have to make sure each is strong. One negative with the Arby’s sandwich was the slightly fried, greasy taste that the fish had, but the rest of the sandwich was fairly strong. The major drawback from Wendy’s is the lackluster tartar. Both missteps really held back the sandwich from being an outright winner. [Fun fact: Arby’s fish is Alaskan Pollock, while Wendy’s calls theirs North Pacific Cod, they’re different names for the same thing]

Arby's and Wendy's Fish sandwiches side by side:


Another thing that bugs me about fast food in general is the classic “ad versus reality” debate. Maybe fast food places should just consider using smaller buns if they don’t want to increase the size of the meat. Took a look at the promo pics above, look how much overhang the meat has, now look at the pictures of the fish sandwich in the wild, completely encompassed by the bun. But this discussion is for another day and another post.


As for the final score, 3.0/5, avid readers may notice this is the same score I gave to the Arby’s sandwhich last month. If I found myself in a combination Arby’s and Wendy’s location, both sandwiches side by side, I’d order the Arby’s offering, but you can’t really go terribly wrong with both.

Wendy's Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet: 3.0/5


Wendy's Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet:


20 comments:

Daniel T said...

Same family but not genus, so they have differences. In a nutshell, pacific cod is firmer than pollock, but not as firm as atlantic cod. I'd assume the just of the word "cod" would appeal to more people in that they're getting something as quality as they'd get from a (UK) chip shop.

http://fishcooking.about.com/od/meetyourfish/p/pacific_cod.htm

Anonymous said...

Possibly the reason they taste/look the same is because Wendy's owns or owned and recently sold Arby's....therefore the similar comparisons.

Anonymous said...

I won't waste my money on another one. The texture of the sandwich, in my opinion, is the only positive. I tried to detect any flavor, but there was absolutely none. I agree that the tartar sauce is lacking, but the fish was completely void of any taste. I regret being so negative because I like the burgers and the salads, but the fish sandwich is a real bust.

Anonymous said...

JQ

Yes its sad to say but Wendy's Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet has no taste at all. In fact the piece of lettuces had more flavor. Its not a good alternative if you want something other than Beef or Chicken. For a $4 sandwich it should taste better than fish-sticks.

Anonymous said...

Well your attempt at using a " fun fact " was admirable but misguided. Alaskan Pollock is a salt water species of the fresh water Walleye found in the great lakes region. Cod however is a much larger, flakey and more mild flavored fish. As a Chef for over 25 years these national chains ( as well as well as small independent restaurants ) must adhere to strict " truth in menu descriptions " governed by the FDA

maxadories said...

I thought it was pretty good. A little sloppy with the tarter, but pretty good.

Anonymous said...

My GF had the Wendys Fish sandwich last night also, the bad news is we couldn't rate it because she caught food poisoning from it. Became violently ill about 30 minutes after eating it. Not sure if it was from the tarter sauce or the fish itself. I do not think there will be second attempt to rate this sandwich in a long while.

Anonymous said...

Had Wendy's overpriced Fish Sandwich. It only had a fishy smell but no fish taste. In fact it had no taste at all except an oily taste in which it was fried. Contents could have been moistened paperfor all I know. Couldn't finish it as I was so underwhelmed by the taste of such an overhyped product.

Anonymous said...

As usual the self appointed expert gives his oppinium based on his hot air.

Unless he can make a better dish he can keep his opppinion to himself!

Anonymous said...

There should be a law, and maybe there is, this fish is in no way cod, that goes Hardee s also. Just a big lie to us cod lovers, I just hate it

Anonymous said...

I don't ever leave feed back about anything .
But this cod sandwich is so bad I had to take time to warn any and all fish love to stay away , don't even wast your money . I'm very particular about my fish sandwich . McDonald's is even better.

Anonymous said...

Just had the Wendy's North Pacific Cod sandwich and couldn't agree more. I gave it the same 3 stars,nothing special. I contacted the corporate office and left a complaint. My expectations were higher than what I received going by their T.V. campaign blitz. My bun was cold and straight from the package. Aren't they supposed to warm it up or something? I wasn't expecting cuisine but at least a step above from what I got.

Anonymous said...

I had two completely different experiences. The first time I tried it, I thought it was kickass. Although I was pissed it was so small because it was so delicious. this was in a hoppin location in atlanta. very high profile, high volume. then I had one late night in gainesville florida. BLEEEEEEECCCHHHHHHHHHH. it was so incredibly awful. not sure why because I had to wait for them to bring it out cuz they put one in the fryer just for me. anyway, it made me wary of trying it again. just for the record, the filet-o-fish is always very tasty to me. always. extreme consistency with mcdonalds. more than any other food chain ever.

Anonymous said...

We have enjoyed crispy Wendy's Premium Cod sandwich eight + times in Staten Island, NY during Lent 2013. It was firm and delicious each time. We do not work for Wendy's nor, are we seagulls :-D

Anonymous said...

To whoever is ripping his "fun fact" you're not very correct either. Alaskan pollock and walleye aren't really related, other than the fact that they're both Teleosts (also the largest group of fish on the planet). Walleye are in the perch family. Alaskan pollock is in the Gladiform (think cod) family.

Ok, fisheries rant complete.

Anonymous said...

No-one mentioned the problem with the bones I had in mine. When I brought it to the attention of the cashier she said "real fish have bones in them". My fish sandwiches will be bought elsewhere where they remove the bones.

Anonymous said...

Sorry hun.....but food poisoning 30 minutes after she ate. I dont think thats possible. In fact i know it's not possible.

Anonymous said...

For one Cod fresh and fried has little flavor. It is a flaky meaty white fish that is very mild. My local Wendy's tells you it will be an extra 4 minutes to cook it because they don't precook. That kinda makes me feel better. The quality of the filet for fast food seems good. As for the tartar sauce I've never been a fan. Once in a while I get a good one with dill and lemon mixed in, but somehow the basic pickles and mayo on fish is not a sauce I'd pick in my own kitchen for fish. If you don't find the sauce tangy enough you can always do what I do. Order, pay and ask for a buffalo ranch sauce. Wendy's doesn't seem to charge extra like Taco Bell or Mc D's for that. I asked for the hot dipping sauce at Mc D's, the woman gave me some rudeness I half heard and shut the window.

Anonymous said...

Bones...lol! Fish have bones. If you want your fish processed like hambuger, with the bones and skin all pressed back together, and soy additives and other junk put in it, then you may not have "bones". Then again that is not like eatting fish. I haven't had a bone yet, but I'd take a random one to retain something like that is like a fish.

pogo said...

If you want real fish with out all the breading etc try Surimi pure pollock with no bones or additives - great as mock crab meat dishes or make your own from fish you catch - parboil with crab boil and flake meat off ( you are going to
cook later anyway )
Pure protein

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