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Tasting Wendy’s Premium Cod Fillet


Wendy's Premium Cod (Credit Wendy's)

It’s a subliminal message for most of us, but many fast food restaurants roll out limited-time promotions featuring fish this time of year as a meatless nod to the Lenten season.

Among the offers right now, Wendy’s is working its Premium Cod Fillet Sandwich, Arby’s has the Reel Big Fillet going on, and McDonald’s recently launched those scary sounding Fish McBites.

It’s no brag, just a fact that I rarely eat fast food, except for the road trip ritual Chick-fil-A stop. But as much as I favor slow food, I’m intrigued by fast food product development and the weird science behind creating cravings for manufactured stuff like the McRib.

So post Fat Tuesday, in need of sustenance while running some errands, I stopped at a Wendy’s to give the Premium Cod a try. Sure enough, all signs pointed to the big fish, though most people in line seemed to be having major burger attacks.

After handing over $3.39, plus tax, and standing around for what seemed like a very long time for fast food, I was handed a sack with a paper-wrapped fillet inside. Fleeing the burger-eaters, I took my 3.4-ounce, 510 calorie catch back to my vehicle for gentle inspection and rough devouring.

Wendy’s tasting notes: “100% North Pacific Cod hand-cut fillet, lightly breaded in a crispy panko crumb coating topped off with fresh crisp lettuce and creamy tartar sauce… a fish fillet larger than its leading competitor.”

My tasting notes: “Just out of the fryer, and so hot it burned the tip of my tongue. The panko breading is indeed crunchy but the gleaming white fish inside seems almost artificially flaky. Definitely gives me visions of weird science. Fresh, slightly gummy bun, crisp iceberg lettuce, smooth, not very tangy mayo-based sauce. Overall, not terrible. But after one fillet, I won’t be craving another this season.”

How about you? Tried Wendy’s Premium Cod Fillet, Arby’s Reel Big Fillet, or McDonald’s Fish McBites. Are any crave-worthy?

By Bob Townsend, Food and More blog

33 comments Add your comment


February 15th, 2013
2:59 pm

Ummm… you sure you had a WENDY’S fish fillet??? Because last time I checked, they only serve Big Macs at McDonalds…


February 15th, 2013
3:29 pm

I like Arby’s best . Its 2 for 5 dollars as well . I usually just do tuna on Friday .


February 15th, 2013
4:15 pm

For my fish lunch duing Lent it is Captain “D’s or Long John Silver’s. It is Pollack but it sure tastes good.


February 15th, 2013
5:26 pm

The last time Wendy’s had the fish sandwich I tried it and it was awful. Tiny filet and greasy as all get out. it was barely edible. I am a little hesitant to try it again. Arby’s is actually pretty good and, believe it or not, Burger King has the best one I’ve tried. It’s huge and it’s good!

Ned Ludd

February 15th, 2013
5:32 pm

It’s truly the piece of cod which surpasses all understanding.


February 15th, 2013
6:01 pm

As a Catholic, the Lenten fast-food fish routine has become something of a sad ritual. Arby’s is the best, but what I want to try, and perhaps, fortunately to spare myself the disappointment cannot due to the dearth of their restaurants in the ATL, is the Hardee’s grilled Cod sandwich. The commercials, naturally, make it look really tasty. The Wendy’s sandwich leaves much to be desired.

[...] Tasting Wendy’s Premium Cod Fillet [...]

Reading comprehension is dead

February 15th, 2013
6:23 pm

Steve = fail


February 16th, 2013
1:14 am

Those fish McBites, if they’re the same ones as last year are awful. Being that small, the frying completely dries them out.


February 16th, 2013
4:04 am

McDonalds fish sandwich combo is the one for me. Been eating it a long time, but the others don’t seem to match up to my taste buds.


February 16th, 2013
9:12 am

Pass up the fast food versions and go to the Landmark Diner or Thumbs Up Diner; both have amazing fish sandwiches. BTW Bob, welcome to the blog. I’ve followed your “info only” restaurant pieces for years but don’t recall you ever actually “reviewing” something.


February 16th, 2013
11:17 am

Actually Mr. Smart A** ‘reading comprehension is dead’ at 6:23pm, Steve is correct. A previous incarnation of this post mentioned Big Macs inaccurately several times. Mr Townsend should have noted the errors when he corrected his post.


February 16th, 2013
2:25 pm

Premium Cod ? More like Macs fish fillet. Honestly Wendy’s has bordered on false advertisement with this one. The bun will be nothing like the one inthe ad (pictured above) and the fish will be a flat cube. Horrible experience. They have lost my business.

Dave Thomas

February 16th, 2013
2:57 pm

Wendy’s lost my business 30 years ago with their nasty, greasy burgers and their all-but-inedible fries. Nina Agdal couldn’t get me in there now.

Reading comprehension is dead

February 16th, 2013
3:05 pm

@Grasshopper—and with no notations of such, how am I supposed to know that? Oh right, I just ’should have’. I would rather be a smart a$$ than a dumb a$$, small one.


February 16th, 2013
6:12 pm

Haven’t yet tried the Wendy’s, but the Fish McBites were pretty tasty. They were actually better than the fries – such a disappointment. Weird, because I was craving the fries from McDonald’s and they were awful. I live near one of the remaining Hardee’s and plan on trying their fish sandwich sometime in the next month…


February 16th, 2013
6:58 pm

Dave Thomas…..Iam wih you on anything Wendy’s. Have not gone back since the mid 80’s. Plastic, greasy food back then. It can only be worse now! It was sooo good early on. What happened to that company?


February 17th, 2013
9:30 am

Wendy’s has the best burgers (for fast food) hands down. I don’t like their new fries, though; The past ones were better.

I don’t think I’ll try fish at a burger place, though I previously tried McD’s fish fillet when I was starving. For great fish, I sometimes drive from north fulton solely to go to Supreme Fish Delight on Auburn Ave!


February 17th, 2013
10:23 am

Nothing at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Arby’s should ever become a craving…a craving is for something that you have eaten many times in your past…maybe as a child…keep your kids away from those fast food places…or obesity awaits them.


February 17th, 2013
8:48 pm

FDNH…I disagree, Wendy’s has gone backwards for almost 30 years now. I am lucky, Hardee’s is only 4 blocks away. They are by far the best fast food burger around. What-A-Burger is also good too!


February 18th, 2013
3:09 pm

joanne…..the A&W Root Beer stand of my youth still makes me crave a float and hamburger to this very day. As a treat,take your kids to Arby’s once in awhile. All things in moderation.

Ned Ludd

February 18th, 2013
3:29 pm

Well said–Moderation is the key! Nothing wrong with a greasy treat every once and a while, but it should never replace common sense dining. My personal fave is the Zesto’s on Piedmont—certainly able to get your float and a burger fix there in this post-A&W world.
Never tried their fish sandwich—


February 19th, 2013
12:06 am

Ned Lund….Sad; no A&W, no Burger Chef, No Friendly’s Ice Cream, no Woolworths counter, the list could go on for a long time! But I can still CRAVE.


February 19th, 2013
12:10 am

Forgot..No White Castle, last one I found was in Miami.

seafood lovur

February 19th, 2013
12:42 am

Actually, the ad itself scares me from trying it!!!
“North Pacific Cod” is left open to a lot of countries that I personally do not want their nasty and contaminated products in my mouth; China for one!!!
You can bet that it is not from the USA or it would say so!!!!

AB (no not that one)

February 19th, 2013
12:40 pm

Not even an Act of Cod would get me to try it. If you’re in Woodstock, go to Guston’s for a really good fried grouper sandwich. Fresh, delicious and too huge to eat. Nice folks there and the price is unbeatable.


February 19th, 2013
2:04 pm

Filet O’Fish for me all the way! It’s the perfect size, taste and texture.


February 20th, 2013
7:38 am

SP….I have always been afraid of the square fish.

(the other) Rodney

February 20th, 2013
8:49 am

No, thank you.

I think Julia Sugarbaker sums it up best for me: from a Designing Women episode where Julia is helping Mary Jo in a Burger Guy resto Mary Jo is working for extra money –

CUSTOMER: What kind of fish is it?
JULIA: Excuse me?
CUSTOMER: The fish sandwich. What kind of fish is it?
JULIA: It’s sort of compressed.
CUSTOMER: Is it fresh?
JULIA: Well, let me put it this way: you’re in a Burger Guy, it’s compressed fish, breaded and deep fried. It costs 89 cents. What do you think?
CUSTOMER: I don’t know.
JULIA: Yes, it’s fresh.


Sashimi Lover

February 20th, 2013
10:52 am

Baltisraul…closer than Miami you can find White Castle in Murfreesboro TN off the I-24 exit…may be the only place I’ve ever seen a WC down the street from Krystal.

Ned Ludd

February 20th, 2013
9:17 pm

It’s your lucky (?) day Baltisraul–evidently there is still an A&W in Rome , Ga.–On the way to Murfeesboro! Some day someone will have to explain to this southern boy the difference in a White Castle and a Krystal.


February 22nd, 2013
12:33 pm

tasty sandwich but grossly over priced for the size,
the best fish sandwich by far is captain d’s baked fish sandwich.i’m almost guilty feeling for trying the wendy’s would perfectly priced a 149.


February 22nd, 2013
6:53 pm

Not at all like the Ad on tv. Way off advertising. The real sandwich is small and thin.