Review: North Pacific Cod Sandwich from Wendy’s
I reviewed the Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich from Wendy’s back in early 2009… within the first couple of weeks of GrubGrade’s existence. Nearly six years later this fish sandwich is now called the North Pacific Cod Sandwich and it’s different enough from the previous version that another taste was in order.
Wendy’s describes their North Pacific Cod Sandwich like this:
Our premium sandwich is made using only 100% North Pacific Cod, hand-cut from a whole fillet so it’s tender and deliciously flaky. It’s then lightly coated in a crispy, panko breading and topped with a creamy, dill tartar sauce and crunchy dill pickles.
I enjoyed the sandwich I reviewed six years ago and was curious to see how the recent changes would impact my score. An 8.25/10 overall GrubGrade was given previously and this time around I had to make sure that a new bun, dill pickles and dill tartar sauce could bump that up a bit.
The ingredients that remained pretty much the same are the panko-breaded hand-cut North Pacific cod fillet and the lettuce. The fish fillet is a nice, thick and meaty portion that makes for an adequately filling meal on its own. I’d describe the breading as lightly crisp with some extra crunchy bits on certain ends (something I enjoy). With some breading spots being crunchier than others, I wonder if a departure from the same old panko crust would improve things. My personal preference would be for a slightly thicker crust. There isn’t an overly fishy flavor to it and that shouldn’t be confused with being considered bland. I felt there was enough impact from panko breading to absorb any fishy oils or trace amounts of grease flavor.
One thing that really stood out to me, and not for any good reason, was how reminiscent the lettuce leaf was to Burger King. I usually don’t have any issues with Wendy’s produce, but this piece of lettuce was as limp as wet paper. Luckily the new addition of dill pickles were a major plus and gave the sandwich a little sour bite. There were three half-dollar sized crinkle-cut dill pickle pieces that were quite fresh and complemented the sandwich texture with some crunch. I had it in my mind that dill pickles plus a dill tartar sauce might be a little too drastic of a flavor change. Most every fish sandwich comes with a standard, no-frills tartar sauce and it’s usually passable. I was happy to see Wendy’s change it up with that speckled dill tartar sauce as it adds a more herby, aromatic flavor that awakened my tastebuds. After having regular tartar sauce time and time again, this new flavor was definitely welcomed and works great with fried fish. I did enjoy the corn-dusted bun used on the previous incarnation of the fish sandwich and the switch to the “premium toasted bun” in recent years is a lateral move. It does its job well and contains the contents just fine. Soft, fresh, and a little toasty… no complaints. The North Pacific Cod Sandwich comes with a suggested price of $3.69 and I paid $3.99 at my local Wendy’s in Maryland. I paid $3.69 for my sandwich back in 2009 and felt it was a little high, so paying an extra 30 cents for some upgrades in 2015 seemed more acceptable to me. I don’t know about you, but it’s also a relief to get a Wendy’s sandwich that isn’t over 5 bucks.
Some noticeable upgrades are enough reason to give the Wendy’s North Pacific Cod Sandwich a shot if you’re looking for a fast food fish fix this season. It’s one of the best fish options available at a drive-thru window… look out Arby’s.
Pros: New dill pickles and dill tartar sauce equal new fish sandwich experience. Hearty cut of fish.
Cons: Call it a fluke... awful leaf of lettuce. Panko breading is flaky and brittle in some spots and I'd welcome a thicker, crunchier crust.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 8.75/10
More Info: https://www.wendys.com/en-us/chicken/premium-cod-fillet-sandwich
Calories - 470
Total Fat - 21 grams
Saturated Fat - 4 grams
Cholesterol - 40 milligrams
Sodium - 1090 milligrams
Carbs - 51 grams
Fiber - 3 grams
Sugar - 7 grams
Protein - 18 grams