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 Fish Sandwich 1Wendy’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. 

Wendys Fish Sandwich 2The 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.

Wendys Fish Sandwich 3One 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.  Wendys Fish Sandwich 4I 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.

Fish WendysSome 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.

Taste: 8.75/10
Value: 6.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 8.75/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
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

27 comments on “Review: North Pacific Cod Sandwich from Wendy’s

  1. RP says:

    I also had limp lettuce on mine, but otherwise, the sandwich was fantastic. Generally, I’m not a fan of fish sandwiches as the taste of tartar sauce and the mushiness of the fish patty turns me off (I’m looking at you, McDonald’s), but this thing rocked. The dill sauce and pickles offered a unique flavor and the panko breading gave the fish a satisfying crunch. Yum. Great review.

  2. Lisa says:

    I enjoy Wendy’s fish sandwich. I think it tastes better than the other fish sandwiches offered at other fast food restaurants. Wendy’s usually only offer it during Lent, but I visited a location in SE Indy in late Dec. and saw it on the menu. I don’t know if all Wendy’s locations sell this now, year round or only certain locations.

  3. Michael says:

    I hope they have the fish go-wrap this year. I really liked those, they were always nice and hot when I got them.

  4. Alex says:

    Ha Ha…is this an intentional pun? 🙂

    “Cons: Call it a fluke”

  5. JJ says:

    Finally had this today. The dill tarter sauce was a refreshing change from the usual bland mayo/corn syrup tarter sauce and the pickles added a nice twang of flavor & acidity. I will definitely get this again.

  6. homercles82 says:

    I tried this today and it was absolutely delicious. This is currently my favorite fast food item.

  7. Jennifer says:

    The one I had was absolute crap, if that was panko, I’m a talking duck. As disappointing as Jacks latest fish offering. Sauce was the only good thing about it. So far, Arby’s has tge best…I’m waiting on Carl’s.

  8. monkeyrotica says:

    I tried this yesterday; nice sandwich, better than McDonalds or that fish thing at Burger King. Lettuce was crisp and the pickles did give it a nice tangy crunch. Unfortunately, like all the Wendy’s near me, the prep staff is completely inept. I don’t bother with drive thru since I know that takes forever and the order always gets messed up, so I went inside and, even though the place was empty, it still took 10 minutes to get my order. The lead cashier had to repeat it about five or six times. So, yeah, good sandwich, but not worth the hassle.

  9. Nona Yobiz says:

    I was so looking forward to this being back on the menu. I remembered it being so good – big crunchy portion of flaky fish, etc., etc. So, I waited in line for what seemed an eternity, finally got my food, and headed home to enjoy (only a 2-3 minute drive).

    Wow – what a HUGE disappointment! The filet was really thin (like a BK hamburger patty), not even big enough to fill up the bun, the lettuce was limp and soggy, and the minute amount of tartar sauce was flavorless.

    Won’t bother again.

  10. Martin Sinclair says:

    Sandwich much smaller then cod sand a few Years ago, overcooked with wilted lettuce, hardly any sauce, two pickles and cold. I had to pull over and wait. It took 15 min and was still cold, too bad.

  11. lisa says:

    This is my first time trying Wendy’s fish sandwich and I’M INSTANTLY A HUGE FAN!!!!! So good! Fillet O Fish is embarrassed of itself I’m sure.

  12. Mark says:

    I must’ve got a bad one because mine tasted undercooked. It was crunchy on the outside but the inside didn’t feel firm enough. Not like make you sick undercooked, just not done enough to have the right texture. And they skimp on the sauce in my opinion.

  13. Michelle Gannon says:

    This fish sandwich is heavenly. I’ve had one 3 days in a row now. Coming from someone who hates fast food.

  14. JChristian says:

    PLEASE NEVER EVER TAKE IT AWAY EVER AGAIN…..I remember when you all did before and I was mad. Please keep this item, why not right? Please. Tell Pizza Hut their old pizza used to be the BEST over all but now their pizza smells like feet and is nasty. First they changed the sauce then the dough to frozen….so nasty pizza places like Poppa Johns actually think their nasty pizza is good, yuck. I hate Pappa Johns….YUCK

  15. john says:

    Best dam fish sandwich for the $,bar none !! Should be on menu year round !

  16. Kimmycakes says:

    I just bought this for dinner tonight and was so disappointed. The quality is way different. I remember it being big juicy, flaky, and crunchy. This year the cod sandwhich is flat, dry and not crunchy whatsoever. I think the mcdonalds fish filet would have been more satisfying and I hate mcdonalds.

  17. Jim says:

    We also love Wendy’s north pacific cod sandwichs. Had them for lunch when on the road. But recently the Fukushima radiation leaking into the Pacific seafood has found in many species of fish. Including pacific cod! So until some one says pacific fish are safe I will stay with Atlantic fish. It was recent studies as of 2014, so I expect the radiation levels have gone higher.

  18. James says:

    Just had my first. Horrible. It could have been anything in there fried.

  19. David says:

    I grew up eating REAL Cod and chips (fries), so whenever someone brings out their “Cod” anything I try it.
    As is usually the case the Wendy’s North Pacific Cod Sandwich was a huge dissapointment. Firstly, lettuce does not even belong on the same plate as Cod let alone in a sandwich with it, neither do pickles, the sauce I’ll let slip as a few people have said they like it.
    Now for the “cod fillet”……I’ve caught many Cod and even the smallest (that can be landed legally) is made up of large white flakes, sweet and tasty. The thing in this sandwich is definitely NOT a fillet and I doubt if it is even cod. This was a square patty made up of (probably) tail ends and offcuts – the stuff you give to the cat after you finish filleting your catch! Taste was very poor, again nothing like cod.
    So, it’s back to Culver’s for my next Cod ‘fix’.

  20. doctorx0079 says:

    Is it coming back this year? Does anyone know? I can’t find any info about it.

    • doctorx0079 says:

      I just texted the Wendy’s Customer Care line and they told me the fish sandwich is back! Available from now through Lent.

  21. Just had one. Delicious. By far best fish sammich in the fast food market

    • doctorx0079 says:

      I see I’m going to have to go around and try all the different ones again. However I had two Wendy’s fish sandwiches last weekend and they were quite nice. The breading was crispy and crunchy and I enjoyed the dill sauce and pickles. But no, I don’t want to add cheese for 50 cents. I’m just not one of those cheese-on-a-fish-sandwich people.

  22. Carole says:

    Disappointed. Very small, overcooked, portion. If it had had a tomatoe I might have tossed the fish and eaten lettuce, tomatoes and pickle sandwich. Nothing like the picture and got way more bun than I did fish.

  23. Rose Jaimes says:

    Small sandwich for the price but good flavor. Lettuce was a joke! Horrible lettuce they’re so cheap and it looks nothing like the picture. I probably won’t order this again.

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