For an explanation of the NEALO.COM Lent 2010 Fast Food Fish Sandwich Tournament, click here.
Runza’s fish sandwich
This fish sandwich is built around a big cod fillet served on a fluffy sesame seed bun. The fillet is long and flattish and sort of oddly shaped, meaning it looks like it came from an actual fish as opposed to some kind of rectangular fish-patty mold. This has been the first fish sandwich of the 2010 season that includes cheese. I have a history with cheese on fish sandwiches. The lettuce is also in big-leaf form — not shredded. The tartar sauce is almost runny, sort of like the consistency of Runza’s ranch dressing.
This was a very good sandwich. It tasted great, it went down smooth and it did not cause problems later. I’ve had some issues with Runza burger-and-other-sandwich quality in recent times, so I was a little worried about this stop. I was pleasantly surprised.
Culver’s North Atlantic Cod
This sandwich looks awesome in the picture, but when I got it in person it looked like a weird breaded fish hot dog on the wrong bun. It’s a fried cylindrical piece of fish on a long bun, but the fish cylinder is so tall that the sandwich doesn’t really stay together. It also comes loaded with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese and tartar sauce.
The fish fillet alone was almost completely devoid of flavor. Once I got about halfway through, I thought I was detecting some subtle hints, but then I realized I was just tasting the buttery goodness of the bun. And the bun did indeed have some buttery goodness, but it wasn’t enough.
This one was a lot easier than the Local Round, although it was largely because of how great the Runza fish sandwich was. Culver’s sandwich wasn’t awful by any means — it just was kind of blah, and therefore couldn’t hang with Runza. I do not dread returning to Culver’s on a Lenten Friday in the least, especially because they have awesome fries and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi on tap.