A popular seasonal item returns to Wendy’s menu later this month, in a return likely to be welcomed by fish lovers, pescatarians and others looking for meatless meals during Lent.
The channel representative confirmed Eat this, not that! that the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich will be available again from February 20. The sandwich will return just in time for the start of Lent on February 22, giving those following Meatless Fridays an additional option for lunch or dinner.
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Wendy’s is best known for its square burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, baked potatoes and, of course, the famous Frosty. But the chain has also been offering seasonal fish sandwiches for years.
When Wendy’s first rolled out the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in 2021, the menu item replaced its seasonal North Pacific Cod Sandwich which was topped with creamy dill tartar sauce, pickles and lettuce. Unlike the North Pacific Cod Sandwich which, as the name suggests, used cod, the Panko Crispy Fish Sandwich is made with wild Alaskan pollock.
The chain explained the change by touting the durability of pollock fillets and said they provide a “similar flavor experience” to cod. Although Wendy’s didn’t mention this as one of the reasons for the change, pollock is known to be a cheaper alternative to cod.
Wendy’s brought back the panko fish sandwich in 2022 after a “well-received start” in 2021.
Our own 2022 ranking of 13 fish sandwiches from various fast food chains places Wendy’s Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in seventh place. The sandwich was praised for its seasoning, toppings, and toasted bun, but was docked for the fish, which was considered too dry and the breading too hard.
Still, the menu item is part of a list of similar offerings from fast-food chains that use real, whole pieces of fish in their sandwiches, rather than fish augmented with fillers and other ingredients. While McDonald’s beloved Filet-O-Fish may have an edge over the Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in popularity, or at least recognition, it doesn’t qualify for this list.
The Crispy Panko Fish Sandwich in the 2023 release will once again feature panko breaded pollock fillet topped with lettuce, American cheese, pickles and creamy dill tartar sauce. Although the item is not yet listed on Wendy’s online menu, it had a suggested price of $4.29 when it was released in 2022, although costs may vary depending on location.
Zoe Strozewski is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Learn more about Zoe
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