I am not a super-regular consumer of fast food fish sandwiches. That’s not to suggest that I never have them, though. The ratio is probably just something along the lines of, for every fish sandwich I have, I probably eat ten non-fish sandwiches (aka a chicken sandwich or a hamburger). That number may be off a bit, I don’t know. I mean really, who charts what sort of animal their fast food meal came from? (As I typed this out, I realized that I actually kind of like this idea. So, I mean, I guess I might start.)
Anyway, it’s prime fish sandwich season, what with the Lent and so forth, and so all of your favorite purveyors of drive-thru delectables are either offering deals on their existing pescatarian products or coming up with new ones. Like this — the new Arby’s Spicy Fish Sandwich.
What you’ve got here is the standard Arby’s fish sandwich base— crispy fish fillet, shredded lettuce, and tartar sauce on a sesame seed bun — but you’re adding a tomato slice, fiery seasoning, and diced jalapeños to the mix. And the result? I cod eat this every time I order Arby’s. (Get it? Cod is a type of fish. We like to have a good time here at The Impulsive Buy, right?)
The sesame seed bun was pretty standard and bland, but it was soft and held up well. The lettuce was crunchy and fresh, but the tomato was a bit mealy. It still served its greater purpose, I believe, which was to help cut down some of the fieriness of this sandwich. And was this thing fiery? Boy howdy.
There is a duality to the heat here that stems from the “fiery seasoning” as well as the diced jalapeños. It’s hard to say which packs more of a punch because your mouth is pretty much engulfed after the first bite. I will say, though, that isolating the two gives two distinct heats; the jalapeño (the fresh, bright green kind, not pickled) is an instant tongue-punch while the seasoning on the fillet — which contains chili powder and cayenne amongst other things — is a slow burn.
It’s hard to know if this heat is too much for an average pallet. I feel like my receptors are abnormal and therefore unreliable; I can have Thai-hot and be fine, but other times an unassuming “spicy mayo” will be almost too much. I found this to be a perfectly acceptable level of hot, but I’m not going to refund your money if you get it and can’t take more than a bite or two. (Nor will I be shocked if you get it and you tell me that, I don’t know, your two-year-old tried it and loved it.)
What WILL surprise me, however, is if you get this sandwich and don’t enjoy it. Arby’s crispy, crunchy, light and tasty fish fillet is elevated by the spice, but it’s never too much; the tangy tartar sauce and cool veggies counterbalance the heat in a delightfully pleasant way. It’s a shame that this won’t become a regular menu item, because I cod order it ever … wait, did I already do the cod joke? Hang on, where are you going?
Purchased Price: $4.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 580 calories, 25 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 1200 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 21 grams of protein.