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McDonald's Filet-O-Fish


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#31 jsmeeker

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 05:11 PM

I join those now suddenly craving deep fat fried fish.

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To quote docsconz, "Who doesn't?"

Interesting factoid, according to Wikipedia, is that in non-English speaking countries, the Filet-o-Fish is called FishMac, McFish or Fish Filet. I am skeptical, however, of the Wikipedia claim that a Filet-o-Fish or McFish or whatever has only 400 calories. Every one that I've ever been served always had at least 400 calories of "tartar sauce" on board.

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You are right. Wikipedia is wrong. The whole sandwich has 380 calories.

That's according to McDoanld's own website

http://app.mcdonalds...tem&itemID=5926

Of course, that assumes a sandwich with the proper amount of sauce (which is 90 calories of that 380).


Edit to add:

As far as the fish goes, here is what the McDonalds website says about that

Our Filet-O-Fish sandwich is made from white fish from the cold, deep waters of the Pacific Ocean and Bering, Baltic and North Seas. We take pride in the fact that the quality standards we use when preparing fish far surpass federal requirements.


http://www.mcdonalds...lity0/meat.html

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#32 prasantrin

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 11:01 PM

When I first arrived back in Japan in 2004, McD's was still making the filet-o-fish to order. Within the last year or two, however, I've noticed that the FoF is made the same way their burgers are made. And the buns just get heated in the microwave along with the rest of the sandwich.

At least they still fry the apple pies in Japan.

#33 porkpa

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:44 AM

On the rare occasions that I eat at McDonalds or Burger King in order to secure a freshly made product I order it with changes from the norm. If I'm ordering a burger at McD's I specify without ketchup. At Burger King I ask for it "off the Broiler" thus ensuring that it hasn't been standiing around. Its well worth the extra minute or two wait.

#34 Dianabanana

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:38 PM

Right--porkpa beat me to it. You order the Filet-O-Fish sans cheese--that way they have to make it fresh. And who wants cheese on their fish anyway?

Add me to the list of those who as a child exclusively ordered FOF. What a discriminating bunch we are!

#35 Holly Moore

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:30 PM

For McDonald's, at least, ordering a burger with no ketchup doesn't get you a fresh burger. Just mean it comes out of the universal holding bin to be built just for you.

For me, at least, McDonald's replacing the Wolf Grill and the round bun dressing table with clam shell grills and an assembly line is akin to Starbuck's getting rid of their manual espresso machines. Takes all the soul out of their products.
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#36 feedmec00kies

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:02 PM

It's good to know that other people don't mind/like the Filet-o-Fish. :smile: It's one of the only ways I survive being pushed into a fast-food-eating situation when traveling (usually traveling upstate). My boyfriend claims it's supposed to be the least healthy of all of their food (supposedly he heard that somewhere), but looking at the nutrition info... it's not the best by any means, but it's certainly not the worst. And I think that it being an actual piece of fish, and not composed of ground [insert animal meat here], I try to think of it as a bit less sketchy..
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#37 jsmeeker

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 08:18 PM

It's good to know that other people don't mind/like the Filet-o-Fish. :smile:  It's one of the only ways I survive being pushed into a fast-food-eating situation when traveling (usually traveling upstate). My boyfriend claims it's supposed to be the least healthy of all of their food (supposedly he heard that somewhere), but looking at the nutrition info... it's not the best by any means, but it's certainly not the worst. And I think that it being an actual piece of fish, and not composed of ground [insert animal meat here], I try to think of it as a bit less sketchy..

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next time you find yourself in a McDonalds, order a salad. I suggest the southwestern salad (if it's on the menu. That one vanished from the menu at a McDonalds in L.A., but it's still here at my local McDonalds in Dallas). They aren't a half bad alternative.

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#38 Dianabanana

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 08:29 PM

For McDonald's, at least, ordering a burger with no ketchup doesn't get you a fresh burger.  Just mean it comes out of the universal holding bin to be built just for you.

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That may be true for burgers, but I can attest that this strategy does reliably yield a dangerously hot, bursting-with-scalding-oil Filet-O-Fish.

#39 Fresser

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 11:09 AM

Successful as the Filet-o-Fish has become, it was not Ray Kroc's first choice for a Lenten menu. That honour belongs to the Hula Burger, which consisted of a pineapple slice on a bun. Great for vegetarians, sure, but during the subsequent McDonald's bake-off, the Filet-o-Fish outsold the Hula Burger by a multiple of about five-to-one.

I haven't seen pineapple on the McDonald's menu since. :hmmm:
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#40 Holly Moore

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 11:13 AM

There was a test product - ham sandwich. Sliced .Hormel Cure 81 ham topped with a grilled pineapple slice. Can't remember if it ever made it out of the lab, but was a good combination. I think we also looked at presliced ham.

A positive point for ham, at the time, was that it could be finished off in a microwave. Not the case with roast beef.
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#41 ludja

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:30 PM

Successful as the Filet-o-Fish has become, it was not Ray Kroc's first choice for a Lenten menu.  That honour belongs to the Hula Burger, which consisted of a pineapple slice on a bun.  Great for vegetarians, sure, but during the subsequent McDonald's bake-off, the Filet-o-Fish outsold the Hula Burger by a multiple of about five-to-one.
...

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The really weird thing about this was that apparently the grilled pineapple slice was also garnished w/all the regular burger accoutrements--cheese, pickle, salad. Yuck!
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#42 Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:32 PM

2.  Is McDonald's still steaming the buns or are they toasted or caramelized?

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I just had one (for the first time in years---I wonder how many this thread has sold) and it was not toasted or caramelized in any way. The neon color of the cheese was a bit disturbing, since I think it is even more neon than normal processed cheese, but overall it is a good sandwich. I thought the amount of tartar sauce was perfect, and if it is fully canned now they must have figured out a way to do it right because I thought it was pretty good as far as store-bought tartar sauce is concerned.

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#43 smallworld

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:57 PM

Another Fillet-O-Fish sold, thanks to this thread. It was enough of an experience to post about on my blog, here if you're interested. It's too long to reprint here so I'll sum it up quickly: not nearly as good as I remember. And I think Prasantrin is right, at least in Japan, that the the FOF is not made to order. Too bad, because I have very fond memories of the sandwich.

This is a fascinating thread though, so I won't hold a grudge...
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#44 KatieLoeb

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 09:43 PM

To follow up on my threats to go have a Fish sammie, I did indeed go pick one up on the way to work the other day.

Fish was well breaded and crispy. Bun was a bit steamed, not just cold off the counter. Definitely just a half slice of cheese under the fish as well as a decent smear of tartar on top. No discernable onions in the tartar sauce, just pickle relish or well chopped pickles.

It was exactly as I remembered it. I hadn't had one in longer than I care to admit I've been alive. It was tasty. :smile:

Edited by KatieLoeb, 17 February 2008 - 09:44 PM.

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#45 BarbaraY

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:44 AM

I have joined in, too.
I have eaten very little McD's. I had my first and last Big Mac in 1977.
I do occasionally have breakfast at one in a small town I visit because theirs is the best in town which tells you something about the food in this place.
Yesterday I was shopping near one so decided to have the Filet-o-Fish. I can't complain. The fish was crispy, the bun soft and warm, cheese melted, and the tartar sauce rather bland.
If I have to have lunch at McDonald's I would probably order it again.

Edited by BarbaraY, 19 February 2008 - 08:45 AM.


#46 jsmith

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:15 AM

next time you find yourself in a McDonalds, order a salad. I suggest the southwestern salad (if it's on the menu. That one vanished from the menu at a McDonalds in L.A., but it's still here at my local McDonalds in Dallas).   They aren't a half bad alternative.

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Just came across this article. Apparently the Big Mac is a healthier alternative to the Crispy Bacon Ranch Salad. Not that anyone goes there for health, but I thought it was pretty funny.

And yes, this thread made me order a fillet o fish as well. My issue with McDonalds is not so much the initial flavour, but the flavour that stays with you four hours later.

Edited by jsmith, 20 February 2008 - 11:17 AM.


#47 Shelby

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:20 AM

I'm getting my filet 'o fish as we speak--I shouldn't eat it, but I can't help myself.

#48 lancastermike

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:20 PM

A few questions for anyone now working in a McDonald's or who has worked in one within the fast few years.

1.  Does McDonald's prefry and hold the fish filets in a universal holding cabinet like they do their burgers?  Or, are they still batch fried as needed?

2.  Is McDonald's still steaming the buns or are they toasted or caramelized?

3.  Does the tartar sauce arrive at the McDonald's totally premixed or is the process similar to the old way - mayonnaise base, relish, fresh chopped onion combined and prepared daily?

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I just had the chance to speak to the manager of one of our local McDonalds, Holly. He tells me the fish can be pre-fried with a hold time of 20 minutes. He also said the buns are steamed to order and the tartar sauce is now a premixed product. I forgot to ask if the still have the caulking guns for the tartar sauce.

#49 racheld

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 06:10 AM

"It's SQUARE FISH, Phyllis, OK?"

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#50 Lilija

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:09 AM

I should make a list, next to my shopping list on the whiteboard, on the fridge, and call it "Egullet Made Me Do It" because count one more craving inspired from this thread. I asked the old man, the other day if we could hit up McDonald's this weekend sometime during our errands, since I wanted a Filet-O-Fish. He just rolls his eyes, anymore.

I haven't gone to McD's yet, though, we hardly ever eat there. The other night, though, we found ourselves at Wendy's, and they're having a fish sandwich for Lent too, apparently. It's a cod fillet breaded with "panko" which wasn't of course. It was still extremely good. It comes with lettuce (which I left off, hot lettuce is gross) and tartar sauce. The fish itself was firm, nicely flavored, didn't seem "chopped and formed" and had a great sandy crispy breadcrumby crunch. No awesome Filet-O-Fish, for sure, but it was darn good in its own right.

#51 Priscilla

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:22 AM

The profane and the sacred.

OK I had one on Filet-o-Fish Friday, thanks to you all. $1.29, $1.39 w/tax.

It was good! A nitpick would be it now comes in an unbleached-style box, (possibly actually unbleached?) rather than the crackly paper of yesteryear, and by yesteryear I mean like 20+ years ago when I last had one, and I missed the steaming and compression of having been wrapped.

But no big. And then I proceeded on to the farmer's market and bought my usual passel of organic fruit & veg from my friends the farmers.

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#52 Holly Moore

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 01:13 PM

Did my research. Headed to my nearest McDonald's and ordered up a Filet-O-Fish.

Posted Image

Watched it come together. First came the bun. Hard to tell whether it was steamed to order or was pulled out of a holding area. I think it was being held, but not certain. The bun went into the box. One step to the left. Next one squirt from the caulking gun filled with tartar sauce. This went on the crown (top) section of the bun.

One more step to the left. Then the cheese. Half a slice. That went on the heel (bottom) section of the bun. One final step to the left. The a fried fish filet out of the holding cabinet. Also goes on the heel.

Then the box is closed and latched. Then it is tossed (two bounces) into the pick-up bin.

Opening the box. The crown of the bun is mildly wrinkled - that come from steaming.

Posted Image

Inside - the filet is lopsided on the heel of the bun.

Posted Image

Otherwise looked as I remembered it.

Taste test - bun nicely steamed. Tartar sauce had more of a mayonnaise taste than anything else, definitely lacking the fresh onion flavor of the 1968 Filet-O-Fish. The coating of the fish filet was soft, not crisp. Probably because it had been sitting in the holding cabinet for a while.

Overall impression, edible but disappointing. And expensive. $2.89 including tax. I could have gotten two D&W hot dogs and a soft pretzel for that from the guy on the corner.
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#53 dockhl

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 02:12 PM

That is disappointing. :sad:

I tried one on Friday (hadn't had one in years) and it was pretty darned good but...........

I always ask for no cheese and I THINK I get them made to order that way. My fish definitely wasn't in a holding bin 'cause I had to wait 5 minutes for it to be done ! Way hot and crispy, soft (salty?) bun, uninspiring tartar sauce. All for $1.29 (Friday/Lenten special). Don't know that I'd do it for $2.89.

#54 Priscilla

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 02:22 PM

I would definitely not do it for $2.79, the regular price at the store I visited, I saw on the menu. The $1.29 Filet-o-Fish Friday poster in the window was key.

Also, my bun was griddled not steamed, which is OK with me, and had sesame seeds, and the tartar sauce was loaded with pickles, a help.

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#55 adegiulio

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:30 AM

$1.29?? They are $3.19 up here. At five bites per sandwich, that's an expensive treat. Thanks eGullet for re-addicting me to FoF.
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#56 jsmeeker

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:04 AM

I saw the $1.29 Filet-o-Fish Friday poster at a McDonald's in Los Angeles. Haven't checked my local one here in Dallas. I drive by it all the time, but it's set back from the road a bit and I don't focus too hard on the signs on the window.

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#57 Peter Green

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:27 AM

Holly,

Thank you for this thread.

Like a lot of us, my primary memories of McD's are from the 60's and early 70's (I try to blank out the trauma of time spent in Kid's Rooms that I went through with Scud in the 90's).

Of course, being Canadian, it was more climactic for us. We had spent a few years with J.P.Patches and the crowd on KIRO (I think that was the channel, or was it KING?) out of the States extolling the virtues of the Golden Arches, so when the invasion rolled north across the border, we were already in submission, waiting to be taken.

But, I remember when the filet-o-fish came on the menu. It was great. Truly great. I do recall that it was the one item at the time you couldn't just get from the tray. Every one we had then entailed a wait, which meant it was fresh when you ripped the wrapper off in wild abandon.

Like you said, the bun was steamed to a point of soft compliance, the fish was crisp. And that bit of cheese rounded out the fatiness of the whole product with the tang of the tartar sauce to lift the edges of your smile. When my nephew got us on tuna-Velveeta-ramen in Seoul, this is the sort of feeling I was getting.

And, even in those dark, horrible days when I was being told by the McDonald's staff to control my child in the ball pen, the filet-o-fish (and the chips, when they were still deep fried with beef fat) was the item that would anchor my tenuous sanity.

To find out now how the miracle of the tartar sauce was accomplished, to know that the bun was steamed to give it that texture to match the fish, and to be aware of it being only a half slice of cheese......

Well, my life is complete.

Again, thank you.
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#58 takadi

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:00 PM

Wendy's seems to have tapped into the sentiment of this thread and created their own fish sandwich

#59 emilyr

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:57 PM

I gave up fast food for Lent this year (and let me tell you - I had no idea how often I was eating it!!! :blink: ), but the ONLY items I've been craving are FOF's and fries. The rest of my family have been looking at me like I'm crazy becuase Friday afternoons I sit looking at them longingly with my egg salad sandwich.

This past week, masochist that I am, I went out and got lunch for the fam. EVERYONE of those pains in my ass wanted the FOF - even the non-practicing Catholic ones! I was proud of myself, drove the 10 minutes home and only ate the half-fry that fell out of the top of the bag. :unsure:

My mom grew up with a dad who was allergic to fish and shellfish, so she isn't a fish person, but she's always the first one in the family in Lent to say, "Oh, yeah, Filet-o-Fish sounds good..." She won't eat the double, though, because there's not enough of a tartar sauce-cheese-bread to fish ratio going on!
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#60 Pierogi

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:43 PM

Back in my less, ummmmmmm, temperate youth, my friends and I swore that a Filet-O-Fish and a root beer was the best cure for a hangover commercially available.

Not that *I* ever needed such a cure, of course............ :cool:

But to this day, they are my favorite (usually only) choice at a Mickey D's.
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