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Sandwiches Perhaps Improved by Ketchup

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Of course Trump not only eats at McDonald’s, but prefers the Filet o Fish. This may actually be a greater crime than putting ketchup on steak. That is a righteously disgusting sandwich, a concoction evidently created to give Catholics something to eat on Fridays but never improved over its original invention in 1962, a true peak year of American cuisine. Of course, the Filet o Fish was invented in Cincinnati, home of America’s worst regional food tradition. Of course it was. Though I’m surprised St. Louis isn’t claiming it as its own.

Meanwhile, I have been spending the last few days in West Virginia exploring the menu of one of the nation’s regional fast food chains, Tudor’s Biscuit World. The sausage and egg biscuit is highly recommended. My heart may not appreciate it but the rest of me is happy.

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  • McDonalds “improved” the Filet O Fish about 15 years ago. They quickly returned to the old version.

    • What was the improvement, such as it was?

      • aturner339

        If I recall correctly… lettuce.

        ETA:
        Ooh and a sesame seed bun.

        • Oooooohhhhhhhh. That is something.

          • rea

            They didn’t think to try using fish . . .

            • Tom in BK

              My best friend is a lobsterman, and he loves the filet of fish. He once explained the whole process of McD’s putting it out twice (?) a year to me, and it was enough for me to give it a shot.

              It’s cheaper than fish and chips at a pub, but it’s still not good. It is fish, though.

        • I don’t give a damn about your sesame seed buns, I want to know why YOU still get to “edit to add”.

          • petesh

            Could it be browser related?

            • petesh

              No. I tried both Safari and Firefox and I can’t be bothered to try Chrome.
              All I really wanted to do was to complain about the indecent imagery.

            • Redwood Rhiadra

              Doesn’t seem like it. It was working in my browser, while many others were complaining, up until yesterday. And I didn’t change anything on this end.

      • Hogan

        McDonald’s removed the Filet-O-Fish from its menus in the United States on September 26, 1996,[14] and replaced with the Fish Filet Deluxe sandwich, which was part of McDonald’s ill-fated Deluxe line of sandwiches. However, the Filet-O-Fish was brought back to its menus on January 31, 1998 due to overwhelming letters and petitions, receiving the larger fish patty from the Fish Filet Deluxe.[15]

        Oh, and from the “it could be worse” files:

        The sandwich was the first non-hamburger menu item brought in by new McDonald’s company owner Ray Kroc.[11] Kroc made a deal with Groen: they would sell two non-meat sandwiches on a Friday, Kroc’s own Hula Burger (grilled pineapple with cheese on a cold bun) and the Filet-O-Fish, and whichever sold the most would be added to the permanent menu. The Filet-O-Fish “won hands down”[9] and was added to menus throughout 1963 until reaching nationwide status in 1965.[12]

        • Hogan

          Follow-up:

          The Fish Filet Deluxe replaced the Filet-O-Fish sandwich and had tartar sauce, American cheese and lettuce. The fish patty was 50% larger than the original fish fillet used in the Filet-O-Fish. After the Fish Filet Deluxe was dropped, the larger fish patty was used in the current Filet-O-Fish. Despite failing eighteen years prior in North America, McDonald’s New Zealand introduced in 2015 a nearly identical sandwich (adding a tomato slice and with two fish filets and a seedless bun instead of the potato flour bun) called the Seaside Fish Burger.

        • That Hula Burger looks, well, terrible. And I’m not even a hater of pineapple on pizza.

        • Matty

          You know, throw some teriyaki sauce on there, and I would eat a Hula Burger on purpose.

  • DrS

    Shark Sandwich

  • Ahenobarbus

    You need to calm down and not get so aggravated by foods you don’t like.

    • What makes you think that talking about people’s terrible taste doesn’t calm me down?

      • ASV

        Everyone knows blogging is a one-way ratchet.

    • leftwingfox

      Some people love to rage about other people’s tastes.

      I don’t get it either.

      • I see the closet Trump supporters are revealing themselves.

        • efgoldman

          I see the closet Trump supporters are revealing themselves.

          Asserts libelous facts not in evidence.

        • leftwingfox

          No. I just watched a video game reviewer get his website DDoSed for rating the new Legend of Zelda game a “mere” 7/10 rather than the 10/10 people believe it “deserved”.

          I just finished watching a flame war over Emma Watson’s involvement in her Beauty and the Beast dress. My patience with lulzrage at trivial bullshit is officially empty.

          • It’s not my fault that you are a kulak on fast food issues.

      • Dilan Esper

        Me three.

      • DrS

        Some people like to rage about other people’s raging on some other people’s tastes.

        I don’t get it.

        • leftwingfox

          Well, as long as everyone’s happily miserable, I guess.

          Sincere comment though; When it comes to movies, or food, or music, I would much rather watch people sharing what they love, rather than hyperbolic ironic rage on what they hate. When the latter becomes expected, the former becomes nigh impossible without people shitting on each other for the things they love.

          • efgoldman

            When the latter becomes expected, the former becomes nigh impossible without people shitting on each other for the things they love.

            Just like politics.

          • David Allan Poe

            It’s difficult to start a discussion among people who don’t know each other well by talking about what you like, though, since what you like is conditioned by so much that is personal to you, and most people aren’t very good at talking about things they like in a more universal, critical sense. It’s entirely possible that no one will like the thing you like in a way similar to yours, and even people who like the thing you like often find it hard to say much more about it than “I like this too.”

            It’s far easier to get people talking about something with a diss, since you’re likely to find more points of agreement to spring the conversation from. This is doubly true in a general forum like this one that isn’t primarily about food or music or movies. You can find in depth discussion about what people like and why they like it in places more narrowly focused.

            • leftwingfox

              We get plenty of positive discussion when people talk about favorite one-pot dishes or recipes on vacuumslayer’s threads, or music review threads, or reminiscing about the work of various late artists. So I don’t really buy that it’s easier to slag on stuff than talk positively.

              • David Allan Poe

                A lot of those threads tend to be mostly one-off comments or people Amen-ing each other, though. To get the juicy back-and-forth happening, you’ve gotta get either disagreement or “This version of this thing sucks but you should try this one.”

                It’s not that you have to shit on things exclusively; it’s more that you have to have the grit to make the pearl.

          • witlesschum

            Sincere comment though; When it comes to movies, or food, or music, I would much rather watch people sharing what they love, rather than hyperbolic ironic rage on what they hate. When the latter becomes expected, the former becomes nigh impossible without people shitting on each other for the things they love.

            I agree generally, but still find Loomis’ food ranting as fun. Remember dead horse blogging and the fun we had?

            It just makes me want to come up with a plan to trick him into attending a potluck for jello mold-based foods only. I’ve been catching up on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, yes, why do you ask?

            • You wouldn’t have to trick me. I would just do it and then write about it.

            • Though I believe that vegetarian/vegan gelatin substitutes now exist, and may even be sold under the Jell-O brand, when midwestern Jell-O mold cuisine first took off surely some non-negligible fraction of the partially hydrolyzed collagen used as its principal ingredient was, in fact, derived from dead horses.

              • David Allan Poe

                Most of it nowadays is from pig skin and trim, which is why Jews and Muslims have to seek out kosher gelatin, which is usually beef. Sometimes isinglass, from fish, is used, but that is a much weaker gel.

                The principal vegetarian substitute is agar-agar, derived from seaweed, though it requires more care to get the texture right – it can be rubbery – and even when done correctly it doesn’t have that soft melting jiggliness of gelatin. It maintains its gel at room temperature, which can be handy, and is a common ingredient in Japanese candies.

            • efgoldman

              Remember dead horse blogging and the fun we had?

              It wasn’t fun for the ‘orses, though.

      • NewishLawyer

        This is something I get into a debate with. Both liberals and libertarians.

        I know a great number of people who think the world would be better off if we separate matters of taste from matter of morality and their defining line is a simple thought of “None of my business.”

        But I think it is much harder. Erik’s food thing is sort of easy on the surface but then you have to think about how much fast food contributes to more spending on public health. The nations that seem to develop “none of my business” do it through a lot of hands-on social engineering.

        Then it gets trickier. Theoretically people who want to work work work and people who want work-life balance should be able to agree to disagree but you then get involved with the issues of the workaholics getting all the promotions and cash.

        • leftwingfox

          You’ll forgive me if I don’t take being called “A closet trump supporter” and a “kulak on fast food issues” as evidence of this being serious or worthy debate. :/

          I am 100% for talking about the political, economic and critical underpinnings of our entertainment. I just find the hyperbolic 3 minutes hate for subjective tastes in entertainment falls way too close to the behavior of harassers (I.e. Gamergate ) to be all that amusing.

          Usually I just keep my mouth shut and avoid these kinds of threads, but it’s been a bad week for this elsewhere, and I lost my cool.

          • You’ll forgive me if I don’t take being called “A closet trump supporter” and a “kulak on fast food issues” as evidence of this being serious or worthy debate

            The idea that you are seeing any of my posts about ketchup as being serious or needing worthy debate is effectively the problem.

            You know, sometimes writing is intended to be ridiculous, not serious.

            • leftwingfox

              Am I really that incoherent?

              I don’t think you’re serious. I know you’re joking.

              I just find it tiresome, and had a bad day where I said so rather than ignoring it like I usually do.

          • DrS

            I just find the hyperbolic 3 minutes hate for subjective tastes in entertainment falls way too close to the behavior of harassers (I.e. Gamergate ) to be all that amusing.

            Making this comparison downplays the harassing behavior of the GamerGaters. Sweet Jesse, let’s talk about hyperbole.

            • leftwingfox

              Oh, for fucking out loud…

          • Dilan Esper

            I am 100% for talking about the political, economic and critical underpinnings of our entertainment. I just find the hyperbolic 3 minutes hate for subjective tastes in entertainment falls way too close to the behavior of harassers (I.e. Gamergate ) to be all that amusing.

            Yep. You want to go after Trump for eating meat, or for patronizing restaurants that have harmful effects, fine. But declaring superiority based on personal tastes is terrible.

            “Your personal tastes don’t make you a better person” is a good creed for everyone to live by.

            • I’m curious about what you (and others here) think about the idea of religion as a “personal taste.”

              Having faith in a diety, and celebrating or expressing that faith in particular ways (e.g. catholic liturgy v. muslim prayer time), is a personal choice.

              In this context many people believe that your personal tastes do in fact make you a better person- and not just in the sort of snobby “aioli is better than ketchup” sense.

              A bit deep for this thread, perhaps…but I come to the question in the context of rights. Some would say rights don’t accrue to those on the basis of (what they would characterize as) personal choices like homosexuality, but they do for personal choices like religion.

              • Dilan Esper

                The problem with religion is that it makes factual claims abd ideological components.

                The RITUALISTIC components of religion, I mostly agree about. I don’t think that taking communion or smashing a huppah at a wedding or praying five times a day are things that people should target. (There are ideological aspects of the rituals, of course, and they are fair game– e.g., separating the genders at religious services.)

                But when religions make factual claims about stuff that didn’t actualy happen or doesn’t actually exist, those can be criticized, and people can be criticized for believing in things that are clearly not true. And religions can also be criticized for dodging taxes, encouraging wars, spewing hatred, etc.

                • Dilan Esper

                  Makes factual claims and has ideological components. LGM is no longer allowing me to edit my posts.

              • Dilan Esper

                1 other thing (I really wish I could just edit my posts):

                Religion is different from other protected classes under the law, because it really is chosen, at least as an adult. I think the justifications for treating it differently from other lifestyle choices have to do with the history of non-pluralistic societies, and how close it is to one’s identity.

                However, it’s important to understand that, consistent with the statements I made in my other comment, the non-ritualistic aspects of religion are treated differently than the rituals– for instance, you can’t fire a biology teacher for being an evangelical Protestant, but you sure can fire her for refusing to teach evolution and sex education.

                • JR in WV

                  You can’t edit your posts because of the way you hold your face. Smile more, and lose the sneer, and you’ll be fine!!

                  ;-)

                  Obviously I’m kidding, I can’t see you from here to know how you’re holding your face.

                  When we were kids, the olds would tell us to be careful, “Your face might freeze like that, and then a bird could lay an egg on that lower lip!”

                  Happy St Patrick’s Day, Dilan!

                • JR in WV

                  ETA:

                  I can’t edit either, and I’m grinning.

                  Firefox 52.0, Linux Ubuntu 14.04 current build.

                  And it’s snowing here today, mixed with rain. Oh boy!

  • efgoldman

    I hadn’t had one in years, probably decades, and I tried one a few months ago. “Disgusting” doesn’t even come close. Went right in the trash bin.

    • efgoldman

      one of the nation’s regional fast food chains, Tudor’s Biscuit World.

      Also too, I read about these good Southern and Western chains, but for whatever reason they aren’t getting any market penetration in most of New England.

      • It’s hard when every street corner has 2 Dunkin’ Donuts serving their atrocious bagels and chalk-like donuts.

        • efgoldman

          2 Dunkin’ Donuts serving their atrocious bagels and chalk-like donuts.

          They don’t compete in the burger/chicken universe.
          Also, something like 2/3 of their sales are coffee and other beverages.

          • David Allan Poe

            Dunkin’ Donuts coffee sucks too. My Mainer wife always made such a big deal about it, and then I went to New England, and it was just regular shitty gas station coffee.

            • erick

              my first experience of a Dunkin Donuts was my first business trip to Boston, probably in 1990 or so. I went in to grab a cup of coffee before catching the T, I asked for a coffee, they handed me the cup and i took a drink and it had cream and sugar in it. I assumed they had given me the wrong order so went to them and said I asked for a coffee, this must be someone else’s because it has cream and sugar in it. They said that is a coffee, coffee comes with cream and sugar. I said no coffee is coffee, if I wanted cream and sugar I’d ask for cream and sugar. Then they gave me a new cup of just coffee and I saw why people in New England apparently all drink coffee with cream and sugar, gag the urn that sits all day at 7-11 is better.

              • bender

                Not just New England. I took a trip to New York State in the Eighties and was astonished to learn that “regular” coffee meant with cream and sugar. I’m willing to respect regional differences about this as long as I know in advance.

            • Warren Terra

              And if you get their iced coffee they put so much sugar in it the bottom third of the cup is a sickeningly sweet sludge.

              • efgoldman

                And if you get their iced coffee they put so much sugar in it the bottom third of the cup is a sickeningly sweet sludge.

                I said no coffee is coffee, if I wanted cream and sugar I’d ask for cream and sugar.

                You DO know that you just need to utter the word “black” when you order, right? I mean, it’s really not that hard. They even have sugar / sweetener packets, you can mix your own.
                This is, after all, the 21st century. We have made some progress.

                • erick

                  Of course I figured that out. But as a west coast person I never would have known that you need to say to hold cream and sugar, adding cream and sugar is something people who don’t like coffee add to hide the taste. It is to coffee what wine coolers are to alcohol.

                  And like I said this was 1990, Starbucks may be mediocre but they have influenced the rest of the country about coffee and forced even Dunkin to up their game.

                • nixnutz

                  Feh. Coffee is wonderful with cream and sugar. Liking it that way doesn’t mean you don’t like coffee. Don’t other places have their own food cultures too? I know like in France you have to specify that you don’t want a fried egg on your pizza, does no place in America have stuff like that other than New England? You didn’t even get into the whole milkshake/frappe thing, although that’s pretty much extinct now.

                • efgoldman

                  I never would have known that you need to say to hold cream and sugar

                  For the uninitiated, in new England “regulah” means milk (or cream) and sugah.

                • wjts

                  I must disagree. “Regulah” means cream – melk is only for tea.

                • Mellano

                  I know like in France you have to specify that you don’t want a fried egg on your pizza,

                  What the?

                  I’d guess this is some kind of bizarre calumny making the rounds of Yahoo comments sections, except last I checked the accepted nationalistic griping is that in France you have pay four bucks for a thimble of coffee, and 50 cents to pee.

                • rea

                  You didn’t even get into the whole milkshake/frappe thing, although that’s pretty much extinct now.

                  The French call their nuclear strike force the Force de Frappe

              • Origami Isopod

                adding cream and sugar is something people who don’t like coffee add to hide the taste. It is to coffee what wine coolers are to alcohol.

                Ah, nothing like the snobbery of people who think their preference for bitter flavors makes them superior.

            • delazeur

              I have to say, as a coffee and donut snob, that shitty coffee plus shitty donut is much better than the sum of its parts.

              • That is definitely true, and a paradox that over the years made many morning meetings nearly bearable. Now that I am in no further danger of any of the latter, I can also avoid the former handily, and I have done so.

              • nixnutz

                I don’t know how you get to be a donut snob. DD isn’t perfect but I don’t know of any place better. When I was a kid I could go to a regular bakery in a Catholic neighborhood in Boston and those were better but in San Francisco there were only Chinese food and donuts places and those are awful. Krispy Kreme was OK for the 9 months their expansion lasted but only that one variety and still not as good as DD, plus I much prefer the cakey old-fashioned donut to the glazed anyway. New York has a couple fancy places, including a truck I pass almost every day, but they’re not worth the premium IMO.

                • randy khan

                  Krispy Kreme glazed donuts right out of the fryer are sublime, not even really donuts so much as clouds that melt in your mouth. Otherwise, I’d take DD over KK.

                • efgoldman

                  I don’t know how you get to be a donut snob.

                  ~40 years ago, when we lived in West Roxbury, there was a fantastic local bakery with great donuts. Long, long gone.
                  25-30 years ago when we lived in Watertown and Belmont, there was a fantastic local bakery on Belmont St, made their own donuts AND had a sit down counter and a couple of tables.
                  Long, long gone, and I think the building burned.
                  Honey Dew is roughly equivalent to DD, but their bakery product mix is different – a greater variety.

                • witlesschum

                  I dunno where you are, but Kalamazoo, Michigan has three different local places to get donuts that are all better than Dunkin plus a fourth beloved by the local media that I haven’t been to. And any supermarket chain usually has a case of their down donuts made in the back which you can trust to be as good as Dunkin. Krispy Kreme is also trash.

                  I miss the dear, departed Eglevest donut boxes but that is probably half weird upper midwest nostalgia.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I dunno about your location specifically. But Albany isn’t exactly Paris, but not only are there are several bakeries that have doughnuts that are fairly cheap and extremely good, but the doughnuts at the local regional grocery chain are vastly better than DD. I mean, improving on what is apparently deep fried sawdust isn’t a very high bar.

                • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                  I like Timmy’s better, but they haven’t made it to Kansas yet.

                  Still planning a vacation to Canada as part of the trip, but I’m getting increasingly concerned about getting back into the U.S. And my family’s been here far longer than Dolt 45’s.

                • efgoldman

                  I like Timmy’s better, but they haven’t made it to Kansas yet.

                  Crashed and burned in Southern New England.

                • bender

                  The various dietary fads of the last twenty-five years have really done a number on the availability of mediocre donut shops in the SF Bay Area, let alone good ones. Not enough joints that cater to the working class. The open all night donut shop in Oakland that I used to patronize after work when I worked swing shift was still in business last time I checked. Sometimes I would hit a bar, slam a couple before last call and drive home drunk, but usually I would go for the classic combo of caffeine, sugar and grease.

                  Any doughnut fresh out of the fryer is better than a cold stale one. I have fond childhood memories of cinnamon sugar cake doughnuts at the State Fair.

                • prostratedragon

                  Washtenaw Dairy, Ann Arbor. Get there early for donuts —they open at 5— or order by the dozen in advance. Try the plain.

            • wca

              Sorta like Steak ‘n’ Shake. People rave about the place, but I’ve been to two in two different states and it’s basically a slower version of McDonald’s.

              It’s what you grow up with, I guess.

              • witlesschum

                Wait, who raved about Steak and Shake? They make better than fast food shakes, sure but the food is equivalent to Dennys.

                • fd2

                  Wait, who raved about Steak and Shake?

                  Ebert, somewhat famously.

              • Halloween Jack

                You, sir, are insane in the motherfucking membrane.

        • Scott Lemieux

          What amazes me is the extent to which some New Englanders will affirmatively defend DD. My wife’s former boss at Williams almost got lynched for bringing McDonald’s sandwiches to breakfast, although the McMuffin is better than any foodstuff served at DD by a factor of about six billion, and McDonald’s has way better coffee too.

          • I have tried to get my students to articulate their love for DD to me and they have no good answers. It seems to just be brainless regional pride.

            • wca

              Just ask them if they’ve ever had KK “Hot and Now”.

            • LFC

              Not a New Englander. My eval. of DD: the coffee is quite mediocre; bagels — nothing wrong w them, though they prob wdn’t please people who insist that they must have their bagels from XYZ Deli (made-up name) in Manhattan or whatever.

              P.s. I would never eat a sausage and egg muffin. I find the very idea repulsive. De gustibus non est disputandum… (w apologies for spelling if it’s wrong).

              • randy khan

                It may be that real bagels are so rare that hardly anybody knows there’s a difference, but DD bagels are not real bagels. Get the donuts instead.

                • Sentient AI from the Future

                  A pox on Einstein’s/Noah’s for convincing folks that bagels are basically toroidal white bread.

              • JR in WV

                If you are trying to talk about Tudor’s Biscuits, you can’t get a sausage and egg muffin there at all.

                Read the name: Tudor’s Biscuits !! nothing in that name about muffins. And the biscuits are big round crunchy things. You can get at least a couple of dozen different mixes of things on them, including sausage gravy, which I like on the side to keep the biscuits crunchy til the very end.

                They also do pepperoni and cheese, cured ham (which is a little too salty for me, but good), potato and cheese, and all of them have cutesy names, which I can’t remember or associate with their respective flavors.

                When there are muffins, they are sweet and mostly served with the fried apples, which is a great mix. But never with sausage and eggs. Never. Don’t even ask!

                And Fayetteville does indeed have good food. When I was a kid, Fayetteville was nearly a ghost town, there was a drugstore with a soda fountain, a movie theater that was only open Friday and Saturday nights, a weekly paper and some lawyer’s offices around the old-fashioned court house.

                Now it’s nearly like Gatlinburg, without the tourist trap ticky-tack. Rafting, rock climbing, hiking and zip lines have created an economic boom in Fayette county. The old residents preferred the ghost town period of the history, by far. They were rich and isolated and like it that way, even if they had to go to Beckley to go shopping.

            • nixnutz

              I never got that either, I had a friend who took a job at Starbuck’s and walked out of the orientation when they badmouthed Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee. I actually do drink it most days now but it’s not because it’s great, but it’s fine and it’s consistent. I like bodega coffee too but it’s old and nasty at least half the time.

              • That’s just crazy. Who cares so much about one fast food chain to walk out of a job that says a bad word about it?

            • wjts

              One of my first jobs was working the closing shift at a Dunkin’ Donuts in MA. It was years before I could stomach their stuff again, but I like it pretty well these days. Adequate coffee, pretty good donuts, and greasy processed breakfast sandwiches that are a small cut above their other chain competitors.

              ETA: Their bagels suck, but no worse than Starbucks or other chain coffee store bagels. Quality bagels, sadly, seem to be nonexistent in Pittsburgh.

            • bender

              Variety.

          • wca

            What amazes me is the extent to which some New Englanders will affirmatively defend DD.

            Everyone is parochial.

            McDonald’s actually does a competent fast-food breakfast, with one exception. The McGriddle is an abomination.

            • Randy

              Your better choice for a fast food breakfast is White Castle, if there are any in your area. Unlike the other chains, they cook breakfasts to order, rather than having the sandwiches sit around in stacks.

              I say this as one who has never been a part of the White Castle cult. The last time I had the burgers, it took me three days to digest them.

              • efgoldman

                The last time I had the burgers

                When I was in college, White Castle was one of the rare 24 hour places.
                Nevertheless, even drunk on a Friday nite at 200am, we wouldn’t go there.

                • Judas Peckerwood

                  Clearly you weren’t drunk enough.

                • wca

                  When I was in college, White Castle was one of the rare 24 hour places.

                  We had Waffle House and Huddle House. Never go into a Huddle House … *shudder*

            • efgoldman

              McDonald’s actually does a competent fast-food breakfast

              I’d like the McMuffin a lot better if they actually toasted the damned thing before they stuffed and nuked it.

              • Randy

                And remember, if you ask for jelly with your Big Mac, they will tell you “No! You can only have jelly with the Egg McMuffin!”

              • witlesschum

                The biscuit-based McDs have some crunch to them. It’s probably made that way with stolen overtime and horse parts, but it is indeed pretty good.

          • John F

            That I guess was why Tim Horton’s expansion into New England flamed out so badly…. (Tim Horton’s is essentially indistinguishable from or slightly better than DD)

            • Scott Lemieux

              I know as a Canadian I won’t be trusted on this, but Tim’s is better. The doughnuts are only a marginal-at-best improvement, but the food selection is wayyyy better — decent soups and sandwiches that even have vegetables in them.

              • efgoldman

                decent soups and sandwiches that even have vegetables in them.

                Dunkie’s tried soup for a while in the 80s or 90s (don’t remember) but gave it up.

          • Tom in BK

            DD coffee is the worst, and I thought McD’s served Newman’s Own now. Right?

            • Tom in BK

              Oh wait, I’m agreeing with you, sorry. The ability to edit seems to have disappeared.

  • wca

    I have yet to have a “fast food” fish sandwich that didn’t taste like breaded Styrofoam, so I would probably agree with the assertion that ketchup might be an improvement.

    I don’t see why these places even bother to put “fish” in these sandwiches. Just bread and deep fry a rice cake, or bread up some of those “edible” biodegradable packing peanuts and no one would know the difference.

    • Hayden Arse

      Culver’s actually makes a cod sandwich that is passable if your only choice is to eat fast food. I’m not saying that it is necessarily great, but if you are on a road trip and are stopping for fast food anyway, you could do much worse.

    • nixnutz

      The BK Big Fish used to be real good, they remodeled it so it’s a lot smaller now, I don’t know if it’s different otherwise. And the Popeye’s Fish Po Boy was fantastic, they may still have it in some areas but I haven’t seen it in New York for about 10 years.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I rarely get to New England. Are the “lobster” or “crab” rolls any good at any of the chains?

        • I am a big fan of the lobster roll.

          • efgoldman

            I am a big fan of the lobster roll.

            Mickey D’s or a real one?

          • wjts

            All that mayo, you would be.

            (I used to love lobster, but I don’t much care for it anymore. Too sweet, somehow.)

            • Tom in BK

              Depends on the time of year (and the year itself). Soft shell lobsters are much sweeter than hard shells.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        I have a weakness for the BK Big Fish*. It’s decent, the fish is recognizably fish and flaky, the bun’s briochey, and it has a nice mix of tartar sauce and pickle. Also, no slice of [retch] American cheese.

        * (and a lifelong weakness for the schnitzelly BK Chicken sandwich – the long flat one)

        • wjts

          There’s a bar in my neighborhood that does a gigantic fried fish sandwich. I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I always order it with American cheese.

          • JR in WV

            Used to eat at a local bar for lunch, just across the river from work. They did a huge fried fish sandwich, they cut in in half so you could pick it up.

            Once I was so hungry and it was so fresh from the kitchen, when I bit it there was a burst of steam from inside that roasted the roof of my mouth ~!!! OUCH I applied ice immediately, and after finishing I asked the barmaid for a tiny shot of vodka to sanitize the wound.

            She brought me a shot-glass and a bottle of 100 proof – got a huge tip, too! Healed up quickly for what it was, first aid is the best for burns!

            I don’t remember much of that afternoon at work. I don’t remember most afternoons at work, it was so long ago now…

            ERIC, wife says those Tudor’s Biscuits, get mayo on it, and order the fried apples with it. I usually do the pinto beans and cornbread myself, although the baked steak lunch is good too. Green beans and mashed with gravy and butter.

            Fast food done right!!

        • wca

          (and a lifelong weakness for the schnitzelly BK Chicken sandwich – the long flat one)

          This is the only thing my wife will eat from BK. I’ve got to admit that it’s not half bad. I’m not entirely sure it’s actually chicken, but what the heck …

  • yenwoda

    The Filet o Fish is a true abomination, perhaps even more disgusting than the McRib

    • The McRib is an assault upon all things good and holy.

    • JustRuss

      Tough choice. If you’re at McD’s and can’t have a burger, why wouldn’t you just go for chicken? Way better than the fish–as near as I can remember, haven’t had one in 40+ years, because it was that bad.

      Tudor’s Biscuit World sounds marvelous.

      • malraux

        Lent?

        • efgoldman

          Lent?

          No, you have to buy it.
          :::rimshot:::

    • Derelict

      I have managed nearly three decades on this planet without tasting a Filet ‘O Fish, a Big Mac, a McRib, or a corndog. My ambition is to lie at ease in my grave, knowing none of these things has ever passed or even approached my lips.

      • DrS

        Those other things are abominations, but a corn dog is a delight.

      • erick

        A good corn dog is great. There is a sausage company in Portland that has a stall in one of the food markets that makes one with their all-beef dog dipped in their own cornbread mixture, awesome. They don’t need to be the gas station version of a school lunch dog sitting on a roaster all day.

        • DrS

          Too often around here they are frozen, pre-cooked chicken dogs. Abominable.

        • A good corndog is sublime. And it’s OK to put ketchup on it, although mustard is better.

      • wengler

        Of those I’ve only had a corndog. As far as food on stick options go, it’s OK.

      • witlesschum

        Never had a filet of fish or a corndog.

  • David Allan Poe

    In this case, I have to disagree. The Filet-o-Fish is a fine sandwich, for what it is. I don’t think anybody’s gonna go claiming it as the best fish sandwich in the world or anything, but it’s tasty enough and they do use Alaska pollock, which, though I basically hate draggers in general, is at least an MSC certified fishery and the midwater pollock draggers aren’t as hell on halibut and salmon as the bottomfish guys.

    • efgoldman

      midwater pollock draggers aren’t as hell on halibut and salmon as the bottomfish guys.

      Still sucks rocks.
      The burgers and chicken, at least, are tasteless and fill the hole. The fish tastes off, which means probably they don’t freeze it fast enough or the store leaves it out of the freezer too long before they drop it in the fryer – or FSM forbid, microwave it.

      • Tom in BK

        As I mentioned above, I got a lecture about this once.

        They do indeed flash-freeze the catch. It’s up to the individual franchisees after that.

    • anapestic

      I haven’t had a Filet-o-Fish in a long time, but I have had a fondness for them in the past. The problem is that they seem horribly inconsistent from store to store and from visit to visit. The fish isn’t cooked consistently, and the amount of tartar sauce varies wildly. What was consistent was the much too large bread-to-fish ratio. Also, I could never figure out why anyone would put a small piece of American cheese on a fish sandwich.

      McDonald’s does do a pretty good job with their breakfast sandwiches and their french fries. The apple pies can be surprisingly good, also, but there again, there is a problem with consistency.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I could never figure out why anyone would put a small piece of American cheese on a fish sandwich.

        I think it falls into the category of “when all you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

        They’ve got piles of cheese, and not a lot of other options to throw on top of the fish.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          They’d do better to sprinkle actual nails on it.

  • Cincinnati does, however, have Grippos, the best potato chip made, hands down.

    • Pete

      +1.

      And the Filet-o-Fish isn’t much of a sandwich, but calling Cincinnati-style chili the worst regional food tradition in the country (especially given others on that list)… well, let’s just say it deals a potentially fatal blow to the credibility of our resident food critics.

      I admit that the stuff is best after you've had a few drinks and sprinkled it liberally with hot sauce (in either order). Next you'll be telling us White Castles aren't good for you.

      • Are you actually defending Cincinnati chili?

        • Sentient AI from the Future

          merrlin/bawlmer pit beef sure does give it a run for its money. I’ve never had hotdish though so I can’t rightly say anything about that.

        • twointimeofwar

          I’ll defend it. I make it homemade and it is very good when made properly. According to America’s Test Kitchen it is a “Mediterranean-spiced tomato and meat sauce.” Not as pithy as “chili,” but far more accurate. Spaghetti noodles must be buttered. The “chili” must be topped with raw white onion, kidney beans, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce.

          Done right, it is gut-bustingly good.

          Skyline, though? That is garbage. I doubt they are grinding their toasted spices in a mortar and pestle and simmering their sauce for an hour.

          • I’m always just struck by how visually unappealing Skyline is. It looks like a clown took a dump and then decided said dump was his son and heir and sent the dump to clown college.

            • Pete

              And then it grew up to become President.

          • rea

            Here I am in Cincinnati, young and innocent, 2 hours before my first oral argument in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m as prepped as I can get, time to kill, a bit hungry . . . Oh, a chili place! New Mexican boy that I am, I love chili! Comfort food is just what I need . . .

            OMFG what is this shit with noodles!

            [Still traumatized, all these years later]

        • Pete

          Well, that depends on what the definition of “chili” is.

          I wouldn’t defend it as “chili” compared to good Texas-style, but I enjoy the dish. If you use good quality, fresh ingredients it doesn’t have to be a pile of slop. Meat, beans, onions, cheese — with or without the pasta — is not a bad combination. And growing up with it, I guess I didn’t realize that cinnamon did not belong in chili.

          • Incidentally, the entire 3 years I lived in Texas, I never saw chili as a major attraction anywhere. It always surprised me.

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            Cinnamon definitely belongs. It is nearly always the “secret” ingredient in good chili, Texas or otherwise. Cocoa is another. Along with paprika, they are a nice “bridge” between your hot spices and your savory/ earthy spices to give that satisfying balanced flavor.

          • wjts

            In one of Michael Palin’s travel series (or an interview about the series), he talked about trying tea with yak butter. As tea, he said, it’s revolting. As a sort of soup, it’s fine. I think the key to appreciating (or at least accepting) Cincinnati chili is to realize that it’s not chili, it’s an eccentric kind of spaghetti sauce.

  • Nobdy

    I will not defend the filet of fish but I do like the taste of it.

    It’s basically a mushy mass of saturated fat and simple carbs with some fish like substance in there somewhere. What’s not to like? It must be eaten hot before it congeals, but when in its ideal form it a vaguely sandwich-like sugary and savory mush, and an extremely unhealthy delicacy.

    • And a Shamrock Shake is the prefect accompaniment.

      Just found out about Tudor’s Biscuit World last fall and thought the world of it

      • I’ve never had a shamrock shake but they smell like toothpaste, which makes me suspect I wouldn’t care for it. I am pretty picky about mint-flavored sweets.

    • Captain Oblivious

      I find it’s better with Big Mac sauce instead of their crappy tartar sauce.

  • Crusty

    I get stopping for fast food once in a while when you need something fast, or perhaps you’re drunk and/or hungover and you need the grease/salt thing.

    But I just seriously don’t get walking into a greasy, fried smelling McDonald’s, all of which are sad, and going, you know, I think I’ll have the fish.

  • CaptainBringdown

    My sole experience with WV cuisine was while traveling through the state. At the time I was vegetarian and the place we stopped had but one option for me: cheese sandwich. When I asked what kind of cheese they had, I got a perplexed look and “um, regular cheese” in response.

    • Yeah, that’s pretty much what eating in West Virginia is like.

      • CaptainBringdown

        This happened probably 20-25 years ago. I was served one slice of an American cheeze-product slice between 2 slices of white bread. It cost less than 50 cents.

        • nixnutz

          I once went to a church free meal in Santa Cruz, one of the only ones where they made you listen to the sermon before the food, and they served cottage cheese sandwiches. There are only about six foods I strongly dislike and the only ones I won’t eat at all are cottage cheese and dried shrimp.

          • John Revolta

            A church free meal would be fine with me. A free church meal, well I dunno.

            What kinda bread was this on, that it would hold up to cottage cheese?

            • nixnutz

              Just regular supermarket whole wheat, they weren’t super generous with the cheese.

              • John Revolta

                This reminds me: I personally know people who put ketchup on their cottage cheese. Don’t tell Loomis.

                • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

                  Brazilians put ketchup on white rice and it is *delicious*!

                • bender

                  Casey Milhone, fictional private eye, puts salsa on her cottage cheese. I like both of those things separately and they are good together, plus you get a serving of vegetables without going to the trouble of making a salad.

      • NewishLawyer
        • College Career Counselor

          Have had Tudor’s Biscuit World (can confirm it’s good). I’ve also been to Mario’s Fishbowl in that review you posted. Granted, it was many years ago, but it’s not the kind of place you go for the food, frankly. I’m not sure that “a line of hungry college students is a good, good sign” is an accurate statement, considering some of the stuff we used to consume regularly after drinking..

          ETA: in WV, “Plain” pizza (aka what the rest of the world thinks of as a cheese pizza) comes with pepperoni.

      • jbjames

        Am with you on Tudor’s Biscuit World. My parents are from Beckley. When I was there I mostly ate my grandmother’s cooking; may she and her arteries rest in peace.

      • tde

        Awww, c’mon man. There are excellent restaurants in most cities, now. I’ve eaten at most of the better rated restaurants in Charleston and they’re decent.

        Ten or twenty years ago it was a wasteland, but it has greatly improved.

        • I will grant that Fayetteville has a few good places to eat.

      • Tom in BK

        The only time I visited West Virginia, I went to a place across the street from my Hampton Inn (or whatever), and the menu was just flat-out filled with racist “Mexican” caricatures.

        Unfortunately, my only other choice was an Outback, or whatever, unless I wanted to drive into Huntington, or go to Kentucky.

  • Cheap Wino

    McDonald’s could offer to give me unlimited Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for free for the rest of my life and you still won’t run into me at a McDonald’s. And I love fish, will be making a seafood stew tomorrow night that I intend to eat all weekend.

    • wca

      McDonald’s could offer to give me unlimited Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for free for the rest of my life and you still won’t run into me at a McDonald’s. And I love fish

      … which is precisely why you wouldn’t be eating the Filet O Fish, right?

  • howard

    i trust you’ve been following that ever since chelsea’s new manager banned ketchup at the training table they’ve been running away with the premier league?

    • I guess I finally have a Premier League team to cheer for.

      • Stag Party Palin

        Right. As long as a Russian kleptocrat-owned team eschews (perfect place for that word) ketchup, you’re on board. Nice to know what a thin reed your political principles live on. I’ll bet you’d rather eat than vote.

        And it’s “Chelski”.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      How they doing in Europe?

      And note that the link to the Cincinnati worst food article also has CT steamed cheeseburgers way at the bottom the list so definitely not to be trusted.

      • Nubby

        Nebraska has “handheld meat pies” as its entry.

        Yes, we’re known the world over for handheld meat pies.

        • John Revolta

          I presume they’re talking about Runza, which is a local chain and really not bad.

  • Sir Mc’s-a-Lot

    I like Big Macs and I can not lie…

    • catclub

      Me, too.

      Although my former order, when young with a rapid metabolism was two, to go. Now it is one. I have one less than once a month.

  • Murc

    You know what’s weird about that TPM article, and has been bothering me all day?

    For the record, his preferred meal is the Filet of Fish.

    That’s not what it is called! Who in America doesn’t know that it’s the Filet-O-Fish? You might not get that exact spelling (Filet O’Fish, Filet O Fish, etc.) but who doesn’t know that there is not an “of” in it?

    • Jordan

      I bet that writer loves the salad bar at applebees too.

    • Stag Party Palin

      Up the Irish!

  • randy khan

    While we were dating, my wife told me that she’d basically subsisted on Filet-O-Fish sandwiches while she going to graduate school at night.

    That gave me cause for concern about her culinary tastes, but she basically hasn’t eaten at McDonald’s since, so I eventually concluded I could overlook it.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      There was a schwarma cart on my walk home from grad school. I think my business put the owner’s kids through Swiss boarding school

    • Origami Isopod

      Isn’t that kind of normal for grad school, though?

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        If my sister’s grad-school experience is anything to go by, Top Ramen is probably the more common subsistence food. Fast food, of any variety, is *expensive* on a typical grad student budget.

  • Chet Manly

    In fairness to Cincinnati, the franchise owner that came up with the Filet O Fish originally made it with halibut and a nicer bun, which sounds like it may have been a passably decent sandwich. When it expanded to a standard McDonalds menu item Ray Kroc made them switch to the cheapest available whitefish and turned it into the abomination we’re all familiar with.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      What you described is the BK Big Fish mmmmm

  • Jordan

    Anyone else remember JfL’s spirited and strident defense of the Filet O’ Fish? I member.

  • tde

    Tudors was franchised and expanded greatly by Oshel Craigo – who was a WV politician of some note. Can’t find much about him online, unfortunately: http://www.putnamrotary.com/news15/150113b.html

    He got his start with Gino’s Pizza’s (which are slightly better than Dominos) but it was the only delivery pizza in parts of WV for many years.

    My father refused to eat in any of Craigo’s restaurants because he said that he had been drafted and sent to basic training with Oshel Craigo but Craigo got discharged after intentionally shitting his pants. (I have no way of knowing if this is true, of course.)

  • msmarjoribanks

    The filet o fish was my favorite McD’s item when I was a kid, the only one I would eat as I was weird about many condiments and would only get the hamburger plain and they used to have to make that special so it would take longer. I go to McD’s about once a year now, but still get the f-o-f for old times sake (and because nothing else particularly appeals). Added benefit is that I always scrape off most of the tartar sauce and then use it as dip for the fries. (I still hate ketchup, although I now enjoy mustard and onions (other things I eschewed as a kid) just fine, although obviously not on the f o f, that would be terrible.)

    Feel free to judge, I don’t care. I also like pineapple on pizza. ;-)

  • John F

    That deadspin article is interesting reading… On the one hand when it discusses foods that I am not familiar with, it’s hysterical, on the other hand when it discusses foods I am familiar with…. I get an unreliable narrator vibe.

    For example, Michigan Pasty=

    essentially a calzone for people who hate and fear things that are good.

    I have no idea if that is true or not, but it does make for good reading.

    Then with respect to New York pizza you get this

    By rough estimate, there are 900 trillion pizza joints per person in New York City. Somehow, within this competitive environment, not a one of the purveyors of “New York Pizza” has yet considered the wild and crazy idea of maybe trying to do something—anything!—interesting with its pizza.

    The first half, 900 trillion pizza joints is accurate, give or take a bajillion, the second have that no NY pizza “joints” has ever tried anything different is just… wrong.

    The write up on Fried Catfish is just… mean

    The glorious write-up on Cincinnati Chili should be worked into an entry for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      The writing in the article is fine, overdone but that’s to be expected in that type of article. The taste in food is inferior to Guy Fieri’s.

    • wjts

      Yeah, I have issues with the article. Chicago pizza is good, but not the best. Shrimp and grits is disgusting. Gumbo, fried catfish, New England clam chowder, and the fried pork tenderloin sandwich should all be ranked higher than they are. Chicken fried steak is also much better than the list makes it out to be, and I question its status as the state dish of Wyoming. Personally, I’m rather fond of the boiled dinner, but I don’t know that I can really dispute its ranking. And surely funeral potatoes should be the state dish of Utah?

    • witlesschum

      A pasty is hamburger and diced ruttabegas, potatoes and occasionally carrots wrapped in a wonderfully flaky crust. Most people like some gravy because they are a bit dry. (Earmuffs, Loomis) The ones at my elementary school were so bad you had to put ketchup on them.

      It’s specifically an Upper Michigan thing, supposedly brought over by Cornish miners who’d take them underground with them because they weren’t allowed to come up for lunch. The crust would help hold it together in your pocket while you were working. So, yes, the story of Upper Michigan’s regional dish involves labor being shamefully exploited.

  • ASV

    Fish Delight or GTFO.

  • YosemiteSemite

    Sausage, Erik? Sausage? Meat scraps stuffed in a gut casing? Need to brush up on your Upton Sinclair.

    • One of the best foods ever.

    • Davebo

      A tube of fabulous if done right. And Boudin? Sheer perfection!

      Why do you hate America?

  • Mike Furlan

    Bain Capital, after Romney left but using his playbook made Dunkin Donuts what it is today.

  • Halloween Jack

    One of my major regrets in low-carbing it is that I had to forego Biscuitville when I went through North Carolina last year.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      Your gravatar looks like Nicola Sturgeon. Fuck the Irish, free Scotland from Blighty’s misrule.

  • JR in WV

    And fish sandwiches, I always order them with tartar sauce and onions. Makes a big difference. Real fish, I make my own sauces with capers, or shaved onions and minced garlic, or, well, there’s lots of choices.

    Last night I did salmon baked with olive oil and minced garlic and Parmesian cheese. Yum! The cheese goes all crunchy and the fish is not. Asparagas next to the salmon with the same mix on it.

    Tonight doing corned beef, traditional veges, not boiled to softness, still crunchy cabbage is a must.

    • JR in WV

      Fish sandwiches with tartar sauce, onions AND Pickles. Damned edit function!!!

  • bottyguy

    The Filet-o-Fish is a righteous sandwich. It is almost always made to order, or at rush times in small enough batches that it is always hot. The combination of the super soft bun and too much tartar sauce creates a sublime mouth feel.

    Eating a FoF requires the same bend over stance that a good Chicago Italian Beef or Philly Roast Pork requires. Lean over so the extra tartar sauce falls between you legs to the floor or a waiting napkin.

    Now, I have a friend that swears that an orange soda improves the experience, but I don’t feel it. (I don’t usually drink while I eat, so maybe the lack of understanding is on me).

    I once watched an interview with a McDonald’s menu creation person who said that the cheese slice was included to up the protein value. I’m not sure if I buy that, but the cheese does keep the filet from sliding off the bun. Even though cheese+fish is deemed to be a culinary no-no I think it really pushes the FoF flavor profile up a notch.

    Finally the FoF has the best after taste of any sandwich on the McDonalds menu. Unlike the beef based offerings it lingers for a only short while and is not obnoxious.

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