Friday’s Fast Food Fishtacular! — Arby’s Fish Sandwich

One of the last major fast-food chains I expected to find a fish sandwich was Arby’s. It never dawned on me that the chain known for its roast beef sandwiches and jamocha shakes would also offer a fish sandwich, and a pretty good one, too. As I pulled into the drive-thru, I remember thinking, “Wait! Does Arby’s even have a deep-fryer?” But then I saw the fries and onion rings on the menu and shrugged to the affirmative.

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Although it took a few extra minutes (like SONIC, I think they fry to order), it arrived hot and fresh. The first thing you’ll likely notice about the sandwich is its weight. It is heavy! Under Arby’s typical “hilly” sesame seed bun is a traingular slab of deep-fried fish so large that all three corners protrude from the bun’s footprint (see the McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish for the exact opposite experience). Aside from the fish and bun, the sandwich also comes with shredded lettuce and tartar sauce (you can also get cheese for an additional cost).

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There wasn’t much tartar sauce in proportion to the fish, so my sandwich was a bit on the dry side. The fish was tasty but I think it was in the fryer a bit too long because the breading was a bit dark. The tartar sauce was a bit sweeter than I prefer.

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The fish sandwich weighs in at 540 calories and 23 fat grams, but it also fills you up for several hours. For $2.99, it’s a good deal for the money. An even better deal is their two-for-four dollars deal, but please make sure the second sandwich goes to another person. GrubGrade rated it the #1 fish sandwich among the top 5 fast-food chains (presumably McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and maybe Carl’s Jr.?).

Oh, I almost forgot! The cashier asked if I wanted ketchup, BBQ sauce or Horsey sauce. I know they’re conditioned to ask this of every customer but the idea of adding any of those to a fish sandwich turns my stomach.

According to their website, it’s a limited time offer.

Read other Friday Fast Food Fishtucular posts here.

17 thoughts on “Friday’s Fast Food Fishtacular! — Arby’s Fish Sandwich

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  1. Great post Paul! Sadly, I have never eaten at Arby’s, but I just might try this sandwich! Looks good and what a deal! Plus it will give me an excuse to order it with “horsey” sauce!

    1. I think I had my first Arby’s post-college. Part of me wants to think it’s more healthy than the pink-ooze-spewing burgers from the Big Three chains.

    2. I think the first time I tried Arby’s was post-college. I like to think it’s better for you than the pink ooze-filled burgers from those other chains.

  2. Funny I had this during a random stop my last road trip to NM. I thought it was pretty good for fast food standards. Mine took like forever to come out so I was a bit irritated, but at least it was freshly fried.

    1. Same here, Dennis. Certainly no shortage of fish in that sandwich… and it was mere seconds from the fryer basket to my hands.

  3. I thought of you and your fish sandwich reports when I saw a poster at a McD’s for their “seasonal” filet-o-fish special. (BTW: the Shamrock Shake is available now too.)Really…you wouldn’t put even a little Horsey sauce on your fish sandwich? =) Thanks for the review; I actually like to take my kids to Arby’s for the $1 value shakes (vanilla for them and jamocha for me; hits the spot!).

    1. The Jamocha shakes are pretty decent. I saw another chain recently (can’t remember which one) and they were offering coffee/jamocha/mocha shakes, too.

  4. If fish isn’t necessarily your thing, Arby’s Philly Cheese Steak is one of the best, in my opinion. Just get a side order of their au jus to accompany it. Dee-lish! Nothing deep-fried here, thus more healthy, too! Coupons are available for this one, which is nice in this economy. Just sayin’…

  5. I haven’t been to an Arby since my college days. But I’d try one of their fish sandwich! I almost typed fish “burger.” Wait, why is it called a sandwich and not a fish burger?? Sorry, I digress.

    1. Chime in if you try one! I wonder if the sandwich would be better with the cheese. Given the size of the plank, I know there would be plenty of cheeseless bites.

  6. I always thought the “horsey sauce” was made out of real horse. But I would imagine it wouldn’t be too bad to add it to a fish sandwich as opposed to BBQ sauce or ketchup. Kind of like a pumped up cocktail sauce but no tomato.

    1. I don’t like their nickname for the sauce, either. I don’t think they need to shorten “horseradish.” It adds to confusion among those who eat (or avoid) horsemeat.

  7. One year after this article was posted, my local Arby’s (Pleasanton, California) has the Fish Sandwich. I tried it and liked it! Like you said, it’s a good thick slab of fish. I too noticed there wasn’t much tartar sauce on it, but to me that’s a plus, because McDonald’s DROWNS their Filet-O-Fish in tartar sauce, as does my local Dairy Queen if I don’t ask them to go light on the sauce.

    So yes, I give Arby’s Fish Sandwich big props!

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