As I was running errands a few days ago, I noticed that Carl’s Jr. was advertising a new fish offering: the Carl’s Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich. Did someone say “charbroiled?” Not breaded? Not deep-fried? I already tried their sub-sea behemoth, the Carl’s Catch, a few years ago… would this new sandwich be a contender? A return to Carl’s Jr. — aka Hardee’s if you’re reading this from the other side of the Rockies — was in order!
This sandwich is a far cry from their previous deep-fried fish option, the Carl’s Catch. First, it’s grilled. Second, it’s served in a tasty honey wheat bun. The rest of the sandwich are de rigueur — lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce — and no real change from the Carl’s Catch, except the sandwich builder went a little overboard with the lettuce. But back to the fish.
The grilled Atlantic cod portion was robust and lightly seasoned. It tasted very much like a sandwich you could replicate with little effort, opposed to breading and deep-frying a fish patty by hand at home. This gave it more of a “comfort food” feeling than any previously reviewed fast-food fish sandwich. The only drawback I found was that the charbroiled fish somewhat flaked apart while eating (whereas fried fish keeps itself together). The engineers at Carl’s Jr. foresaw this and wraps their sandwich much like In-N-Out does.
I’m surprised to say this, but Carl’s Jr. has nudged its way toward the top of the list of fast-food fish offerings. It certainly tasted better and was more memorable than all but a couple other franchise sandwiches. For $3.99 it was a filling, though smaller, sandwich than Carl’s Catch. The Charbroiled Atlantic Cod has 420 calories and 15 fat grams, clocking in far below Carl’s Catch (710 calories/38 fat grams).
Good job, Carl. You reeled me in as a repeat customer.
Read other Friday Fast Food Fishtacular posts here.
Our Man Horn