The Chicken Sandwich Wars? You guys are still giving a shit about that? Oh man, that’s so 2019. Didn’t we leave that behind in 2020 with indoor dining, seeing our friends in person regularly, and Donald Trump’s presidency?
No no. We’re all about the fish sandwich wars now. Popeyes, after its commanding victory in the Chicken Sandwich Wars, has opened up a new front in the war against meat on a bun. Just in time for the Lenten season, because that is when every fast food restaurant introduces fish items, Popeyes has introduced a new Cajun Flounder Sandwich. What else could be expected from the most Catholic fast food chain in America? Their name is Pope Yes for crying out loud!
But, in case you didn’t know, we live in Minnesota where good fish is hard to come by. Paula grew up on the south coast of Massachusetts where the fried fish flowed like wine – now, you can expect to pay fifteen dollars for fish and chips that doesn’t even come with coleslaw. So seeing any new fish offering, anywhere in this god-forsaken frozen wasteland of a state, is exciting. Add in the fact that it’s by Popeyes, the de facto winners of the Chicken Sandwich War, and you’ve got a winner in the making.
But is it really good enough to give up red meat for? Let’s find out.
The makeup of the Cajun Flounder Sandwich is about the same as the Chicken Sandwich, just with fish. Same pickles, same bun, but the sauce is tartar and the patty is – well, we’ll let you guess as you read along. This is a classic case of not fixing what isn’t broken. Obviously what’s good for the goose is… uh… what’s good for the chicken is good for the flounder. Sure, OK.
We have no way of verifying what kind of fish is being used in this sandwich because all whitefish pretty much tastes the same to our busted-ass palates, but it’s good fish no matter what it is. The fish was juicy, hot, flavorful, and flaked like snow on Christmas morning. The breading was much crispier than the chicken sandwich. It was more of a crispy, thin crust than the thick crunchy breading on the chicken – much like good ol’ fish and chips. This includes one of the occupational hazards of eating good ol’ fish and chips, which is hot fish juice gooshing out and scalding your fingers.
The decision to replace the mayo with tartar sauce is an obvious one, but in a good way. The fish is bland, because it’s fish, so the addition of extra pickle flavor is the perfect counterpart. As well, the breading on the fish is slightly spicy, adding even more tang. It’s a really flavorful sandwich for a fast food fish thing.
Popeyes is no stranger to seafood on its menu – it’s the best place period to get fast food fried shrimp – but they never would have done a sandwich like this if they weren’t high from their Chicken Sandwich success. I think McDonald’s might be the only major fast food place to reliably have a fish sandwich on their menu year-round, and they do a processed fish patty. It’s very unlikely that Popeyes will keep this fish sandwich on their menu for longer than Lent, but it’s nice to wish for things.
We really, really like this sandwich. We like to eat fish, and it’s very expensive in our area. This sandwich was nearly 10 dollars for a combo, but it was only 50 cents more expensive than the chicken sandwich combo, so it’s not that costly compared to other seafood options in our area. And since it’s a whole fish filet instead of a processed patty, it’s some of the best fish we can get in our area! Some local restaurants seriously serve frozen patties when they offer fish! We buy them anyway.
We’re going to be very, very sad when this sandwich leaves the menu, but it’s all about the friends we made along the way. And the things we gave up for Lent, too. Because fish this good is almost worth converting to Catholicism for. Well, you know, almost.