The menu descriptions are somewhat similar.
McDonald’s: "Dive into our wild-caught fish sandwich! Our fish filet is made with Alaskan Pollock sourced from sustainable fisheries, topped with melty American cheese and creamy tartar sauce, and served on a soft, steamed bun."
State of Grace: Tartar sauce, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, french fries.
But one of these fish sandwiches is not like the other. Here are the five ways in which State of Grace's Filet “o” Fish Sandwich blows Mickey D's Filet-O-Fish out of the water.
- The bun. The bread that buttresses McDonald’s sandwich, albeit “soft” and “steamed,” is also almost devoid of flavor, unlike the buttery toasted Slow Dough roll utilized by State of Grace.
- The cheese. Both Mickey D’s and SoG cap their fish with American cheese, and while the former actually describes its cheese to be “melty," in my experience that too-perfect square of neon orange processed dairy is barely lukewarm. In sharp contrast with regards to texture (and flavor) is the thick slice of American oozing within the latter’s sandwich.
- The sauce. Xantham gum appears twice on the list of ingredients in McDonald’s tartar sauce. Enough said.
- The filet treatment. The thinnest layer of barely seasoned breadcrumbs cloaks the famous fast food Filet-O-Fish, and after a dip in the fryer, this puny carbohydrate coating coagulates and separates unpleasantly from the piscine protein. In comparison stands State of Grace’s filet, heavily enveloped in an egg batter, which achieves a terrifically crunchy, thick texture after a brief oil hot oil bath.
- The fish! McDonald’s commitment to using pollock 24/7, 365 days a year in its sammie should not be considered an endearing loyalty to that particular species but rather an alarming monomaniacal reliance on one particular type of fish, regardless of the time of year. And although it’s great those Alaskan fisheries are “sustainable," you’re not consuming a local product unless you happen to be pulling through a drive-thru in Sitka. State of Grace consistently features white fish but varies in its choice of type according to proximal availability and seasonal freshness.
Winner: Though McDonald's has a considerable price advantage (about $5.79 for the meal, compared to State of Grace's heftier $19 tag), State of Grace’s Filet "o" Fish is far beyond its competition in quality, flavor, and texture. State of Grace wins. I’m lovin’ it!