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Arby's new surprisingly spicy sandwich is no fish story

Arby's new surprisingly spicy sandwich is no fish story

King’s Hawaiian Nashville Hot Fish Deluxe Sandwich
Arby's has the meats...and now, the fish, too.  Courtesy photo

This week I reached out for a King’s Hawaiian Nashville Hot Fish Deluxe Sandwich (whew, that’s a mouthful) at America’s meat-driven sandwich shop, Arby’s, with 3,400 restaurants a few exits down the highway.

For a chain that brags, “We have the meats,” Arby’s has come up with a surprisingly fanciful fish sandwich – and who doesn’t love a fried fish sandwich for a change of pace?

Here’s the King’s Hawaiian Nashville Hot Fish Deluxe Sandwich breakdown: breaded Alaskan pollack fillet, Nashville Hot seasoning, Parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, slice of natural Cheddar cheese, dill pickle slices, tomato, and shredded lettuce on a sweet King’s Hawaiian bun.

Total calories: 670. Fat grams: 31. Sodium: 1,010 mg. Carbs: 73 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 26 g. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $4.29, your mileage may vary.

This is an action-packed sandwich with a side dish U.S. history pop quiz. With the fish coming from our 49th state Alaska (admitted January 1959), and the bun coming from our 50th state, Hawaii (admitted August 1959), your question is: What was the U.S.’ 48th state? (Answer: Arizona, which achieved statehood in February 1912.)

Arby’s Nashville Hot is...hot — on the heels of KFC crushing it last year with the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich. Imitation is the sincerest form of driving fast food sales, and Arby’s nails it with a ton of flavor.  The fish is pollock, wild-caught in the chilly waters of Alaska, and flash frozen. Pollock isn’t a glamour fish, but it’s perfectly okay for sandwiches and fish sticks. It fries up crispy and crunchy on the outside, moist and flaky inside. That’s good eatin’.

Arby’s gives you a pretty good slab of fish here, over the top and sticking beyond the bun. You won’t have to lift the bun top to make sure there’s fish in there, like the Filet-o-Fish at McDonald’s. Here’s a mystery: Wendy’s has been killing it with a Spicy Chicken Sandwich for years, so why never a Spicy Fish Sandwich? An opportunity missed.

The King’s Hawaiian Nashville Hot Fish Deluxe has all the bells and whistles: a solid hunk of fish, hot peppery seasoning, cool ranch sauce, mellow cheese, chilly lettuce and tomato, and a super-sweet bun that could pass for a doughnut. This is a satisfying fried fish sandwich that’s deceptively low in calories and price, considering all that’s packed in there).

Arby’s also has a slightly stripped-down Crispy Fish Sandwich on a sesame seed bun, hold the cheese and lettuce and tomato that costs $3.49 and 540 calories. 


Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments, or on Twitter