The Old Bay Filet-O-Fish is an improvement on the already-perfect fish sandwich

For all the shit that McDonald's (perhaps not undeservingly) gets, it is still the best at certain things: breakfast, fountain Coke, and, of course, the Filet-O-Fish. I myself have preached its gospel unabashedly for my entire adult life. It is the perfect fish sandwich. Or is it? As of Monday, the long stolid fish sandwich paradigm may be in flux. The Old Bay Filet-O-Fish is real, yo.

How do you make seafood taste more gooder, especially in Maryland? Old Bay, duh. So when the news broke of the impending McD's/McCormick collaboration, the only question was, "What the fuck took so long?" followed by an out-loud, "Oh my dear sweet lord yes." Well, that was how it went for me, at least. It's notable that although today was announced as the release date, reports from the field indicate these were available at least a week ago in some Dundalk locations.

After the initial giddiness wore off, the obvious concern was exactly how the Old Bay would be deployed within the sandwich. From worst to best, the following three scenarios seemed the most plausible: 1) Old Bay sprinkled onto the fish; 2) Old Bay-flavored tartar sauce; 3) Old Bay somehow incorporated into the breading. I am neither terribly saddened nor exceedingly pleased to report that the answer is B, Old Bay in the sauce. This is in fact advertised, as the promotional images clearly show a orange-ish sauce, and it makes sense from a practical standpoint. Verdict: not ideal, but still an improvement over the original. The sauce is actually pretty damn good, with most of your Old Bay bullet points—pepper, celery seed, hard spice—coming through loud and clear. It also seems a touch more tart than normal and, not surprisingly, applied far less liberally than usual. Improvement upon perfection, what a world we live in, eh folks?

Also notable is that the special edition is two for $4, but not the standard issue, which usually goes on sale during Lent. Also, a "double fish" is on offer—two fish filets per sandwich, which throws off the whole balance, if you ask me (much like a Reese's Big Cup). Oddly, some locations are reportedly only offering the double in Old Bay mode.

Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Privacy Policy