What’s your ideal fish sandwich? MonMauler likes to go to a dive bar on Fridays for beer and snacks. “Most of the food at this establishment is underwhelming, but the fish sandwich is absolute glory,” MonMauler says. “It is a battered and deep-fried piece of cod placed on a sesame seed bun such that the fried fish protrudes about 4″ from the bun on both ends. I always get mine with a couple pieces of melted American cheese.”
MGZ‘s gold standard starts with flounder or fluke that has been dipped in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs—not batter—before frying. “It is served on a hard roll with tartar sauce, lettuce, and tomato,” says MGZ. “The sandwich is best when the fish was caught by yourself earlier in the day and the tomato was similarly the result of your own labors. Personally, I have a weak spot for placing a slice of Swiss cheese directly on the fish so that it melts a bit.”
Normally, there’s an ill-defined rule that cheese and fish don’t belong together, but the fish sandwich is definitely an exception. “The fish sandwich is one ‘dish’ in which cheese and fish work tremendously together, although I think the cheese should be an exiguous complement rather than a competitor with the fish,” says Perilagu Khan.
Veggo‘s preferred version is a modern Mexican take on the fish sandwich known as hamburguesa de pescado (“fish hamburger”): It layers thin slices of fish (fried milanesa-style) on a bun with lettuce, mayonnaise, and habanero salsa. “Simple but delicious, about $1.70. I have probably eaten 200 of them over the years,” says Veggo.
Discuss: In Praise of the Fish Sandwich