Off the Menu Filet-o-Fish at Zen Burger
Fresh on the heels of the off-the-menu “Special Vegetarian” sandwich at Blimpie, comes word that Zen Burger (on Lex. btw. 45+46th) has been serving their own off-the-menu filet-o-fish sandwich. When Zen Burger first launched at the beginning of the year, the only thing keeping it from being an exact replica of McDonald’s (in vegetarian form) was the lack of a filet-o-fish. They had a “Zen Tuna” sandwich, but it wasn’t fried, and quite frankly, who wants fast food that isn’t fried. Considering that most adult vegetarians probably refused, as kids, to eat anything *but* the filet-o-fish during family trips to McDonald’s, this addition to the Zen Burger menu should be pretty well received.
The fishless fish sandwich, and my anti-McDonald’s tirade, after the jump…
Despite hordes of complaints from a large percentage of Midtown Lunch commenters, I’m going to say it again: I… Like… Zen Burger. Sorry, I just think it’s a great concept-helped on in no small part by the fact that I *hate* McDonald’s. As much as I love meat (pork especially) and could never understand why anybody would ever want to be a vegetarian, I still recognize that eating meat is bad for this planet, so if I’m going to eat meat I want it to count. Good hamburgers, good roast pork, Chinese food (where they do such amazing things, with such terrible quality meat), and good roast pork (did I mention that one?) When you consider how much “meat” a company like McDonald’s uses to make the garbage food they serve, it’s mind boggling. If we are going to kill a cow, do we need to turn it into processed, tasteless patties, that need chemicals added to them to make what was once meat, taste like real meat again?
Does it taste good going down? Of course it does. But it doesn’t feel good coming out 20 mins later (and I’m not talking about throwing up.) And unless you’ve trained your body by eating McDonald’s multiple times a week, you know what happens for that occasionaly trip to the golden arches. If Zen Burger can make a fairly decent, low priced replica of (oh so delicious tasting) McDonald’s food, without using any meat products, I say- that’s awesome! It’s not for everyone, but if it makes a few less people eat at McDonald’s, than Zen Burger is alright in my book.
Sorry for the seriousness. I’ll never let it happen again. On to the fishless filet o’ fish:
It’s on the small side, but the crunch is good, and they attempted to make it mildly stringy (like fish) but it’s not really that much different than the fried chicken sandwich they serve. It also has none of that “fish” flavor (normally indicating the fish is a little old, or cheap) that McDonald’s probably has to chemically create so that you feel like you’re eating real fish. Anyway, it was fried- and with enough of the Zen Tartar sauce, it was tasty enough. A combo with fries and a soda will run you somewhere around $8 (the fish sandwich isn’t on the menu above the registers- so you don’t know how much it is. It is however on the computer screen, listed at $4.99 for just the sandwich, although I was charged $4.25. No complaining here.)
I know Zen Burger isn’t for everyone, and this thing is certainly not going to replace the real fish sandwich I love from Kim’s Aunt Kitchen cart, but I’m sure there are a lot of vegetarians who will pretty psyched for this one…
Zen Burger, 465 Lexington Ave. (btw. 45+46th), 212-661-6080