• Laurel A. Rockefeller

Review: Long John Silver's Grilled Offerings Exceed Expectations

Long John Silver's is the USA's classic fast food chain restaurant for seafood. With numerous locations in nearly every US state, LJS offers battered and fried fish (pollack), chicken, shrimp, and a fried savory bread called hushpuppies all as its go-to staple menu. For me growing up in Nebraska, it was my first real taste of fried fish beyond frozen fish sticks from the supermarket. As fast-food restaurants go, it's also been a perpetual favourite, right behind Taco Bell and McDonalds. It's fish and chips for American tastes and while it is easy to snub any fast food, by virtue of being comfort food offerings from LJS is always welcome in my home.

Unlike McDonalds and Taco Bell, Long John Silver's locations are less abundant. For me that's meant infrequent opportunities to dine there as I've lived and travelled across the USA. It is therefore not surprising that it has taken the pandemic and the explosion of delivery services for both restaurant and grocery foods to bring back my access to LJS, a welcome restoration after nearly ten years since my last meal at one of their restaurants.

Thanks to Doordash, I was able to order Long John Silver's on 4 September 2020 to find that the classic

menu I grew up with has greatly expanded to not only include family-portioned "sea shares" and platters, but also crab cakes (unavailable to me before) and now grilled salmon, and grilled shrimp supplemented with healthier sides like fresh corn, green beans, and rice.

Availing myself of the new option to buy half-portion, add-on sides, I decided to order a classic fish (pollack) and fried shrimp platter with an add-on of the grilled shrimp. Probably by accident, a tiny piece of the grilled salmon was in the cup with the three pieces of grilled shrimp too, allowing me to sample it.

Tasting both made me strongly reject my traditional, comfort food entree choice. Both the grilled salmon and the grilled shrimp are delicious! They far exceed expectations, especially for fast food.

Probably the best way to describe the grilled shrimp is as a budget-priced shrimp scampi not unlike what you might find at Red Lobster -- but without all the butter, calories, and gourmet presentation. There's nothing fancy about your plate -- or rather to-go cup -- but the taste is just as good as the shrimp scampi at Red Lobster. The grilled salmon is seasoned the same. It is light, flaky, and tastes much better than the grilled salmon I've had a sit-down restaurants. In fact the Long John Silver's salmon is so good I might actually start eating cooked salmon -- something I haven't done because, outside of salmon sushi, I've never really liked salmon.

In conclusion: the grilled choices at Long John Silvers are DELICIOUS and absolutely worth making part of your next meal. Next time I order LJS from Doordash I will most certainly make the grilled choices the center of my meal and switch the fried stuff to add-on status.

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