CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - One of the most popular places to find fish sandwiches during Lent is McDonald's. Did you know that a piece of pop-culture history was invented in Cincinnati?
"Gimme that filet-o-fish, gimme that fish," a mounted wall fish once sang in a super-popular McDonald's commercial.
That jingle elevated the fish sandwich to cult status, but this fish tale started with Lou Groen's simple goal -- to serve a meatless sandwich during Lent:
- Steamed bun
- Shot of tartar sauce
- The Filet-o-Fish
Groen, as the story goes, once asked his partner to pick between a chicken franchise or a McDonald's. She chose McDonald's.
And from there, they built their own burger empire, with 42 restaurants. Then, in 1962, Groen went to McDonald's legend Ray Kroc, with his Filet-o-Fish idea. But Kroc wanted to push his own meatless sandwich called the hula burger (cold bun, a piece of pineapple, cheese).
Groen and Kroc competed on a Lenten Friday in 1962 to see whose sandwich would sell more. Kroc's hula burger bombed, reportedly selling only six sandwiches. Groen sold 350 Filet-o-Fish sandwiches that day.