Long John Silver's gives the fryolater a break as it gussies up fast food


If you're wondering why your trip through the Long John Silver's drive-thru is taking so long, it might be because the chain's new menu items aren't coming out of the fryer like most of the items it has always served. The chain is starting a new line, called the Freshside Grille, that will offer grilled premium seafood entrees like salmon, tilapia and shrimp.

A New Look for Old Brands

The new items are, of course, healthier options than fried seafood. In New York, where chains are now required to post calorie information on the menu boards, that could make the items very popular. The shrimp scampi, for example, only has 110 calories. Take that Whopper! That even bests most of the "healthy" entrees at other fast food joints, which offer salads that add up to over a thousand calories.

The other major advantage for Long John Silver's with this new menu is that it will be value-priced seafood, which could become a viable alternative in the coming months of economic gloom. With food prices rising so steeply, local restaurants -- even family-style diners and other low-cost options -- are going to be feeling the pinch. So people who might otherwise have never considered a stop at Long John Silver's for fried food, might stop by for salmon if it's much cheaper than their local haunt.