The revelry of Fat Tuesday is over, and we have officially entered into the Lenten season. Lent, observed from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday, is marked by 40 days of penance and sacrifice, which frequently comes in the form of abstaining from eating meat on Fridays.
Although it is easy to find vegetarian items on any menu, these restaurants have curated dishes especially for the Lenten season that will make you wish the meatless observance lasted all year long. Go forth, and head to one of these six restaurants slinging excellent, Lent-friendly dishes that make it easy to keep the “flesh of beast or bird” off your plate.
Brunch goals are still possible during Lent, and who needs bacon when crawfish exists? The Crawfish Croissant (pictured above) at EggHaus is a freshly-baked croissant stuffed with rice and housemade crawfish étouffée. Add a glass of sangria or a mimosa and you’ve got yourself an Instagram-worthy feast. Available on Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Brennan’s of Houston
This iconic Houston institution has been serving up tasty Creole seafood for over 50 years and lucky for us, they’ve added Lenten specials to their happy hour menu. Available from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily, options include the crawfish bread and tomato soup, which is a gussied-up grilled cheese that’s made with buttery brioche, tons of Louisiana crawfish tails, and homemade pimento cheese. Or consider a fried oyster po’ boy stuffed with Matagorda Bay oysters and Creole-spiced fries.
Rosalie Italian Soul
Tucked into the C. Baldwin hotel, Rosalie Italian Soul will have you saying mangia with its freshly made pastas and recipes from the old country. Try Blue Crab Manicotti with local blue crab and lobster sauce Américaine or the shells and clams served in a white or spicy red sauce.
Internationally trained chef and Portuguese native Tiago Almeida brings his fresh Mediterranean take on Lent at Safina, where dishes like saffron and lime risotto await. Feeling a little extra? Add salmon or shrimp to the dish, which is available every Friday throughout Lent during lunch and dinner service.
Should you go to a steakhouse and not order steak? The answer is yes – especially if it is at the Houston outpost of the unconventional and highly acclaimed Doris Metropolitan. During Lent, diners can indulge in seared kampachi served over a mashwaya (eggplant, bell pepper, onion, tomato) salad with a yogurt-tahini base and tomato chutney.
Bernie’s Burger Bus
Bernie’s Burger Bus, a Houston staple known for enormous and delicious burgers, is rolling out their Lent specials at all four locations. Beginning February 26 through the Lenten Season, Bernie’s will feature Cajun classics on its popular “field trip” menu. Get a taste of NOLA with a grilled or blackened shrimp po’ boy, and definitely try the Crawfish Fries – signature hand cut fries smothered in housemade Gulf crawfish étouffée.