Praise the Lord and Pass the Pints

Houston's 10 best beer bars

Devout Catholics also abstain from meat throughout the Lent season, so several Houston restaurants have decided to make the next few weeks a bit easier by offering menus that cater to those Lenten needs.

D'Amico's Italian Market Cafes

Rice Village at 5510 Morningside, 713-526-3400

Liberty Station is a beer drinker's neighborhood bar.
Katharine Shilcutt
Liberty Station is a beer drinker's neighborhood bar.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Heights at 2802 White Oak, 713-868-3400

D'Amico's two cafes, in the Heights and Rice Village, offer seafood specials during lunch and dinner. Alongside their daily menu items such as fire-roasted pizzas, soups, salads and handmade sandwiches, D'Amico's serves seafood dishes such as crawfish ravioli, snapper avocado, blackened salmon or seafood gumbo.

McAlister's Deli

All Locations

This chain restaurant offers a Lent-friendly menu filled with options that are just as tasty as those items now off limits. You can add Cajun shrimp to a Caesar salad, Caesar wrap or po-boy. Try their taco salad with Lent-friendly veggie chili for a hearty lunch or dinner, or one of their spuds — plain, with cheese, veggies or topped with their veggie chili.

Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood

4611 Montrose, 713-807-8883

Head on over to Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood for homemade seafood dishes like their jumbo lump crab cakes, barbecue shrimp or one of their many oyster dishes for an appetizer. Danton's also offers shrimp, oyster or catfish po-boys; a crab cake burger; and several stuffed fish dishes such as stuffed redfish, shrimp and flounder.

Berryhill Baja Grill

3407 Montrose, 713-523-8226

You can still satisfy your Mexican food cravings during Lent. Berryhill Baja Grill offers vegetable and seafood options in almost all its menu categories. Start your meal with chips, queso and guacamole, or a shrimp and avocado salad followed by a seafood burrito, mushroom and poblano quesadilla, or one of Berryhill's spicy fish tacos.

Backstreet Café

1103 S. Shepherd, 713-521-2239

Backstreet Café offers a Meatless Monday menu on its Facebook page and a vegetarian menu alongside its daily brunch, lunch and dinner menus. Choose from a variety of brunch options ranging from brioche French toast and gingerbread waffles to a crispy lobster sandwich and crab cakes and eggs. For lunch and dinner, try one of its various pasta dishes, mushroom soup with blue cheese toast, and a portobello burger on brioche bun with feta, grilled zucchini, pesto and red bell peppers.

Lucky Burger

1601 Richmond, 713-522-5650

This is probably not the most likely place to find a Lenten-friendly burger, but rather than spending an exorbitant amount of money just to get a simple fish sandwich, try Lucky Burger's hand-breaded fish burger for less than $5 or its veggie burger with grilled zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions for $4. Aside from burgers, Lucky Burger also offers a popcorn shrimp salad; fried rice with shrimp; fish and chips; and side orders of fried vegetables.

BB's Café

3139 Richmond, 713-807-1300

2701 White Oak, 713-868-8000

2710 Montrose, 713-524-4499

New Orleans-style cuisine is a good option during the Lenten season. BB's Café has three locations, all offering classic New Orleans dishes and BB's own "Tex-Orleans" meals. Order blackened redfish, a fried alligator po-boy or a crawfish tostada. And there's always the New Orleans favorite of crawfish étouffée, in cup or bowl size.

The Cajun Stop

2130 Jefferson, 713-222-8333

Try The Cajun Stop's gator bites or spicy fried pickles for an appetizer; a shrimp, oyster or crab salad; or one of its seafood po-boys. If you're in the mood for a lot of food, order the Fisherman's Paradise platter, filled with fried butterfly shrimp, crispy oysters, catfish and Cajun-fried soft-shell crab.

Restaurant News

Openings and Closings
Taco USA Takes The Woodlands.

Katharine Shilcutt

There were lots of good scoops last week from around the city, so let's get straight to the action.

Eater Houston editor Eric Sandler reports that pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel — who's worked in kitchens from El Bulli to Bouchon — plans to open an "avant garde and modern approach to the cafe experience" at the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy next door to Agora. The University of Houston graduate doesn't yet have a name for the cafe, but tells Sandler he'll be offering pastries (naturally) as well as gelato, sandwiches and fresh bread.

But don't expect just another corner bistro. Shvartzapel is swinging for the fences. He tells Sandler that his new restaurant isn't "about wanting to be the best pastry offering in Houston" but "the best in America."

In other openings news, new Montrose Tex-Mex steakhouse La Casa de Caballo opened February 18 after renovating the structure at 322 West­heimer, which once housed La Strada. Owner Carlos Abedrop has a popular steakhouse of the same name in Saltillo, Mexico, and this new Houston spot marks his second location.

Reginelli's Pizzeria is now open, reports Delicious Mischief host John DeMers. The west Houston pizzeria is located across Gessner from Memorial City Mall and has quite the pedigree: It's partly owned by Alex Brennan-Martin of Brennan's Houston and Ti Adelaide Martin of Commander's Palace in New Orleans.

Also open, according to B4-U-Eat, is Taco USA, which is something of a legend in East Texas. The Woodlands Events blog explains that the original Taco USA in Nacogdoches — run by Ottis Byers — was one of the most popular restaurants in town for 14 years, until Byers sold it. The new buyers weren't very good at running restaurants, it turns out, and Taco USA closed two years later, in 1994.

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