Meat-Free Fridays: Where to Eat in Houston For Lent 2018

Sure you're sacrificing meat, but you don't have to sacrifice flavor.
Sure you're sacrificing meat, but you don't have to sacrifice flavor. Photo courtesy of State of Grace
After the decadence of "Fat Tuesday," the 40 days of Lent begin. Though Lenten season is a time of prayer, atonement, and sacrifice (traditionally in the form of meat-free Fridays), that doesn't mean you need to give up on flavor. From Friday night-only bouillabaisse to sloppy cheese enchiladas, these local restaurants are offering delectable seafood/veggie dishes to get you through the season.

Ambrosia, 2003 Lexington
Share Southeast Asian small plates, with vegetarian and seafood options such as Thai shrimp risotto, tamarind salmon and veggie samosas.

Armadillo Palace, 5015 Kirby
The menu at Goode Company’s Armadillo Palace features grilled Redfish on the Half Shell (10 ounces for $27); Gulf Oysters Rockefeller topped with Herbsaint creamed spinach and Hollandaise sauce (three for $10, six for $18); and a Gulf Coast Platter, which includes cornmeal-crusted oysters, shrimp and redfish, and fries ($27).

Arnaldo Richards Picos', 3601 Kirby
Hit this vibrant Mexican haunt to enjoy a lineup of ceviches, smothered crawfish and seafood enchiladas, and catch-of-the-day available charbroiled over banana leaves, broiled and covered in salsa Veracruzana, or lightly breaded and sauteed in garlic oil.

Chapman & Kirby, 2118 Lamar
With a full-service kitchen onsite, the upscale gastrolounge in East Village is churning out more than just good vibes. Look out for Lent-friendly options like ceviche Acapulco, ancho-glazed salmon and ahi poke.

D’Amico’s Italian Market Café, 5510 Morningside
From Wednesday, February, 14, until Easter Sunday, April 1, D’Amico’s will be highlighting its seafood dishes with special offers on everything from Snapper D’Amico or crab salad to grilled salmon and cioppino.

Dish Society, 5740 San Felipe, 12525 Memorial, 23501 Cinco Ranch
Get a locally-sourced breakfast, lunch, supper and brunch at Dish Society, with Lent options like shrimp and grits with Tobasco shallot butter, citrus-glazed salmon and balsamic Brussels sprout tacos.

Goode Company Seafood, 2621 Westpark, 10211 Katy Freeway
Both locations boast a menu fit for Lenten season, with crowd favorites including the Mesquite-Grilled Salmon Filet ($24), Whole Flounder served with fried onion strings and a light Creole cream sauce ($29), Boiled Gulf Shrimp (half pound for $14, full pound for $23), and Gulf Coast Po-Boys served on toasted homemade French bread ($13 and up).

Helen in the Heights, 1111 Studewood
Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice

Hit the Greek taverns and wine havens to enjoy the Frixos Catch - roasted whole, stuffed with chickpea puree, and a mint salad tossed in ladolemono. Available at market price at Helen in the Heights and Helen Greek Food and Wine.

Hotel Granduca, 1080 Uptown Park
Indulge in Hotel Granduca’s newly revamped menu, with highlights from Branzino Piccata to Melanzana (eggplant pizza).

Luby’s, all locations
From Friday, February 14 through March 29, Luby’s will feature an array of seafood favorites including fried fish, blackened tilapia and baked almondine.

click to enlarge Th Baja Fish Tacos at Molina's Cantina are a worthy Fish Friday option. - PHOTO BY KIMBERLY PARK
Th Baja Fish Tacos at Molina's Cantina are a worthy Fish Friday option.
Photo by Kimberly Park
Molina’s Cantina, 7901 Westheimer, 713-782-0861; 3801 Bellaire, 713-432-1626
Keep it light and flavorful, or go for an indulgent belly-buster, with dishes ranging from redfish a la parilla and Baja-style fish tacos to sloppy cheese enchiladas.

The Prime Room at Cafe Annie, 1800 Post Oak
While prime rib is the newly unveiled Prime Room’s claim to fame, chef Robert Del Grande also showcases both house smoked salmon and slow wood-roasted salmon alongside a collection of Lent-friendly sides including carrots with ginger honey and vinegar, sauteed spinach with garlic, and whipped potatoes aligot.

Roka Akor, 2929 Weslayan
Specializing in premium sushi and seafood, Roka Akor offers guests a bevy of Lent-compliant dishes, featuring everything from sashimi and nigiri to maki rolls and seafood entrees — think salmon teriyaki and yuzu miso-marinated black cod.

Saint Arnold, 2000 Lyons
Houston's o.g. brewery is bringing back its Fish Fridays for Lent this year (with the exception of Texas Independence Day, Friday, March 2, when it will be serving Texas Independence Steaks). Look out for Friday specials like fish and chips, blackened redfish with dirty rice and seared salmon with dill cream sauce. The lunch specials include  two courses and beer until 2 p.m.

Seaside Poke, 2118 Lamar
Create your own bowls at Seaside Poke — offering a variety of options including salmon, yellowtail and tuna.

State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer
Get Gulf Coast-inspired dishes like seafood pozole plump with Gulf fish, crab, shrimp and avocado; hearth-grilled Spanish octopus accompanied by a Thai curry vinaigrette and peanuts; and Gulf catch with stewed lentils and charred Lemon.

Tacodeli, 1902 Washington
Tacodeli’s lunch menu boasts four seafood tacos, including hits like the Shrimposito with grilled Texas Gulf shrimp, chipotle sesame adobo, queso fresco and avocado; and the Tikin Xic, achiote marinated grilled salmon, spicy salsa negra, habanero-onion escabeche and cilantro.

Treebeards, all locations
In its 40th year of operation, Treebeards continues to serve a revolving menu — with Lent-friendly options like shrimp salad, shrimp étouffée and baked and fried catfish, all of which are available for both dine-in and takeout.

Yauatcha, 5045 Westheimer
The high-end dim sum eatery boasts seafood-centric options such as scallop shui mai, shrimp and Chinese dumplings, and crispy prawn dumplings with plum sauce.

Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen, 1212 Waugh
From Wednesday, February 14 through Thursday, March 29, the New Orleans-style oyster bar and seafood house will be offering a fresh signature fish in celebration of Lent. Feast on dishes such as Texas Redfish Pontchartrain with rich Madeira wine sauce, crab, shrimp and mushrooms ($31.99); Salmon Sophia with jumbo lump crab meat and avocado dill relish ($27.99) and Rainbow Trout Almondine with crab meat and toasted almonds in a brown butter sauce ($25.99).
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano