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Fish Fridays: These Houston Eateries Are Offering Seafood, Vegetarian and Meat-Free Eats This Lenten Season

Eating Golfstrømmen's fried fish sandwich is no sacrifice at all.
Eating Golfstrømmen's fried fish sandwich is no sacrifice at all. Photo by Duc Hoang
In preparation for Easter, the "Great 40 Days" of Lent — this year, running from Wednesday, February 22 through Thursday, April 6 — is a time of fasting for many, with a number of folks giving up meat on Fridays as a way to show their sacrifice. Whether you’re participating in meat-free Fridays or are simply in search of great seafood and vegetarian options, these Houston restaurants have you covered this Lenten season.

Arnaldo Richards’ Picos, 3601 Kirby
In recognition of Lenten season, the authentic Mexican restaurant has created a special seafood Lent Menu available from February 22 to April 8, available both during lunch and dinner. Highlights include Mussels al Chipotle, Chili Crusted Seared Tuna and Pescado a la Talla; plus Fish Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays with Louisiana-style Fried Catfish served with fries and coleslaw.

Bludorn, 807 Taft
Maitake mushrooms, Gulf cioppino and a new menu favorite inspired by partner Cherif Mbodji’s Senegal roots, Crab Rice, are just some of the meatless dishes you can choose from at this Montrose sensation.

Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith
The menu at this Creole restaurant is swimming in seafood options, with current features including Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Ravigote, Gulf Fish Pontchartrain and Oysters Ella, with Creole oyster dressing and mâitre d'hôtel butter.

Burger Joint, 2703 Montrose, 2002 North Shepherd
Every Friday during Lent, guests can enjoy a Fish and Chips special with beer battered cod, seasoned potato wedges and green chile tartar sauce. The Mahi Sammy is also on the menu at all Burger Joint locations every day, featuring grilled mahi, avocado, red onion, arugula, tomato and creamy avocado aioli.

Café Leonelli, 5500 Main
The Bastion Collection’s casual cafe features a number of seafood and vegetable focused Italian dishes including fresh margherita and truffle potato focaccias, Dijon herb roasted salmon and a Lonestar mushroom sandwich.

Cowboys & Indians, 519 Shepherd
Cowboys & Indians has a menu rich with delicious vegetarian options, including  Saag Paneer (spinach with paneer cheese, served with basmati rice, riata yogurt & onions on request) for $15.60 and Samosas (handmade veggie samosas) for $7.

Daily Gather, 800 Sorella
The CityCentre darling offers several share plates and entrees focused on locally sourced vegetables and seafood, from the Coconut Tuna Aquachile and Trout Almondine to Spaghetti Lola with garlic-basil tomato sauce, spinach and burrata.

Dish Society, multiple locations
With locations across town, Dish Society’s seafood focused options include favorites like shrimp and grits and ancho shrimp tacos, plus its "Filet o Dish," a crispy grouper sandwich with ranch cabbage slaw, pickles, American cheese and fresh dill, served with house potato chips.

Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park
Chef Philippe Verpiand’s own take on bouillabaisse (priced at $28 for lunch and $45 for dinner) and his new off-menu special of shareable dover sole — cooked whole with lemon and brown butter sauce, deboned and finished at the table ($82) — will both be offered every Friday beginning February 24 through Good Friday, April 7.

Eunice, 3737 Buffalo Speedway
Hit this Creole restaurant for Heart Roasted Oysters featuring with shrimp, blue crab and brown butter bread crumbs, Dan Dan Shrimp with spicy aioli and Shrimp Etouffee made with shrimp “a la Harry” and handmade green noodles.

Feges BBQ, 8217 Long Point
Expect a Fish Friday special weekly, with the first Fish Friday featuring Shrimp & Grits Maque Choux.

Gatlin's Fins & Feathers,302 West Crosstimbers
Stop in for soulful eats like the Blackened Catfish with tomato-garlic beurre blanc) for $22.

Gatsby’s Prime Seafood, 1212 Waugh
House favorites include lobster bisque, crab cakes, halibut and redfish, and lobster mac and cheese.

GJ Tavern, 737 Preston
Underbelly Hospitality’s swanky downtown concept has Lenten options including Seared Tuna Salad and Pan Seared Salmon served with sauteed kale, Frankfurt green sauce and crispy white beans.

Golden Chick, multiple locations
Texas-based Golden Chick has brought its fan-favorite butterfly shrimp and Golden Seafood Combos back to its menus for Lenten season, available now through April 16.

Golfstrømmen, 401 Franklin
The highly acclaimed food hall spot offers standout seafood dishes, including new menu highlights including a lobster roll made with butter poached lobster and the fried fish sandwich served with beet coleslaw, remoulade and French fries.

Kin Dee, 1533 North Shepherd
Spend your Friday with Panang shrimp curry, shrimp fried rice, glass noodle salad and shrimp tom yum soup.

La Grange, 2517 Ralph
Stop in for Costa Rican tilapia fish tacos (choice of grilled or fried, $9.50) or the marinated scallops, shrimp and fish ceviche served with tortilla chips ($12.50).
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Le Colonial's Ca Hoi Nuong, or roasted salmon in coconut lobster broth, is a good choice.
Photo by Neil Burger
Le Colonial, 4444 Westheimer
Seafood highlights include seafood ceviche with Faroe Island salmon, Spanish octopus and Gulf shrimp; roasted salmon in coconut lobster broth, and crispy red snapper brushed with spicy garlic glaze.

Le Jardinier at MFAH, 5500 Main
Known for its vegetable-driven menu (Le Jardinier, which means “the gardener” in French), this fine dining destination in Houston features a veggie-forward seasonal menu, with many seafood dishes on the menu as well. Highlights include Murray’s Burrata with pecan, poached pears and apple compote; Cured Ora King Salmon with radishes and beets; Carolina Gold Rice Risotto with squash, brussel sprouts and carrots; and the Yuca Crusted Cod entrée with mushrooms and butter sauce, one of chef Felipe Botero’s specialties. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

Loch Bar, 4444 Westheimer
Loch Bar’s colossal selection of fresh fish offerings include pan seared king salmon, blacked Gulf redfish in lemon beurre blanc; and Karbach Fish N’ Chips featuring fresh cod in Karbach Love Street Kolsch batter with house made tartar sauce, English pea purée and boardwalk fries.

Lulu’s River Oaks, 2518 Kirby
Known for its pasta (which can be enhanced with seafood), the neighborhood favorite also offers plated fish dishes such as Grilled Branzino ($35), Grilled Salmon & Panzanella ($35), and Lobster Sacchetti ($75) topped with a pink lobster roe sauce and drizzled with aged balsamic.

Lyric Market, 411 Smith
Hit the food hall for meatless options including 1929 Po-Boy Kitchen's Fish and Shrimp Platter, Mahi Mahi Tacos from Mexology, Sashimi Poke Bowl from Horu Sushi, Kati Roll Wala's plant-based Chick’n Bowl, and sweet stuff from Press Waffle Co.

Molina’s Cantina, multiple locations
Hit the Tex-Mex royalty for grilled redfish with warm mango salsa, Baja style fried fish tacos, jumbo shrimp in garlic butter and more.

Money Cat, 2925 Richmond
In addition to traditional sushi preparations, newly opened Money Cat offers innovative from-the-sea eats like the Hama Nashi (hamachi, compressed asian pear, avocado, cilantro lime kosho, soy paper) and Sake Char - (char sui beet cured salmon, blood orange, salmon chicharron, smoked sesame oil, soy dashi).

Musaafer, 5115 Westheimer
Chef Mayank Istawl’s hot and cold seafood and fish creations are aplenty, from bright ceviche featuring scallops, soy, passionfruit, habanero oil and coconut milk to a Goan fish curry made with Chilean sea bass, kokum, coconut cilantro, kashmiri chili and  short grain rice.
click to enlarge
Consider the lobster ravioli at seafood stunner Navy Blue.
Photo by Caroline Fontenot
Navy Blue, 2445 Times Boulevard
Aaron Bludorn’s fresh modern American seafood concept is a top choice for lunch or dinner this Lent season. Highlights include Mussel Bisque crowned inside a puff pastry, Spaghetti Vongole made with manilla clams and sea urchin, and the Grouper Sandwich made with tomato condiment and mussel aioli served on a sesame potato bun.

The Original Ninfa’s, 2704 Navigation, 1700 Post Oak
Go for mole salmon, Gulf shrimp ceviche, jumbo lump crab cakes with chipotle cream and more.

Ouzo Bay, 4444 Westheimer
Your Fish Fridays can include Hawaiian Kona Kampachi fresh from the Pacific, Norwegian Langoustines and wild-caught Dover Sole. All fish are available at market price and can be served with housemade sauces including a champagne reduction with Siberian caviar, jalapeño bianco with colossal crab meat and Mediterranean salsa verde.

Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Parkway
The popular Malaysian eatery offers an array of cravable options, including Salt-and-Pepper Calamari –lightly battered and tossed with 13 spice, sriracha, pepper and onion and the award-winning Kerabu Prawn with pickled green papaya, mango, peanuts and toasted black sesame, and a spicy-tangy sauce.

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, 113 6th
There is seafood aplenty at this bayside San Leon haunt, including a new gourmet Filet o’ Fish riff made with panko-crusted grouper, house pickles, shredded lettuce and American cheese with Old Bay tartar sauce ($18.99), plus house favorites like the Tide-to-Fried Platter and wood-grilled Redfish on the Half Shell.

Roma, 2347 University
Choose from new dishes like the Salmone, crispy skin salmon with winter greens, orange segments and roasted butternut squash puree, or the Tonna Alla Griglia, grilled rare tuna with arugula, grapefruit segments, and toasted pistachio. Add a side of fresh pasta with one of the new small pasta plates like Taleggio Triangolo, a cheese filled pasta with cubed butternut squash, arugula and pistachio.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons
The Beer Garden & Restaurant will feature a different Fish Friday dish each week during Lent, with upcoming specials including Fried Oyster Po'boy (March 3), Shrimp and Crab Gumbo (March 17) and Crawfish Boil Pizza (March 31).

State Fare, multiple locations
All three locations will offer a Lent menu through April 6, with features including corn and crab bisque, Southwest quinoa bites, shrimp scampi and cauliflower rice with spiced beurre blanc, and Chilean Sea Bass with garlic spinach, charred tomato butter and smoked chili oil.

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 6401 Woodway; 1140 Eldridge
Every Friday, beginning Februay 24 and through Good Friday, April 7, both restaurants are offering a full Lenten Friday menu with fish and vegetarian dishes, from fish tacos and mesquite grilled shrimp to meatless enchiladas and off-menu mesquite grilled fish combo plates.

Taco Cabana, multiple locations
The guest-favorite Shrimp Tampico Tacos and Shrimp Tampico Quesadillas return to the Tex-Mex chain's menu starting Wednesday, February 22 for a limited time. Both are served with TC’s Pineapple Chipotle Salsa.

The Taco Stand, 2018 North Shepherd
Taco Stand's March Special is a Beer Batter Fish Taco with jalapeño slaw, salsa verde and pico de gallo.

Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, 23501 Cinco Ranch
In addition to excellent sushi and sashimi, Tobiuo offers hot and cold seafood preparations from U10 scallops paired with charred sweet corn to East Coast oysters two ways.

Treebeards, multiple locations
Treebeards has several Lenten season options, including the Roasted Salmon with Creole mustard sauce, available for $20 at its Bunker Hill location.

Texas' favorite burger chain is bringing back its Whatacatch Sandwich for Lent, featuring a panko crusted filet of Alaska pollock, crisp lettuce, two slices of juicy tomato and tangy tartar sauce on a bun. The Whatacatch Dinner is also availale with two fish fillets, fries and a side of tartar sauce.

Wild Oats, 2520 Airline
Underbelly Hospitality’s Lone Star State-inspired restaurant offers a Royal Red Shrimp Ceviche, Shrimp and Grits served with grilled corn grits and salsa roja, and the Blackened Redfish on the Half Shell served with Creole cream and crawfish.

Willie’s Grill & Icehouse, multiple locations
Live Louisiana crawfish will be delivered daily and boiled up in flavors from Texas BBQ Butter to Crazy Cajun, with add-ons including sausage, shrimp, potatoes, corn and more. 
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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.
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