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Mardi Gras was fun while it lasted. Now? Lent, the most depressing time of the Christian year. What are you sacrificing for Lent? Chocolate? Beer? Something even stupider, like Diet Coke?

Whatever you're giving up, if you're also depriving yourself of meat on Fridays, several area restaurants have you covered. Fish tacos are only $1.99 each at Berryhill Baja Grill on Fridays through April 22. And the seasonal artichoke menu at Backstreet Cafe right now ensures that giving up meat doesn't have to mean just fish: try items like the asparagus and baby artichoke risotto, artichoke flatbread and shrimp-stuffed artichokes with lemon and bread crumbs.

Also, a reminder that the Bite Me Houston Tequila Throwdown is this Saturday evening starting at 8 p.m. at Momentum BMW Southwest. You don't have to pay a single peso to get in and you'll get to sample a dozen of Texas's finest tequilas (provided you're over 21) as well as help crown a winner.

Next weekend will be even more fun, with two of Houston's best events back-to-back: Empty Bowls on Saturday and Holi on Sunday.

The annual Empty Bowls fundraising event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 19 at Lawndale Art Center, where you'll receive "a simple lunch of soup, bread and water (and a treat of a little something sweet) provided by Whole Foods Market, and then select a bowl from 1,000-plus one-of-a kind, hand-crafted bowls donated by Houston area ceramists and craft artists." What do you provide in return? At least a $25 donation, which will go straight to the Houston Food Bank. This popular event is one-of-a-kind, so the soup -- and the bowls -- always go fast.

The next day, the Indian holiday of Holi will be celebrated at Kitty Hollow Park (9555 Highway 6 South) in Missouri City from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Indian festival of colors celebrates Prahlada's escape from a bonfire set by evil demoness Holika. You celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder and water at each other in a field before consuming vast amounts of delicious Indian food. In other words, this is way, way, way better than Lent.

Wear something you don't care about, bring the kids and bring an appetite. This year's Holi festival is expected to draw more than 12,000 people, with a dizzying array of food booths to feed all those folks. The event is free, as is parking, but be sure to bring cash for the eats.

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Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.