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Where to Eat During Lent 2013: 40 Days of Meatless Meals, Vegetables & Fish

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Lenten season is upon us. Many people have decided to give up something that they love in their lives, and most of the time that something ends up being food or drink. I'm talking about beer, chocolate, candy, coffee and meat.

Devout Catholics also abstain from meat throughout the Lent season, so several Houston restaurants have decided to make those next 40 days 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 Heights at 2802 White Oak, 713-868-3400

Fish is one of those dishes that you can eat throughout the Lenten season, so D'Amico's two cafes in the Heights and Rice Village offer seafood specials for you to enjoy during lunch and dinner. Alongside its daily menu items such as fire-roasted pizzas, soups, salads and handmade sandwiches, D'Amico's offers 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 and scrumptious as the other items now off limits for the next 40 days. McAlister's now offers Cajun shrimp to add 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 its jumbo lump crab cakes, barbecue shrimp or one of its 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. Stick to your Lenten plan and eat some delicious fish dishes at Danton's.

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 for almost all of 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

Whether you want brunch or lunch, Backstreet Café has got your back. Backstreet Café offers a Meatless Monday menu on their Facebook page and vegetarian menu alongside their 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 their 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. If you're having a fried fish craving, Lucky Burger is your place.

BB's Café 3139 Richmond, 713-807-1300 2701 White Oak, 713-868-8000 2710 Montrose, 713-524-4499

New Orleans-style cuisine can almost be a necessity during Lent season. BB's Café has three locations that offer classic New Orleans dishes and BB's own "Tex-Orleans" meals. Order blackened redfish, a fried alligator po-boy or a crawfish tostada. You can always get a cup or bowl of crawfish etouffee if you want to try a New Orleans favorite.

The Cajun Stop 2130 Jefferson, 713-222-8333

For all things Cajun, The Cajun Stop offers seafood dishes that will fill up your stomach during Lent season. Try 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.

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