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Fish Friday: These Houston Restaurants Are Serving Up Meat-Free Eats During Lent

Riel's Fish-R-Filet will make any Friday during a good one.
Riel's Fish-R-Filet will make any Friday during a good one. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
The 40 days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday, March 2 through Thursday, April 14, with Good Friday falling on Friday, April 15 this year. While it’s known as a time of sacrifice for many, those participating in meat-free Fridays do not have to sacrifice flavor, as these Houston restaurants are proving. From Fish Friday specials and top-notch fish sandwiches to meat-free menus featuring seafood and vegetarian options, here is where to eat in Houston this Lenten season.

Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys, 2724 West T C Jester, 4520 San Felipe
Antone's brand new, fried green tomato, H-Town Original po’ boy, The Billy F Gibbons - Whisker Bomb Po’ Boy, is one great option for Lent. Made with buttermilk-dipped fried green tomatoes, harissa, chipotle mayo, Billy F Gibbons’ Whisker Bomb Have Mercy Sauce, goat cheese, a mix of spices and arugula served on a warm French bread, the sandwich is available at both Antone’s full-service locations for $9.95 through June 1, with proceeds benefiting The Clifford Antone Foundation and its mission to preserve music culture and community by caring for elders and investing in youth.

Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith
This Creole restaurant is swimming in seafood options, with current features including crawfish enchiladas, pecan-crusted Gulf fish, and grand or petite seafood platters featuring fresh shucked oysters, Zatarain's boiled jumbo shrimp, crab ravigote, cocktail crab fingers and ceviche.

Burger-chan, 5353 West Alabama
The burger joint’s Fried Fish Sandwich uses High Liner Foods cod, available to customize or dress simply with house-made tartar sauce and coleslaw as part of its regular menu.

Daily Gather, 800 Sorella
Dine on tuna aquachile in ginger-coconut broth, whole-roasted cauliflower in French curry spice and Spaghetti Lola, a meat-free chef Brandi Key classic of housemade spinach-infused spaghetti, garlic-basil tomato sauce and creamy burrata.

Dish Society, multiple locations
Lent friendly options include citrus glazed salmon, Gulf shrimp and gouda grits, pineapple shrimp and vegetarian tacos, Texas pecan pesto pasta and more.

Doris Metropolitan, 2815 South Shepherd
The Israeli steakhouse stunner will have rotating fish specials on Fridays throughout the Lenten season, including its famed Moroccan Fish, a Gulf fish served with robust tomato sauce and Challah bread.

Ember & Greens, 9403B Katy Freeway
Westside restaurant Ember & Greens will offer a special weekly menu March 4 through April 15, with dishes from five-spice shrimp skewers and blackened salmon with avocado salsa to quinoa bowls and creamy roasted jalapeno pasta.

Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park
Chef Philippe Verpiand will be offering his own special bouillabaisse each Friday, lunch and dinner, from March 4 through April 15. Much like the traditional stew which originated with Marseille fishermen, Verpiand's bouillabaisse features freshly caught fish in a slow-simmered seafood broth and is priced at $25 for lunch and $40 for dinner.

Feges BBQ Spring Branch, 8217 Long Point
The Spring Branch locatino will over a Shrimp & Grits special every Friday throughout Lent. Guests can dig into yellow corn grits, Carolina shrimp and maque choux for $17.

Firehouse Subs, multiple locations
For the first and last Fridays of the Lenten Season (Friday, March 4 and Good Friday, April 15), Firehouse Subs will offer double Firehouse Rewards points on the purchase of a tuna salad sub.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop, multiple locations
The Bangin' Shrimp Taco is available for a limited time, prepared with tempura-battered fried shrimp or grilled shrimp topped with Fuzzy’s new "Butt Burnin'" sweet chile sauce, with avocado crema, crisp cabbage and pepper slaw, feta and cilantro on a warm flour tortilla.

Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse, 4319 Montrose
Gatsby’s has added a new Bedford Scallops entree to the menu, featuring five generously-sized scallops for a total weight of 10 ounce, priced at $48.

Golden Chick, multiple locations
Golden Chick is bringing back its Butterfly Shrimp just in time for Lent, offered now through Sunday, April 24, available on its own or as a combo meals with either Southern Fried Catfish pieces or Golden Tenders.

Golfstrømmen, 401 Franklin
The first American restaurant from Norwegian Chef Christopher Haatuft, this Post Houston spot boasts a fresh Nordic bent seafood menu with options like vermillion snapper, red snapper, golden tilefish, scorpion fish, blue runner, and Texas gulf stone crab, plus a raw bar.
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Heartbeet's menu showcases a bounty of locally-sourced vegetables and plant-based proteins.
Photo by Jenn Duncan
Heartbeet, 14714 Memorial
Heartbeet's plant-based menu is complete with dishes like the Soba Noodle Salad, Roasted Beet “Poke Bowl”, and the Seitan “Gyros” Plate served with chopped garlic and parsley-sautéed seitan, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapeño hummus, tabbouleh and Persian cucumber dill salad with pita bread for $16.

Hungry’s, 14714 Memorial, 2356 Rice
Try meat-free options like the Grateful Mediterranean SW Fusion Bowl ($15) with organic lentil brown rice, golden raisins, ginger-glazed brussels sprouts, herb basmati rice, Cuban back beans, pico de gallo, butternut squash, avocado relish, and cumin cilantro vegan aioli; or the  Fabulous Tuscan Tofu ($15) in a sun-dried tomato apricot walnut coconut cream sauce with organic lentil brown rice, French green beans and pita bread.

King's BierHaus, 2044 East T C Jester, 828 FM646 West
Fish n Chips will be available through April 16, the day before Easter, featuring eight ounces of beer-battered cod on a bed of seasoned fries with tartar sauce, ketchup and lemon.

Local Table, 2003 West 34th, 22756 Westheimer, 10535 Fry, 11525 South Fry
Go for Mediterranean salmon, Cajun red ruby trout, ahi tuna poke bowls, lemon angel hair pasta and more.

Mahesh’s Kitchen, 16019 City Walk
The Sugar Land spot rocks specialties like Mango Habanero Salmon ($24) and Andra Gongura Fish ($22) with curry leaf, turmeric chili, mustard seed, and Gongura leaf.

Molina’s Cantina, 3801 Bellaire, 7901 Westheimer, 6300 FM 1463
Dig into Raulito's garlic butter shrimp special, grilled redfish with warm mango salsa, Baja-style fried fish tacos, spinach and cheese enchiladas and more.

Monkey's Tail, 5802 Fulton
Monkey’s Tail will be serving mudbugs every Thursday through Sunday while they're in season. Choose between regular boiled crawfish or  jalapeño flavors for $10 per pound and add on corn, potatoes, sausage and dipping sauces; or try the new Crawfish Enchiladas, served daily for $12.
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Ostia's new whole branzino is a showstopper.
Photo by Michael Anthony
Ostia, 2050 Dunlavy
Chef Travis McShane has debuted a new menu item just in time for Lent, a seasonal whole fresh fish entrée, the Whole Branzino with chermoula, available during lunch and dinner. Subject to availability.

Ouisie’s Table, 3939 San Felipe
Friday blackboard specials will feature meat-free options all during Lent, including dishes such as Gulf shrimp cakes with jalapeno tartar and seared speckled trout in brown butter caper sauce.

Ouzo Bay, 4444 Westheimer
Ouzo Bay's expansive fish program boasts fresh catches flown in daily from across the globe, with highlights including Hawaiian Kona Kampachi fresh from the Pacific, Norwegian Langoustines, and wild-caught Dover Sole.

Paulie’s, 1834 Westheimer
Every Friday from March 4 through Good Friday on April 15, owner and chef Paul Petronella will have an array of Lenten dishes available, from fusilli pesto and salmon to the spinach, feta and roasted tomato Yezzi Panini.

Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial
The Malaysian eatery rocks an array of veggie-forward and seafood dishes, from the must-order housemade roti, award-winning Kerabu prawn and belacan stir-fried seasonal vegetables to banana leaf-wrapped barbecue whole fish, chili scallops and sizzling tofu.

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, 113 6th
Hit this San Leon waterfront spot to enjoy meat-free dishes from chilled seafood platters, chargrilled oysters and butter-poached lobster rolls to wood-grilled redfish on the halfshell and crispy red snapper.

Riel, 1927 Fairview
Chef Ryan Lachaine's Fish-R-Filet is available all-day on the to-go menu, or on its happy hour menu alongside crawfish rolls and booze specials from $4 beer to $7 French 75s.

Saint Arnold Beer Garden & Restaurant, 2000 Lyons
In addition to its everyday menu, Saint A will feature Fish on Friday specials, including Thai Curry Red Snapper (March 11), Ahi Tuna Steak with mango/jalapeño relish (March 18), Jerk Shrimp Banh Mi (March 25), Pizza il Mare with clams, scallops and white sauce (April 1) and Shrimp & Crab Gumbo (April 8).

Slowpokes, 2925 Richmond, 8147B Long Point,1203 West 34th
Try the Avocado Smash served open-faced on sourdough with avocado, arugula, and tomatoes; or the When in Roma, a sub made with with pesto, Roma tomato, fresh mozzarella, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette served on sourdough.

Spanish Village, 4720 Almeda
The iconic Tex-Mex restaurant is back in action with its original recipes, including seafood and vegetarian options like shrimp tacos, fajitas and enchiladas, nachos Monterrey, cheese enchiladas and spinach-artichoke enchiladas.

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 6401 Woodway, 1140 Eldridge
Sylvia’s meat-free options include Crystal City enchiladas featuring spinach and tomatillo sauce, Laguna Madre enchiladas with crab and creamy seafood sauce, and Enchiladas Sarita with squash and corn in a light cream sauce; and throughout Lent, the restaurant will also be crafting special off-menu dishes including Mesquite Grilled Fish Combo Plates.

Taco Cabana, multiple locations
Taco Cabana is offering a Shrimp Tampico taco and Shrimp Tampico quesadillas for a limited time, beginning March 2 at all Texas TC locations.
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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