Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn religious observance period in which many Christians forego certain luxuries, especially meat, for the 40 days preceding Easter. Non-religious and unaffiliated individuals also often look at Lent as an occasion to practice forgiveness and repentance.
Restaurants across all price points make it easy for their clients, especially the big meat eaters, to observe Lent and eat delicious food at the same time.
Here are five restaurants with exclusive menu options available to Lent observers.
1. Buffalo Wild Wings: Home of the Deep-Fried Lent Menu
The biggest meat lovers tend to agree a serving of fish & chips is just as much pub food as chicken wings. This is why Buffalo Wild Wings introduced in 2018 a haddock fillet flash-fried in a beer batter.
Check out our Lent Menu! Dine-in or order online: bit.ly/2tbopuj
The restaurant is hoping to wow clients once again with an Asian-themed sandwich packed with cajun-seasoned crispy jumbo shrimp.
2. Texas Roadhouse: ‘You Don’t Have to Deprive Yourself’
Everything is bigger (and arguably better) in Texas, but the state is synonymous with barbecued meat. Texas Roadhouse locations often turn to local media outlets to promote their Lent-friendly menu and remind customers that “you don’t have to deprive yourself” – even if you can’t eat meat.
A grilled moist and tender salmon with the choice of two sides sounds very appetizing. Is it as appealing as a 23-ounce Texas-sized porterhouse steak or a rack of ribs? That’s for you to decide.
3. Chick-Fil-A: Eat Less (?) Chicken
Chick-Fil-A ads scream “Eat More Chikin,” but for a few weeks a year the chain wants you to eat fish sandwiches.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, the best-voted fast food restaurant in America will offer a cod sandwich at participating locations. Those not interested in a sandwich can opt instead for a fish entree that comes with fries.
4. McDonald’s: the Catholic Classic
In fact, the popular fast food chain known for its burgers and fries introduced the iconic fish sandwich in 1962. A franchise owner in Ohio proposed to McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc a sandwich that his mostly Catholic restaurant-goers could enjoy during their regular Friday fasts.
The bigger takeaway is the restaurant chain encourages franchise owners to pass along their biggest and boldest ideas. Kroc even said:
“The success of additions such as the Filet-o-Fish, the Big Mac, Hot Apple Pie, and Egg McMuffin…each evolved from an idea of one of our operators. So the company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small businessmen.”
5. Morton’s: Go Big (And Spend Big) Or Go Home
Consumers demanding an upscale, Lent-friendly dining experience can look no further than the classy steakhouse chain Morton’s. Best known for offering only the highest quality cuts of steak, the restaurant is offering every Friday through April 12 a twin lobster tail meal for $39.
Fortunately, the restaurant chain offers plenty of other fish options in its everyday menu, including whole baked Maine lobsters and a honey-balsamic glazed salmon.