Continuing our countdown,the fourth Friday of Lent is today, and in the great tradition of this religious occasion, many practicing Catholics and even some Protestants will honor an age-old tradition of not eating meat on Fridays throughout the Lenten church season. If you live in the ‘burg, however, don’t worry. Many restaurants here have ensured that there will be plenty of fish available on their menus and as specials for you to enjoy while upholding this sacred tradition.
Along Central Avenue, certainly the Central Avenue Oyster Bar has many fish dishes and specials from which you may choose, including grilled redfish with a cream mushroom dill sauce and grilled snapper with Caribbean salsa. If you’re willing to travel a little farther west from the waterfront, and would like to try a little less traditional version, why not stop off at the Taco Bus for a fresh fish taco? Yet, if it’s fish and chips that will tickle your fancy, The Queen’s Head Restaurant and Eurobar has its critically acclaimed version made fresh to order available throughout the season along with salmon and other seafood items.
Headed northward onto fourth street, and you’ll find that the Fourth Street Shrimp store is bursting with selections of fresh fish to conquer just about any under-the-sea craving. And, just up the road, Three Birds Tavern has its fish and chips available along with salmon and tuna entrees and fried oyster and shrimp specials. Lucky B’s Bar-B-Que will have a salmon dish on special along with a grilled mountain trout and their basa, which most say is best served fried.
Still headed north, Harvey’s 4th Street Grill says that they are prepared for the Lenten season with their famous grouper and salmon and selection of fresh fish that will include selections of amberjack and snapper.
The Red Mesa (on 4 Street, not downtown) has on special tuna ceviche, a seafood burrito and red snapper tacos for lunch and tamarind shrimp for dinner. Northward-bound still, Babalu’s Restaurant and Bar has Friday fish specials such as grouper, redfish and trigger fish along with shrimp specials.
Lastly, the only mention I’ll include from a large chain establishment, the Village Inn is featuring a fish fry every Friday—convenient to those living in far north St. Pete.
This is just a sampling of many eateries around town that are prepared to serve up great fish dishes for the Lenten season. My mother was raised as a cradle Catholic and I an Episcopalian. While she grew up honoring the church law of “no meat on Fridays,” we like many others have modified this over the years to be a tradition that we only acknowledge during Lent. What am I giving up for Lent? Well, I will not give up fish; that’s certain.