Lent: Seafood Poboys

Our area’s strong Catholic heritage and coastal traditions shift our attention to certain foods this time of year. Whether or not you observe Lent, you’re sure to notice many local restaurants catering toward those abstaining from meat, not that it’s ever difficult to find great seafood around here. We’ll be sharing these Lenten menus with you, but each week, we’d also like to highlight some tasty alternatives you should keep in mind until Easter.

Poboys are a way of life around here. It doesn’t need to be Lent or even Friday to eat one, but this time of year, it’s nice to find something a little different from the usual fried shrimp or oyster poboy. Here are some great local poboys you need to check out.

Flounder Poboy, JB’s Grill | 300 Latour Blvd, Mathews

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JB’s Grill is the best kept lunch secret in the Central Lafourche area. The restaurant had an awkward transition period between owners, but it’s back with some great new menu items. The fried flounder poboy is definitely a highlight. The fish is crispy and tastes fresh and perfectly seasoned. With a side of hot sauce marinated onion rings, it’s a perfect Friday lunch.

Lobster Bahn Mi, Cristiano Ristorante | 724 High St, Houma

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Cristiano adapts its upscale dinner menu with a decadent yet casual lunch service. The lobster bahn mi is the perfect example of this. It’s a Vietnamese poboy crossed with a New England lobster roll, overflowing with rich and creamy chunks of lobster. Order some of the excellent potato stick cut fries with garlic aoili and enjoy one of the most indulgent lunches around.

Alligator Poboy, Big Al’s | 1377 West Tunnel Blvd., Houma

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The pope weighed in a few years ago and declared alligator to be seafood, making it safe for Lent. If you’ve never eaten gator, it has a somewhat firm texture and a unique tangy flavor. I’d compare it to another local exotic: frog legs, just not as tender. Gator meat fries well in little bite size chunks making it perfect on a sandwich the way Big Al’s serves it. It’s just just one item on a menu that features pretty much any local seafood you can think of.

Blackened Catfish Poboy, Griffin’s | 4566 LA-1, Raceland; 1015 W Tunnel Blvd, Houma; 523 Saint Mary St, Thibodaux

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Griffin’s Friday lunch specials are extremely popular this time of year, and for good reason. If they run out before you can order, don’t worry. Just order a blackened catfish poboy. The fish is spicy and loaded with flavor. If catfish isn’t your favorite, there are plenty of other poboy options including fried bacon-wrapped shrimp.

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