Lucie Monk Carter
For Lent, Twine Meat Market has updated its popular blackened chicken croissant for blackened drum with lemon caper mayo.
With fourteen years of Catholic school under my belt, I do have a realistic sense of Lenten sacrifice—one that goes beyond, “Ho hum, I guess I’ll give up king cake ‘til next year.” But taking seasonal restrictions and goals seriously does not preclude a Louisiana Catholic from salivating at the fish fries and crab boils scheduled for the forty days ahead. Nor are your options as limited as you might imagine (though my family did once have to shirk Lent for a day when a Texas roadtrip stop at Dairy Queen revealed zero non-meat items on the menu). Before you hop into the McDonald's drive-thru, consider these far more delicious options from around the state for a Friday lunch.
Twine Meat Market - Baton Rouge, La.
Even outside of Lent, Twine doesn’t just cater to carnivores. Chef Steven Diehl offers evening sushi classes at the shop, and the oh-so-fresh tuna poke is one of the market’s top sellers. For a quick lunch, Twine’s recently updated their small but potent dine-in menu to include blackened drum on croissant with lemon-caper mayo. Look for variations throughout the season.
Pop’s Poboys - Lafayette, La.
The chalkboard at Lafayette’s unapologetically inventive Pop's Poboys frequently reads as equal parts clever and delicious (to the point where they might consider rebranding to “Pop Culture Poboys” if so many of their selections weren’t tributes to other relatives like Mimi and Nonc Phil). Past specials include the “Thigh Hard” and the “Boba Feta.” This month brings a BBQ shrimp sandwich dubbed the “Lenten Tarantino.” Admit it, you’re smiling already.
Turkey and the Wolf - New Orleans, La.
Turkey and the Wolf’s sandwiches are anything but demure, so don’t go near Mason Hereford’s Lower Garden District shop—meteorically popular since its opening last August—with anything less than a vicious appetite. And during this meat-shunning time, even among the fracas of fried bologna and meatloaf, you’ll be safe (and still stuffed) with the slow-cooked collards with swiss and pickled cherry on rye.
Nick Hufft’s shiny new Government Street burger joint Curbside is rightly proud of its beef blend (shortrib, chuck, brisket, oh my...) but don’t write them off during Lent. “We’re four months in and starting to catch our stride,” said Hufft, who promises more frequent appearances for past maritime munches like the fried softshell crab burger, the blue crab cake burger topped with remoulade and watercress, and the especially alluring yellowfin tuna burger with a honey wasabi slaw. (Fans of Hufft’s other restaurant, The Overpass Merchant, will be pleased to hear that Chef Jonathan Breaux is dedicating the $8.99 Poboy of the Week slot to seafood for the time being.)
Covington’s bäcobar, opened by 2016 Small Town Chefs Carl Schaubhut and Jean Pierre Guidry, certainly doesn’t hop over the world’s oceans on its globetrotting menu. But it’s the DTB (Down the Bayou) Oysters that enchant the most among the restaurant’s namesake bacos, with pillowy steam buns cradling cornmeal crusted oysters, kimchi slaw, and wasabi remoulade.
Don’t forget to stay current on specials and shifting menus throughout the season by following along on social media.