Something fishy going on
Not everyone observes Easter. But for those who do, abstinence is part of the deal. For Catholics, that means no meat or animal products; in fact, it's church law that Catholics cannot eat meat on Fridays during Lent. It's the law, baby!
Dallas-Fort Worth is more Baptist than Catholic, but we'll take this opportunity to highlight 10 places to get your Lent on.
Open since 1980, this Highland Park Village staple was the original place to get good seafood in Dallas. The signature crab cakes look good, formed into cylinders with sharp edges and browned until crisp. If you're feeling sassy, try the lobster salad rolls, an Asian-inspired appetizer with lobster wrapped in rice paper, served with a peanut chili dipping sauce.
If you want to eat fish like the Catholics in New England do, this is the place. The trademark is the fish of the day topped with Ritz-cracker stuffing, comforting and rich; entrees come with a nothing-fancy baked potato and chunky vegetable medley. In keeping with the times, Daddy Jack's does a lobster roll, and it's about as authentic as you can get.
Dallas Fish Market
This high-end downtown Dallas eatery has pristine seafood in a pristine room. Ahi tuna with a rare, red center is served with Israeli couscous, zucchini, squash and carrots in a basil-tomato vinaigrette. Redfish goes fiery-hot with Thai chili, pad Thai noodles, stir-fried vegetables and roasted peanuts.
Dodie's Cafe on Greenville Avenue at Belmont has been the go-to spot since 1989 for New Orleans-style po' boys, crawfish and frosty beer. Half a mile north is its newer sibling, Dodie's Reef, which features New Orleans-style po' boys, crawfish — and a full bar. Hurricane time.
This Oak Cliff restaurant from a former Dallas Fish Market manager is a chip off the old block, with a like-minded elegance and froufrou fish on the plate: soft-shell crab, charred octopus and seared trout. Among chef Omar Flores' selection of crudo are oysters accompanied by a jalapeño sorbet.
Hook Line & Sinker
HL&S now has a second branch at 17602 Preston Rd., but whether you're at the Uptown or North Dallas location, you'll find near-greaseless fried catfish and combination plates with fried shrimp, fried oysters and crunchy-moist hush puppies.
The New Orleans-style seafood spot is fixated on shrimp: boiled shrimp, shrimp cocktail, shrimp salad, spicy shrimp dip, BBQ shrimp, fried shrimp sandwich and — last but not least — that pinnacle of shrimpness, the fried shrimp platter. Medium-size shrimp are battered and fried until crunchy and served with slaw, fries or Creole rice, and hush puppies.
Dallas' own version of Le Bernardin, the New York seafood temple, is presided over by mercurial Top Chef contestant and keeper of the pickles John Tesar. The menu has signatures such as the spicy Singapore toast, but it evolves with whatever fish haul comes in; The Brad has the full set.
TJ's Seafood Market and Grill
TJ’s Seafood Market in Preston Forest added a second location in the Shops at Highland Park, near La Duni, with seating for 24. They grill fish from the case to order and top it with sauces such as Creole or wasabi vinaigrette; there are also daily specials such as steamed mussels and clams. TJ's also has one of the most popular lobster rolls in town.
20 Feet Seafood Joint
This new fish shack in East Dallas is the latest concept to follow trailblazing Good 2 Go Taco into this former run-down strip in far East Dallas. Located next to Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, it has a slight New England vibe in its chef-driven clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fish and chips.
Bonus entry: Sea Breeze Fish Market
Plano spot featuring longtime seafood expert Rick Oruch has become famous for its lobster rolls, but it's been doing nicely grilled fish at an affordable price for five years.
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