It’s the season of seafood specials and Fish Fry Fridays.
As they do every year for Lent, restaurants from fast-food chains to fine-dining establishments have expanded deep-sea menus for a limited time.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lenten season and several restaurants are baiting customers who observe with a smorgasbord of seafood specials.
The fish fare is most prevalent on the Fridays leading up to Easter, a time when many Catholics forgo meat. Lent is a six-week period of fasting, self-sacrifice and prayer observed by Christians each year to prepare for the celebration of Easter, when they believe Christ rose from the dead.
Lent traditionally ends on “Holy Saturday,” which this year is April 11. The majority of the special items last past Easter.
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Fish dishes, Lent seafood specials
Here are the limited-time menu items and some popular year-round options, which are available at participating locations. To be on the safe side, always check with your closest location before heading out.
A&W: The chain has new Pub Style Baskets with fried cod or crunchy shrimp, available for a limited time. The chain also has new Cod Sliders.
Arby’s: For a limited time, get two fish sandwiches for $6. The chain known for its roast beef sandwiches added a new fish sandwich to its lineup and started a surf turf war with McDonald’s over its Filet-o-Fish.
Black Angus: The Lent special features an 8-ounce Grilled Salmon, Fire-Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, a crabcake, two Sidekicks and its famous Molasses Bread for $36.50 at most locations.
Bob Evans: The chain’s new seafood platter includes fried shrimp, golden clam strips and crispy flounder fillets and is served with both tartar and cocktail sauces, choice of two sides and rolls. Other options include lemon pepper sole, an Alaskan cod filet, grilled salmon filet or fried shrimp.
Bojangles’: The BojAngler fish sandwich is available while supplies last and can be purchased a la carte, a combo, two for $5 and as a dinner plate special.
Boston Market: Every Friday through April 10 and Easter weekend, get a Baked Cod Individual Meal with two sides and cornbread for $8.99.
Buffalo Wings & Rings: A special Lent menu is available through April 10 and main dishes include a Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad, Old Bay Fried Shrimp Basket and Southwest Veggie Burger.
Captain D’s: The seafood restaurant chain has new Double Dozen Shrimp Meals along with other fish options, which will be available for Lent.
Chick-fil-A: While not available nationwide, select locations across the country will offer the Chick-fil-A Fish Sandwich and seasonal breaded fish options now through April 11. Find the list of participating locations on the restaurant website.
Church’s Chicken: For a limited time, the chain has the Garlic Butter Shrimp ‘N’ Tenders Platter for $5.
Culver’s: The seasonal Northwoods Walleye is available through April 12 or until supplies last. Other meatless options include North Atlantic Cod as a sandwich or dinner, Butterfly Jumbo Shrimp, soups and salads.
Dairy Queen: The chain is promoting its Wild Alaskan Pollock Sandwich and Popcorn Shrimp Basket.
Del Taco: Jumbo Shrimp Tacos are back for a limited time and get two for $5.
Einstein Bros. Bagels: The Nova Lox is a permanent menu item and includes cold-smoked Atlantic salmon.
Firehouse Subs: The chain has a Tuna Sub available daily but on Fridays through April 10, get double Firehouse Rewards points on Tuna or Veggie Sub orders.
Golden Chick: The restaurant has a new fried butterfly shrimp, which is available in multiple combos and can be added to any order for $1.99. There’s also a Southern-fried catfish, both of which are available through May 10.
Long John Silver’s: The seafood chain has several specials. Get an Alaska Pollock fish sandwich and fries for $1.99 Mondays during Lent, a two for $6 Mix & Match deal daily and a $10 Sea-Shares or All You Can Eat Sundays starting at $7.99.
McDonald’s: The Filet-O-Fish is available daily at the fast-food chain.
Metro Diner: During Fish Fry Fridays, get a special for $9.99 that includes two fillets of beer battered and fried, wild caught North Atlantic cod.
Morton’s The Steakhouse: Fridays during Lent, Morton’s has twin lobster tails for $39. Reservations are required and the special is from 5 p.m. to close Feb. 28 through April 3.
Newk’s Eatery: The new Spicy Southwest Caesar Salad has lemon-cilantro marinated shrimp and is available in half or whole salad options.
Noodles & Company: Shrimp Scampi is now a permanent menu item.
Pancheros Mexican Grill: Through April 12, the chain has brought back the seasonal Mouth Waterin’ Shrimp.
Panda Express: Firecracker Shrimp is available for a limited time.
Panera Bread: The chain’s traditional Tuna Salad is a special tuna recipe, greens, tomatoes and red onions with salt and pepper on Black Pepper Focaccia.
Pilot Flying J: The fish sandwich and entrée are back for Lent and available through mid-April, while supplies last.
Popeyes: For a limited time, get the Buttermilk Biscuit Shrimp for $6, which includes eight pieces of the shrimp, a side, a biscuit and red pepper jelly sauce.
Portillo’s: The Chicago-style restaurant brand has a Tuna Salad Sandwich and new Breaded Whitefish Sandwich available now through April 12.
Rubio’s: The seafood restaurant has a new Norway Lobster Burrito and brought back the Wild-Caught Red Argentinian Shrimp, both available through May 26.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Through Easter, get king crab legs.
Smashburger: The chain has a new Beer Battered Pacific Cod Sandwich. And only on Wednesday, Feb. 26, get a free fish sandwich when you purchase one.
Subway: The Classic Tuna is available year round and for a limited time, Subway has a buy-one-get-one free promotion on all footlong subs for orders placed online or the restaurant’s app.
Taco Cabana: The Shrimp Tampico Quesadilla and Shrimp Tampico Taco have returned for Lent.
Teriyaki Madness: Get the Teriyaki Salmon Bowl with grilled Alaskan wild-caught salmon, vegetables and choice of rice or noodles at all locations.
Wendy’s: The North Pacific Cod Sandwich is back for a limited time. Check the Wendy’s app for a $2 off coupon also available for a limited time.
Wienerschnitzel: Fish ‘n Chips are available for a limited time.
White Castle: For $3, get a choice of three sliders which includes the fish slider with Alaska pollock and panko breading. There’s also Shrimp Nibblers.
More seafood: More chains and locally owned restaurants also have additional fish specials. Check with your favorite restaurant before heading out.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko