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Restaurants debut fish dishes for Lent

With Lent starting next Wednesday, a number of restaurant chains are introducing limited-time offers for customers avoiding meat during the 40-day period leading up to Easter.

Panda Express has rolled out Peppercorn Shrimp, a marinated shrimp dish with asparagus, chopped yellow onions and red bell peppers stir-fried with a sauce made with Thai green peppercorns, for $4.

The Rosemead, Calif.-based quick-service chain is offering a free Peppercorn Shrimp entrée to Facebook fans on Feb. 22, the first day of Lent. The dish is available at the chain’s nearly 1,500 restaurants until April 10, two days after Easter.

Casual-dining chain Daphne’s California Greek of Carlsbad, Calif., has added three shrimp dishes to its menu. The new items all feature grilled shrimp marinated with garlic, paprika and other spices.

The mango shrimp salad combines the shrimp with mango salsa, chipotle flavor, mixed greens, feta and a garlic- and lemon-flavored balsamic hummus dressing. It’s served with warm multi-grain or regular pita bread, and sells for $9.29.

The shrimp is also a new option in the 56-unit chain’s Classic Pita. The $6.99 item includes grilled shrimp, chopped Roma tomatoes, lettuce, red onions and Daphne’s Classic Greek dressing. The item is also available with fried shrimp.

Daphne’s Shrimp Selects Combo is an $8.29 combination deal comprised of a skewer of the grilled shrimp, a choice of two sides, pita bread and a regular fountain beverage.

Fast-casual chain Taco Cabana has brought back its seasonal Shrimp Tampico for the fifth year in a row.

The seafood is marinated in a mix of chipotle and ancho chiles, and grilled with garlic, lime and cilantro. It’s available in tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas or in a crispy Cabana Bowl. The 159-unit San Antonio-based chain also has brought back its pineapple salsa as a limited-time offer to go with the shrimp. Shrimp Tampico items start at $4.99.

Jack’s Wayback Burgers is bringing back its codfish sandwich for the season, starting on Feb. 22. The Cheshire, Conn.-based quick-service chain offers the fried fish fillet topped with house-made tartar sauce throughout the season. Prices vary within the chain’s 44 units, but sandwiches have an average price of $5.49, the company said.

Rubio’s, which popularized the Baja-style fish taco in the Southwest, has no shortage of Lenten options, but the 197-unit quick-service chain based in Carlsbad, Calif., recently rolled out two new beer-battered fish items.

The avocado corn fish taco features beer-battered fish with white chipotle sauce, avocado corn relish, lime, Mexican cheese, roasted poblano peppers, onions and red bell peppers.

The sesame soy fish taco features the fried fish in a flour tortilla with a spring lettuce mix, sesame soy sauce, wasabi crema, sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime.

Chief executive Ralph Rubio said the new items were permanent additions to the menu, and added that he is testing three new salmon tacos: mango habanero grilled salmon, pineapple lemon grass salmon and chimichurri salmon.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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