Lent began on March 6 and extends all the way to Thursday, April 18. Some of the first Christians insisted Easter’s importance should be honored with special preparations that eventually became known as lent. In fact, the canons of Nicaea reference a 40-day fasting period prior to Easter. Lent is viewed as an opportunity to reflect, value the human condition and show appreciation for a higher power. Those who adhere to the lent schedule referenced above do not eat meat on Fridays during this holy period. Instead, fish, tofu, vegetables or another meat substitute are consumed. Let’s take a look at the top five Arizona restaurants to eat at during the lent period.
1. Hana Japanese Eatery
Head on out to Central Phoenix’s Hana Japanese Eatery and you will find the freshest sushi in all of Arizona. Hana’s chef, Lori Hashimoto, specializes in sushi, rolls, abalone, Spanish Mackerel and Monkfish Liver, also known as ankimo. One of Hana’s most popular dishes is the Hana Lobster. This 9-ounce lobster is seasoned to perfection with just the right amount of garlic. Hana is a BYOB restaurant meaning customers can bring their own beverage. However, Hana limits beverages to beer, sake and wine. The restaurant does not accept reservations so be sure to arrive early to secure a table for you and your family during the busy lent dining period.
2. The Pomegranate Cafe
This vegan-friendly restaurant has everything from pizza to a juice bar, a bakery, a take-out window and beyond. The Pomegranate Cafe has served vegan, vegetarian and raw food options since 2010. Whether you and your family are on the prowl for pizza, tacos, nachos, pancakes or a tasty smoothie, you will find it at the Pomegranate Cafe. Be sure to pick up a baked good for dessert from the cafe’s in-house bakery before you head back home.
3. Mariscos Playa Hermosa
Located at 1605 E. Garfield St. in Phoenix, Mariscos Playa Hermosa has a number of vegetarian and vegan options for those in search of a meat substitute for lent. Be sure to try the mixed seafood cocktail known as the Campechana Grande. This amazing concoction features octopus, squid, abaolone and shrimp all served in a goblet with cilantro, avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeno and cucumber.
4. The Salt Cellar Restaurant
Head out to Hayden Road in Scottsdale, dine at the heralded Salt Cellar Restaurant and you will have a new favorite dining establishment. The Salt cellar is famous for its Maine Lobster. This eatery has been around since 1971 for good reason: its fresh fish is considered the tastiest in all of Scottsdale. The Salt Cellar’s appeal is best described as top-notch New England seafood served in a cozy hideaway adorned with lovely seaside flair.
Just about everyone loves Italian food. Give Joey Maggiore’s Cuttlefish Restaurant a try during lent and you will have plenty of non-meat option to choose from. Entrees include sea urchin, spaghetti with crab and prawns seasoned with basil and fresh tomatoes. If you are a fan of oysters, be sure to check out Cuttlefish’s oyster bar before beginning your meal.