Qdoba, Krystal, El Pollo Loco running shrimp-themed Lent specials

A growing number of U.S. restaurant chains are counting on shrimp to power them through the seafood-heavy holiday
Qdoba brought back Citrus Lime Shrimp this Lenten season
Qdoba brought back citrus lime shrimp this Lenten season | Photo courtesy of Qdoba
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Qdoba and Krystal Restaurants are joining a growing trend of U.S. restaurant chains running shrimp specials around Lent.

Dozens of U.S. restaurant companies announced new shrimp dishes or specials for Lent, which began 14 February and runs through 28 March. Since then, several other restaurant chains have added shrimp meals or promotions.

San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based fast-casual chain Qdoba, which operates more than 750 locations nationwide, brought back citrus lime shrimp this Lenten season, according to Qdoba Vice President of Marketing Kim Zamir. The Best Aquaculture Practices-certified shrimp is sauteed in-house in a citrus lime sauce and cooked over an open flame. The product can be added to a burrito, bowl, quesadilla, or salad.

Citrus lime shrimp is a fan-favorite, and our guests have been asking for its return to the menu,” Zamir told SeafoodSource. “Our newest protein gives guests a flavorful new seafood option, especially as some are looking to curb red meat consumption.”

Dunwoody, Georgia, U.S.A.-based Krystal Restaurants, which has 360 restaurants mostly in the U.S. Southeast, is also featuring shrimp in a limited-time shrimp po’ boy and shrimp basket, along with a krabbycake slider. 

“We’ve listened to our guests feedback and knew we had to bring back our fan-favorite shrimp po' boys and shrimp baskets this spring,” Krystal Senior Director of Marketing Kaitlin Stoehr said.

Also for Lent, El Pollo Loco debuted a double Baja shrimp tostada and a chicken and shrimp tostada, which combines its signature fire-grilled chicken with Baja shrimp and fresh toppings. The Costa Mesa, California, U.S.A.-based franchise operates 487 restaurants, mostly in the Western U.S.

Another one of the numerous eateries offering shrimp dishes for Lent is Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.-based Churchs Chicken, which has introduced a new eight-piece butterfly shrimp meal and a shrimp and tenders meal, which includes four shrimp and two tenders.

“Stepping outside of what we usually have on the menu but still serving the bold flavors we’re known for, our shrimp and seafood offerings arrive in time for the start of Lent and are a good choice for anyone visiting our restaurants,” Church’s Texas Chicken Marketing Executive Lead Doug Reifschneider said. “Both new guests and loyal fans can find something to satisfy their cravings with these seasonal menu items.”

Elsewhere, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.-based Logan’s Roadhouse rolled out a seafood-centric spring menu that includes mesquite wood-grilled salmon dip; seafood gumbo bowl, a hearty entrée made with shrimp, crab, and okra, topped with grilled blackened shrimp and sausage served over rice; a teriyaki salmon and shrimp combo, comprising mesquite-grilled salmon topped with pineapple alongside a grilled shrimp skewer with teriyaki sauce served over rice pilaf with two sides; cilantro lime salmon; and a surf and turf trio, which includes a 6-ounce sirloin, two crispy crab cakes, and a skewer of mesquite-grilled shrimp over rice with creamy Cajun and garlic dill sauces.

Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.-based buffet restaurant chain Shoney’s is holding its annual Endless Seafood Fest on Fridays and its seafood fresh food bar daily through 31 March. The spread includes fried shrimp, fried whitefish, clam chowder soup, gumbo soup, teriyaki salmon, and more, Shoney’s Chairman and CEO David Davoudpour said.

“Every day is a seafood fest at Shoney’s, yet we amp it up during a very respected time where traditions and beliefs are tried and true. Our goal is to deliver world-renowned freshly prepared, high-quality food at a great value with friendly service,” Davoudpour said. “We welcome you into our restaurants, and please know that we have done our very best to serve you well with many choices and unbeatable tastes."

Additionally, Shalimar, Florida, U.S.A.-based Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, which has 130 locations, is introducing a fish and chips combo, which includes 6 ounces of fish with tartar sauce, potato wedges, and a regular-sized drink, according to Restaurant News.

Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.-based White Castle is also bringing back its shrimp nibblers this Lenten season and debuting sriracha shrimp nibblers.

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