US restaurant chains already adding seafood specials for upcoming Lenten season

Quiznos' seafood-based offerings for Lent.

Many restaurant chains are already releasing limited time seafood specials to capitalize on the Lenten season nearly a month before it begins on 2 March.

Sub sandwich chain Quiznos is bringing back its Lobster Classic sandwich, and its Old Bay Lobster Club.

The Lobster Classic Sub is made with a lobster and seafood salad mix with shredded lettuce on butter-toasted Italian white bread with a lemon wedge garnish. The Old Bay Lobster Club includes the same lobster and seafood salad mix, along with Old Bay seasoning, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mayo on a butter-toasted Italian white bread with lemon garnish.

“We are thrilled to be bringing back these two sandwiches this year,” Quiznos Vice President of Culinary Innovation Mike Gieseman said in a press release. “The delicious Lobster Classic and newer, but just as loved, Old Bay Lobster Club are some of our most popular seasonal treats and we can’t wait for our guests to enjoy them again.”

Quiznos’ Lobster Loyalty Promotion also grants “Toasty Points” members an eight-inch Lobster sub for USD 6.00 (EUR 5.25) from 14 February to 20 February.

Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.-based Red Lobster is bringing back its Lobsterfest promotion, which includes a new “Date Night Feast for Two” in time for Valentine’s Day on 14 February.

Its Lobsterfest promotion includes a new Lobster Topped Stuffed Flounder, wild-caught flounder roasted with Red Lobster’s signature seafood stuffing. It is topped with Maine and langostino lobster in a creamy lobster beurre blanc sauce and served with a choice of two sides.

Among several returning Lobsterfest dishes is Lobster Lover’s Dream, a roasted rock lobster tail, butter-poached Maine lobster tail and lobster-and-shrimp linguini in a creamy lobster sauce. It is served with choice of two sides. Red Lobster is also bringing back Bar Harbor Lobster Bake, which includes petite Maine lobster tails, split and roasted, with shrimp, bay scallops, mussels and tomatoes, over linguini in a garlic and white wine broth.

Its Lobster, Shrimp & Salmon dish includes Maine lobster tail, grilled jumbo shrimp skewer and Atlantic salmon, and finished with a brown butter sauce. It is served with choice of two sides. Also returning is Seafarer’s Feast, which features a broiled Maine lobster tail, grilled sea scallops, garlic shrimp and Walt’s Favorite Shrimp. It is also served with a choice of two sides.

Meanwhile, Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taco Time is bringing back its Fish Taco, available for a limited time until 26 April.

The Fish Taco features crispy white fish, shredded cheddar, cabbage, and salsa fresca, and is topped with a creamy cilantro lime sauce.

"Our customers spoke, and we listened … These tacos continue to be a seasonal fan-favorite and are always welcomed back with a joyful response,” Kim Heath, the senior director of marketing for Taco Time’s parent company Kahala Brands, said in a press release.

Meanwhile, regional Mexican food chain Tijuana Flats is offering shrimp on its menu for the first time. The Orlando, Florida-based chain rolled out three new shrimp dishes to celebrate the addition of the new protein.

“The new dishes were created in the Tijuana Flats test kitchen by Executive Chef Joel Reynders to create more variety on the menu and satisfy guests by offering the most popular seafood option in the U.S.,” the company said in a press release.

Reynders said the company has been testing shrimp on its menu at select locations for several months.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are confident that this product launch will be a guest favorite for years to come,” he said.

One of the new menu items is Crispy Shrimp & Corn Tacos, which includes crispy fried shrimp, avocado sauce, cilantro cabbage, corn salsa, garlic lime sauce drizzle, queso fresco, and pickled red onions in soft corn and flour blend tortilla.

Tijuana Flats also debuted a Garlic Lime Shrimp Bowl, which includes sautéed shrimp, cilantro lime rice, black beans, poblano peppers, onions, corn salsa, garlic lime sauce, guacamole, queso fresco, cilantro cabbage and pickled red onions. The restaurant chain’s new Fajita Shrimp Quesadilla includes sautéed shrimp, poblano peppers, onions, cheddar jack cheese, garlic lime sauce, guacamole, and sour cream.

It is vital for restaurants to market seafood dishes during Lent as consumers expect it, Gordon Food Service said on its web site.

Lifeway Research found that 24 percent of consumers observe Lent, GFS noted. “If seafood and other meatless offerings aren’t on your Lent menu, you could miss out,” the foodservice distributor said.

Although fish-fry dinners, fried shrimp, and salmon dishes are common customer favorites, GFS advises that restaurants can also feature crab cakes, lobster, crayfish or sushi “if it matches your brand and your kitchen’s comfort zone.”

Photo courtesy of Quizno’s  


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