This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the 40 days of Lent. If you're one of the millions planning on giving up eating meat on Fridays, you don't have to give up enjoying a delicious meal with your family. Here are some of my favorite family-friendly Irvine restaurants for meat free Friday fasting with flair.
3988 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606 - (949) 654-3838
Delicious fresh fish at affordable prices and yes, you can order to go. This place is always very busy.
Salmon, Trout, Tilapia, Ahi Tuna, Cajun Seared Ahi Tuna, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Cajun Seared Mahi Mahi, Catfish, Swordfish, Skewered Shrimp, Barramundi, Giant Shrimp.
All charbroiled items topped with our garlic butter sauce or Cajun style, fries or rice, coleslaw & bread.
Battered Pollock, Cajun Grilled White/Fish, Seared Salmon Cajun, Seared Cajun Ahi Tacos, Battered Shrimp Tacos, Grilled Shrimp Tacos (Plain or Cajun), Grilled Mahi Cajun Tacos
13390 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602 - (714) 665-0800
Not just about meatballs, Buca is delicisoso!
Eggplant Parmigiana: topped with homemade marinara sauce, roma tomatoes, basil and mozzarella
Shrimp Florentine: garlic shrimp, roma tomatoes and spinach with linguine in garlic butter sauce
Shrimp Fra Diavolo: garlic shrimp and crushed red pepper with penne in spicy rosa sauce
Linguine Frutti di Mare: shrimp, baby clams, mussels and calamari in spicy red clam sauce
Penne alla Vodka: garlic, roma tomatoes and crushed red pepper in creamy vodka rosa sauce
57 Fortune Drive, Suite 240. Irvine, CA 92618 - (949) 753-7829
Seriously, Ruby's is more than just burgers and milkshakes.
SEAFOOD COMBO: Batter-dipped, golden-fried, flaky Atlantic cod fillets along with jumbo shrimp. Served with "Refillable" Fries, coleslaw, cocktail sauce and tartar sauce.
FISH & CHIPS: Batter-dipped, golden-fried, flaky cod fillets. Served with "Refillable" Fries, coleslaw, cocktail sauce and tartar sauce.
SHRIMP & CHIPS: Crispy, golden-fried jumbo shrimp. Served with "Refillable" Fries, coleslaw, cocktail sauce and tartar sauce.
VEGGIE TACOS: Warm, low-carb whole wheat tortillas with fresh lettuce, cabbage, shredded carrots, our secret taco sauce, vegetarian black beans, house-made salsa and black olives.
FISH TACOS: Warm, flour tortillas with crispy, fried, flaky Atlantic cod fillets, cabbage, shredded carrots, shredded cheese, our secret taco sauce,house-made salsa and chopped green onions.
SHRIMP TACOS: Warm, flour tortillas with grilled shrimp, shredded cheese, our secret taco sauce, cabbage, shredded carrots, house-made salsa and chopped green onions.
MEDITERRANEAN SALAD: Fresh romaine tossed with grilled chicken, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese and fresh oregano in a Chardonnay Vinaigrette dressing. Perfect for a Lenten dinner if you substitute grilled shrimp for a small charge.
TEXAS GRILLED CHEESE: The ultimate grilled cheese sandwich! Slice after slice of melting American and Swiss cheese layered between slices of thick, golden-grilled egg bread.
4628 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604 - (949) 653-6828
Feeling a little fancier? Oui!
Smoked Salmon Quiche: With Herbed Cream Cheese and Egg Custard in a Pastry Shell
Spinach & Goat Cheese Quiche: With Swiss Cheese and Egg Custard in a Pastry Shell
Tomato Mozzarella: With Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Basil on Puff Pastry
Goat Cheese Salad: Mixed Greens topped with Goat Cheese, Toasted Almonds, Oranges and Croutons. Served with Sherry Vinaigrette
Salad Nicoise: Albacore Tuna, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Shallots, Green Beans, Hardboiled Eggs, Nicoise Olives. Served with Dijon Vinaigrette
Parisian Salad: Mixed Greens with Candied Pecans, Dried Cranberries, Blue Cheese, Apples, Shallots and Balsamic Vinaigrette
French Onion and Tomato Basil Soups
2636 Dupont Drive, Irvine, CA 92612- (949) 474-2223
One of my favorite places (the Bloody Marys are exceptional).
Appetisers: Fried Calamari, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Hummus, Seared Rare Ahi, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
Baja Style Fish and Chips: Cod fillet dipped in beer batter, served on a bed of fries with remoulade sauce. Malt vinegar and peanut cole slaw
Blackened Tilapia: Cajun spices, topped with lemon butter caper sauce and coulee of red bell peppers, served on top of asparagus and herb brown rice.
Pan-Seared Idaho Trout Amandine: Topped with toasted almonds and lemon butter sauce, served with herb brown rice and vegetable.
Cedar Plank Salmon: with a BBQ Citrus Glaze, served with herb brown rice and vegetable.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes: Seasoned with Old Bay, Served with shallot white wine reduction and French fries
Blackened Ahi Tuna: Ahi tuna seared rare, mixed field greens, artichoke hearts, carrots, green beans, almonds and red bell peppers, tossed in an Asian style vinaigrette.
Pan-Seared Salmon Burger with arugula, sliced tomato and remoulade sauce, served with grilled asparagus.
Simply grilled Salmon served with grilled asparagus
Grilled Idaho Trout served with Peanut Cole Slaw
Crab Stuffed Salmon Baked salmon, filled with jumbo lump crab, served with a whole grain mustard sauce, arugula and grilled tomato.
Grilled Vegetable Plate a medley of grilled vegetables, fresh steamed spinach, broccoli, grilled asparagus, sliced tomato and herb brown rice.
And my childhood Lenten favorite...pancakes for dinner!
18542 MacArthur Blvd, Irvine, CA 92612 - Phone: (949) 474-446
Need I say anything more than hot buttermilk pancakes topped with melting butter? Didn't think so. Yum.
Now go out and have a wonderful, spirit filled Lent. 40 days of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. If you're looking for some ideas on how to fulfill the ‘good works' portion of Lent, give this older post a read.
Terry Winkler is the founder of OC entertainment blog Enter Stage Write.