Kicking off today, February 19, more than 40 New Orleans restaurants will offer up their version of a Friday night fish fry for the Lenten season, as part of a citywide effort to drive restaurant business and benefit a fund for local hospitality workers. The campaign, Fish Fry Fridays, is a partnership between the between Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and United Way of Southeast Louisiana, and includes top New Orleans restaurants like Toups’ Meatery, Peche, and La Petite Grocery as participants.
The Hospitality Cares initiative launched last year, as Lent fell shortly after the pandemic shut down New Orleans’s hospitality sector. According to a press release, the campaign raised $12,000 from restaurant sales and Tabasco’s sponsorship. Far more restaurants are in on the effort this time, which sees $1 per fish fry entree sold go to Hospitality Cares. The crisis grant fund provides up to $2,500 to eligible hospitality employees to cover basic financial needs, and offers free resources like civil legal aid and counseling.
Many participating restaurants have released their Friday fish fry menus, and others will offer different dishes each week. Donald Link’s Warehouse District seafood destination Peche is serving up an $80 dinner for 3-4 people of a whole fried redfish, snapper, or flounder, depending on availability, brabant potatoes (also known as Louisiana fries), hush puppies, and salad, available for takeout, delivery, or dine-in. The Pythian Market location of Ma Momma’s House — courtesy of the family of New Orleans-born actor Anthony Mackie — is serving Southern fried fish, creamy cheese grits, and a cornbread waffle; and Avenue Pub is offering beer-battered fish and chips, in true pub fashion.
A full list of the participating restaurants and their Lenten specials can be found here, and information on how to access Hospitality Cares resources can be found here.
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