Lent may be the season of restraint, but in Louisiana, it’s become 40 days of seafood-centric culinary creativity. From backyard boiled crawfish to indulgent chef’s specials on Fridays, there’s no shortage of good eats wrapped up in all that contemplation and sober self-sacrifice.
Last Friday — the first Friday of Lent this year, I dropped by Tony’s Seafood in Baton Rouge to check out the action. Even though it was mid-afternoon, the hot food line at Tony’s was still 25 deep. Bummer. I didn’t have time to wait for the fried catfish snack and trio of boudin balls I’d been fantasizing about driving up I-110. “Man. Look at that line,” I said to the guy bagging up my fresh shrimp. And as if it required no other explanation (even at 3:30 in the afternoon) he said, “Well, it is Lent.”