DURING the season of Lent, the spiritually inclined choose to abstain from eating meat every Friday. It’s a sacrifice rooted in tradition but has found favor in the hearts—and stomachs—of many, many Filipinos.
But indeed, the struggle is real. It’s not that seafood or vegetables aren’t any good. It’s that it’s tough to find accessible food spots around the metro that serve them. Fret no more! Here is a list of some places where you can get your non-meat but still ridiculously tasty—and healthy—food for every Friday of Lent here in Cebu.
First off, we start with a national favorite: Jollibee. If you’re craving for something hot and fast, and you’re on a budget, check out Jollibee’s popular Tuna Pie. The flaky golden-fried crust with a peppery and tangy filling has made it a fan-favorite.
Now on the other hand, we have arch-nemesis McDonald’s, who’s not to be outdone. It’s newly launched Ebi Burger is surely a must-try this Lent season. The Ebi burger tastes like any other classic McDonald’s treat, except instead of beef, it uses a fried shrimp patty instead.
‘Cast your nets’
If you want to go for something that feels and tastes more like home-cooking, head off to Charcoal Boy Grill and Oysters. The restaurant, with several branches around town, serves a wide array of oyster dishes and select seafood.
If you feel like a feast is in order—whether for a special family occasion or treating visitors from out-of-town—check out Seafood Island at Ayala Center Cebu. We’ve got three words for you: Seafood Boodle Fight.
‘Drink this, all of you’
If you choose to take abstinence a notch higher, then you can skip solid meals altogether and trade them for drinks instead. We’ve got two options here: Juiceria Juice Bar at Bonifacio District offers a wide array of cold-pressed fresh fruit juices; while Mooshi, with branches in malls around the metropolis, serves its SunStar Best of Cebu-caliber healthy smoothies.
‘A palate pilgrimage’
To make things interesting, take a trip to any of these Asian-influenced stops. Phat Pho, a Vietnamese food place under the Abaca Group, offers Seafood Pho. Imagine noodles, hot seafood broth, fish cake, fresh squid, poached shrimp—you get it.
Tokyo Tokyo, as the name suggests, is ready to serve its Japanese favorites with a Filipino twist. A popular menu item would be its Unagi-style Bangus.
If you don’t want full-on solid meals, and don’t think drinks are for you, then you must be craving for some salad. Luckily, there are some places that serve good ones. There’s Oh Georg! right in Ayala Center Cebu, with its best-selling California Salad that consists of crabstick, mango, cucumber, lettuce and a creamy sesame dressing. Another hit salad on its menu is its Oriental Vegetarian Salad.
If you feel like exploring more options, then there’s SaladStop! right in the same mall but located on the topmost level. Its signature Go Geisha salad is a great option. Another healthy pick is its Mi-So Happy salad that has romaine lettuce, red and white cabbage, smoked salmon, grilled tofu, edamame, pickled radish, beetroot hummus and Lemon Miso dressing.
These mentioned are just a few of many, many more food places that offer Lent-friendly items on their menus. Do you have a few suggestions? Feel free to share your ideas on our Facebook page @livesunstar. (Rhea Maglahus and Matthew Sulla, USC interns)