Dubuque restaurants catering to Catholic crowd - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque restaurants catering to Catholic crowd


It's Fish Friday for some people celebrating the Christian season of Lent, but what about the businesses that make their money off of meat-eaters?

Some Dubuque restaurants are catering to the Catholic crowd.

The kitchen at Shot Tower Inn Pizza smells a little fishy on Fridays.

"I get sick of Lent, to be honest with you. It stinks like fish," Shot Tower Inn Pizza manager Tania Wiese said.

For those observing the sacred season of Lent, eating animals of the earth is not an option on Fridays, but creatures of the sea is okay.

"We have a Lent menu now," Wiese said.

To keep from losing Catholic customers' dough, Shot Tower Inn Pizza is offering some pious pies with its, "awesome Lent specials on our front board," Wiese said, referring to its ad outside the restaurant.

"I think it's good that we do this, you know, because pizza is known for meat, so when you have different things on your menu that are meatless or vegetarian for these people, then they'll come in," Wiese said.

Some people are giving up meat, but businesses are refusing to give up those customers. The Strawberry Tree Cafe in Dubuque's Kennedy Mall is even advertising its Lent lunch specials.

"This is Lent-friendly," cafe owner Amanda Sternquist said while making a seafood salad wrap.

For Sternquist, necessity was the mother of the invention of her Lent lunch menu.

"Ash Wednesday, everyone came in and they said, 'What do you have that we can eat?', and I really quickly whipped up some tuna salad and my grandmother's egg salad recipe, and it worked," she said.

Amanda Sternquist was in the restaurant business in Chicago and says Dubuque is definitely devout.

"It's really been specific to here," she said. "I'm Catholic as well, but I never saw any big pull for this kind of a menu back in Chicago, where we're from."

Wiese said she has seen a shift, however.

"There seems to be a lot of meat-eaters lately, though, the last couple of years on Fridays, so I don't know if there's just more people moving into the town that aren't Catholic," Wiese said.

Whether secular, sanctified or on the sliding scale somewhere in between, people can find acceptable sustenance on Fridays at these Dubuque restaurants for Catholics and carnivores alike.

Catholics observe their Lenten obligations until Easter Sunday, April 24.

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