Who hasn't ever entertained the thought of hiring a chef to prepare an entire Thanksgiving meal for the family? Since that option is fairly inaccessible, here's the next best thing: Pre-order your turkey and side dishes to go. Here are some local options.
Birchwood Cafe If you're looking for a local, sustainable option, Birchwood Cafe is the way to go. You've got until November 13 (or while supplies last) to order any of three size ranges of turkey, straight from Wild Acre Farms in Pequot Lakes, ranging from 10 to 25 pounds. The cost is $3.39 per pound. The café also has sides, breads, and pies available for sale through November 20. The side dish kit is available in three sizes (again ranging from 10 to 25 people) and includes a citrus sage stuffing mix (which requires butter, celery, onion, and broth), cranberry quince chutney, and mapled squash. You'll need to do a little work for the stuffing, but the kit comes with recipes and guidelines. Loaves of Birchwood's beloved bread (including baguettes, garlic rosemary loaves, and multigrain loaves or buns) are available for purchase. You can also buy fresh baked pies made with organic, free-range eggs, and quite a selection there is! Maple pumpkin pie (including a gluten-free variety), key lime, pumpkin apple cranberry ginger, and even Surly chocolate pecan pie (yes, that's Surly beer) are available. The pies will run you $22-$27 and serve eight people. Items must be picked up on Tuesday, November 23 from 2-8 p.m. (a good day for pickup if you plan to brine your turkey) or Wednesday the 24th from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Delivery is not available. Orders may be made at the cafe or on their website.
Kowalskis Kowalskis Markets offer turkey dinners for 4 to 6 ($79.99) or 10 to 12 ($119.99), ready for pickup on the 23rd. The smaller version has boneless, skin-on turkey breast, and the larger has an all-natural oven-roasted turkey. Sides include gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry orange relish, dinner rolls, and a pumpkin pie. Both the turkey and the side dishes may be ordered individually. Orders may be placed through Kowalskis' deli department; 48 hours notice is appreciated.
Lake Elmo Inn Lake Elmo Inn will be offering a complete Thanksgiving Meal Package. One of the perks is that you can actually pick it up, hot and ready, on Thanksgiving Day. They've got all the bases covered: a 12-pound turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, gravy, green beans amandine, dinner rolls, and two pies (pumpkin, Dutch apple, French silk, or pecan). The entire packages serves 10 to 12 and will run you $139. Preorder by phone by Monday the 21st at 651.779.5994.
Lucia's Lucia's has a nice selection of turkeys; some are already brined and oven ready, or you can get a plain turkey with a brine kit if you are so inclined. If you're only serving 3 or 4, turkey breasts are available as well. Options for side dishes include wild rice and squash salad, creamy squash soup, cranberry salsa, and your more traditional fare (cranberry sauce, potatoes, maple-glazed yams, salad, gravy) plus desserts: pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing, pumpkin pie, apple pie and Bourbon pecan pie. Orders must be placed by Sunday the 20th and can be picked up on the following Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Orders can be placed by calling 612.825.9800.
Whole Foods Whole Foods offers several dinner packages, including traditional dinners, a classic ham dinner, a side dish package, and even a vegan dinner option. Pre-roasted turkeys, mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, green beans with shallots and herbs, cranberry relish, and gravy are included. Prices start at $89.99 for 2 to 4 and are $119.99 for a traditional dinner for 6 to 8. (Add $40 to that if you want to go organic this year.) Orders must be placed by November 21. They may be picked up the week of Thanksgiving.