For those of us who feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking enough food to feed a football team on Thanksgiving Day, several Twin Cities restaurants offer an essential escape hatch. Whether we need to add a few side dishes into the mix, snag a pie or two, or commission the big bird itself, we can place our orders and relax knowing the day will come and go without a hitch.
First, a word about turkeys: Plan for one pound of meat per person or one and a half pounds if you want to make sure everyone gets leftovers. Fresh, free-range turkeys are limited in quantity and are likely to sell out before the order deadlines (there are only so many birds). If the thought of defrosting a Butterball makes you quake, get your order in ASAP.
Be'Wiched Order deadline: TBD Phone: 612-767-4330
Be'Wiched has confirmed plans for a Thanksgiving-to-go this year, but they hasn't determined the 2014 pricing or deadlines yet. Call the restaurant for details. Menus from years past included the standard turkey and trimmings, cornbread stuffing, cold salads, cranberry sauce, and collard greens, as well as pies, cobblers, and cupcakes.
Birchwood Order deadline: Sunday, November 23 (online ordering ends at 3 p.m.) Pick up: Wednesday, November 26 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Phone: 612-722-4474
Best for: A fresh turkey sized the way you want it, excellent sides, and gluten-free dessert options.
The bird: A fresh, Ferndale Market free-range turkey. $25 deposit due upon order. The final price is $3.69 per pound less the deposit. Choose from three sizes ranging from 10-20+ pounds.
Side dishes: Order an assortment of dishes or individual sides a la carte. Goodies include Citrus Sage Stuffing, Cranberry Pear Chutney, Maple Squash Mash, and a Thanksgiving Salad with Shepard's Way Hope cheese, roasted squash, carrot, spicy pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin maple vinaigrette. Assortment prices range from $38 to $68. A la carte prices range from $8 to $36.
Breads: Birdseed loaf for $6; Garlic Rosemary, Potato, or Birdseed buns for $6; English muffins for $6; Baguette for $3.
Pies: Pies range from $28 to $32 and include Pumpkin, Key Lime, Caramel Apple Streusel, and Maple Pecan with gluten-free versions of the Pumpkin and Key Lime.
Colossal Café Complete dinners are available for pick-up at the St. Paul location only. Order deadline: Thursday, November 20 Pick up: Thursday, November 27 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone: 651-797-4027
Best for: A complete Thanksgiving meal made from scratch (but not by you). Fully cooked and ready to go.
Full package: For $155, order a complete Thanksgiving dinner that serves 12-16. Includes a fully cooked Ferndale Market turkey, herb dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, brown sugar-glazed carrots, Colossal Café salad, cranberries, loaf of bread, and a bottle of wine. For $12.95 you can pick up an individual portion with a turkey breast, herb dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, bread, and a slice of pie.
The bird: A fully cooked, lightly smoked 14-16 pound turkey from Ferndale Market for $65.
Side dishes: All of the above side dishes are available a la carte in pint or quart-sized portions for a range of prices from $7 to $14.
Pies: Colossal Café's pies include apple, pumpkin and pecan, priced $13-$19.
The Golden Fig Order deadline: Saturday, November 22 Pick up: Wednesday, November 26 from noon to 6 p.m. Phone: 651-602-0144
Best for: A really good turkey, plus some killer snacks and drink mixers to rev up the cocktail hour.
The bird: Otis Farms heritage turkey. $25 deposit due upon order. $3.50 per pound less deposit. Birds range from 16-20 pounds.
Side dishes: Golden Fig's own cranberry sauce with port and thyme for $9.95 and fresh cranberry salsa for $7.95 (don't forget to pick up a bag of Whole Grain Milling's tortilla chips while you're at it).
Breads: Rustica Bakery's olive or rustic rolls for 95 cents each.
Pies: Colossal Café's classic pumpkin and pecan pies, $19.95 each. $10 deposit per pie upon ordering.
Extras: Golden Fig's fresh drink mixers go for $14.95 each. Just add some booze or a splash of club soda and you're set. Choose from Bloody Mary, Spiced Pomegranate, and Autumn Elixir, a heavenly blend of warming fall spices with a bright lemon base.
Lucia's Order Deadline: Sunday, November 23 Pick up: Up until Thursday, November 27 between 8 a.m. and noon Phone: 612-825-9800
Best for: A fresh turkey you can't mess up (the brined, buttered, and herbed number), unique sides, and top-notch desserts.
The bird: A fresh, Ferndale Market free-range turkey. Choose between a brined, ready-to-cook bird with butter and herbs for $9.99 a pound and a whole bird au natural for $3.99 a pound (small, 10-12 pounds, or large, 18-20 pound). For small gatherings, there's also a brined turkey breast for $10.99 a pound (1-3 pounds)
Sides dishes: Creamy squash soup, cranberry sauce, old-fashioned sage and apple stuffing, white cheddar macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, traditional gravy, local roasted squash with pepitas, wild rice and squash salad, mixed greens with maple mustard vinaigrette, smoked salmon spread, and cranberry salsa and tortilla chips. Prices range from $2.50 to $27.95.
Breads: Loaf of Millet Flax or House Cracked Wheat for $4.50 or a baguette for $3.50.
Pies: All pies are $21.95. Options include pumpkin, bourbon pecan, local apple and gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake with a chocolate walnut crust.
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