Austin, Travel

Thanks for Not Cooking

Thanksgiving table
Decor by: Mamammendations

Mmm. Thanksgiving. Doesn’t the word and don’t the colors make you think of pumpkin spice and cozying up? For some, the Thanksgiving meal is extravagant, and so is the preparation process. Although there’s nothing like a home-made Thanksgiving linner (lunch + dinner), life gets hectic, it gets harder and more expensive to travel, and we’re almost 2 years into a new decade (“Welcome to the 2010’s, Mr. Bahnks”). So, what’s a new-age holiday celebrator to do?

I saw a sign this weekend at a restaurant in Houston that said “Your family will thank you for not cooking this Thanksgiving.” And, thanks to several Austin restaurants and their staff, we all have somewhere to go this Thanksgiving to celebrate without ending the evening doing dishes (there’s something to be thankful for!) Here’s the scoop on where you can feel at home outside the home on Turkey Day 2011! Don’t forget to check Austin on the Rocks for their picks for T-day!

24Diner– Turkey two ways, bacon braised greens, cranberry sauce, glaze house-cured ham, gravy, and two sides, including whipped potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, stuffing, roasted brussels sprouts, pumpkin pie- all for $24! (get it?) No reservations taken, but you’ve got a 24 hour opportunity to celebrate here. Details.

Hank’s GarageDid they luck out or what? Renaming the holiday was just too easy….Celebrate Hanksgiving this year! As their social media marketer, I had something to do with that. But, I didn’t have anything to do with the fantastic holiday happenings! This downtown Belgian gastropub (known for their comfort food), will be hosting pre-Thanksgiving festivities like all-day happy hour and an appetizer buffet after 5 for nearby hotel guests who aren’t ready to face family just yet, and locals who are entertaining early arriver guests, in addition to a Hanksgiving Day menu all day for football fans, and day-after leftovers and drink specials. Free for kids under 5, $12 kids 6-12, $25 13 and up.TRACE at the W Hotel– Give thanks over a 3 course meal from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. with options such as a curried squash soup, Texas Striped Bass, Vegetable Pot Pie, and even Tur Ducken! (turkey breast stuffed with duck confit and chicken liver) served with sweet potato puree, local green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. End with their sophisticated desserts, including Apple Pie with cheddar thyme biscuit crumble, bacon almond brittle, and creme fraiche ice cream or Pumpkin Pie with Dulce de Leche ice cream and cinnamon whipped cream. How toasty, spicy, and sweet! $49 adults, $19 kids. Here’s the full Menu. Call (512) 542-3660 to make reservations in advance.

Driskill GrillIndulge in their Thanksgiving 5-course menu spotlighting Oven Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, Steamed Mussels, Local Petit Salad, Parsnip and Caramelized Pear Soup, Pan Seared Scallop, Cranberry-Orange Glazed Quail, Prawn, Gingerbread-Pecan Crusted Pork Belly, Truffled Risotto, Turkey, Lobster, Wagyu Beef, and mouth-watering sides like Chipotle Sweet Potato with Marshmallow Brulee. $75 per person, from 3-8 p.m. Call to make reservations. More details.

TRiO at the Four Seasons– This extravagant Thanksgiving Buffet from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. in the Ballroom Foyer, in TRiO ’til 8 p.m. will give you a holiday to remember! If you consider what you would spend on the meal at home, it may not be far off with $75 adults, $20 kids in TRiO, or $68 adult, $20 kids in the foyer. But, you’ll get your money’s worth! Made-to-order omelettes (you can even get one with Lobster!), cheese and charcuterie, fresh fruit, assorted sushi, ceviche, grouper, chicken, and short rib in addition to traditional turkey and ham, a plethora of veggies and sides, and assorted desserts, it will be hard to contain everything on one plate! See the full tasty lineup here.

Urban an American GrillAn Urban Thanksgiving features a three-course meal with offerings like Grilled Sweet Corn Bisque, Grilled Texas Quail, Sage and Guinness Roasted Turkey (yum!), Herb Roasted Beef Prime Rib, Pork Belly & Beans, Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Banana Nut Tres Leches, Avocado Tres Leches (intriguing!), and Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Hearty, urban, and a treat for just $45! 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Make reservations at 512.490.1511. or on OpenTable.

In the News: Jack Allen’s Kitchen is teaming up with Mobile Loaves and Fishes and Music for the City to donate nearly 500 cooked-with-love Thanksgiving meals to those in need this Thanksgiving! (Still looking for a link to share with you!)

Hungry yet?? I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving plans or if I’ve missed any hot spots to celebrate the day of gratitude!

One thought on “Thanks for Not Cooking”

  • Marcos November 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    These are all fairly high-scale and expensive options, except for Hank’s Garage.

    For people who don’t want to spend tons of money at the Four Seasons and such, I recommend checking out the turkeys at Rudy’s. Not that expensive, very very good.

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