Thanksgiving Orphans Rejoice: There Are Local Options to Save Your Holiday

Booze is one holiday essential that doesn’t grow on a farm

For all of its manifold joys (when else are you allowed to hide your vegetables under a cloak of marshmallows and cream?), the Thanksgiving season can present a stressful prospect.

Maybe you just realized you somehow invited 25 people, maybe you’ve decided to take some self-care time instead of braving the madness of airports on the cusp of flu season. Hell, maybe you’re just tired. But whatever your motivation for taking it a little easier this year, Austin restaurants have got you covered with Thanksgiving events of all stripes, arranged here, dear reader, in order of how ambitious you’ll have to be feeling to take advantage of them.

Photo by John Anderson

Level One:

I Like Cooking but Want to Cut Down on Trips to the Grocery Store

Farmhouse Delivery

An amazing resource for those of us whose idea of a good time does not include standing in a three hour line at HEB, Farmhouse Delivery supports local Texan farmers by sourcing all ingredients within 48 hours of where they’re grown, so you can get everything you need for the big day, from the free range turkey to the organic pecans, delivered right to your doorstep.

Twin Liquors Personal Shopping Service and Delivery

There’s one holiday essential that doesn’t grow on any farm: booze, and lots of it. Fortunately for us, Twin Liquors has their personal shopping service to help you plan how much liquor to order, and their brand spankin’ new app where you can order it for delivery. Make sure to yell “Reinforcements!” when you open the door.

Level Two:

My House Is Presentable, but Maybe Somebody Else Can Do the Cooking This Year

South Congress Hotel’s Holiday Bake Sale

On Tuesday November 20, 11am - 7pm, South Congress Hotel will be hosting a holiday bake sale benefitting the Sustainable Food Center. Austin restaurateurs from institutions such as Mañana, Holy Roller, Le Politique, and Il Brutto will be selling gourmet holiday pastries, desserts, and savory sides. It’s everything you need, in short, to add that extra special something to your Thanksgiving table.

Smoked Turkeys From Rudy’s BBQ

Sure, you could go out and buy a smoker and some wood chips and DIY that smoked turkey yourself. Or, you could drop $50 and save yourself the hassle by picking up a whole smoked turkey from one of Rudy’s five Austin locations. Hide the wrapper and just let people think whatever they want. Hey, you could have smoked that turkey yourself. Maybe.

Photo by John Anderson

Smoked Everything From LeRoy and Lewis

If you’re ready to move beyond just turkey and really get serious about your Texan Thanksgiving, look no further. Sure, they’ve got smoked turkeys, and you can also get those same smoked turkeys tallow fried ‘til they have extra crispy skin. They’ve got your seasonal turkey and pork sausages, brisket, and pulled whole hog, everything served with their smoked giblet gravy and beet BBQ sauce. But if your really want to lean in with the whole Baroque BBQ Thanksgiving thing, check out their Thanksgiving Split, an unholy but weirdly delicious sounding concoction consisting of turkey sausage split in half, banana style, and topped with scoops of mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and stuffing standing in for ice cream, with brown and white gravy and cranberry sauce poured over the top like chocolate sauce.

Walton’s Fancy and Staple To Go

Fancy might be more the operative word here, with dishes like a thyme-rubbed heirloom turkey breast with turkey gravy that serves 10, green beans almandine, mashed herb and garlic sweet potatoes, cranberry, apple and pecan cornbread stuffing, wild mushroom and sage gravy, and and, of course cranberry sauce. If sweets are more your thing, their beloved bakery department is turning out 11-inch lattice apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies, as well as a spice bundt cake with maple cream cheese icing and a vanilla cheesecake with cherry topping.

Seafood To Go at Monger’s Market + Kitchen

Sure, shrimp cocktail might not be traditional Thanksgiving staple, but you know what? Shrimp cocktail is delicious. Go off the book this year with oysters Rockefeller, clams casino, lobster mac and cheese, crab cakes, peel-and-eat shrimp, and soups like New England clam chowder or gulf seafood gumbo. Turkey is nice and all, but sometimes kicking back with bottle of champagne and an entire pound of shrimp is even nicer.

Level Three:

Letting the Professionals Take Over

Thanksgiving Prix Fixe at the W

From 11am-8pm, TRACE, the W Austin’s in-house restaurant is serving up a three-course menu, including hot takes on holiday classics like red wine braised short rib, prosciutto-wrapped turkey breast, Texas pecan pie, and coconut carrot ginger soup. Afterwards, guests can stop off at the Living Room cocktail lounge for wintery drinks like the Don’t Be So Chai, with Grey Goose Vanilla, Cointreau, and Chai Dulce De Leche – the perfect sweet sip for helping you access your inner Ellouise.

Friendsgiving at La Condesa

Monday through Thursday your friends at La Condesa are hosting two daily seatings of a $45 three course Friendsgiving, featuring homemade chips and salsa, chorisquo, the house salad for starters; confit turkey in mole amarillo with duck fat potatoes, charred greens, potato rolls, and brussels sprouts with lemon and cotija cheese for the main course; and apple pecan and pumpkin pies for dessert. For the ambitious among us, it’s the perfect way to practice stretching your appetite for the big day.

A Thanksgiving Feast at Goodall’s Kitchen

From 11am-6pm on Thursday, Goodall’s Kitchen will be hosting an opulent Thanksgiving buffet, featuring their take on classics like slow roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, charred and whipped sweet potatoes with local feta, brown butter, and pomegranate seeds, garlicky green beans with oyster mushrooms, crispy shallots, and porcini salt, and sourdough stuffing with Benton’s bacon, turkey chorizo, collards, and aged country ham. The price tag ($72 for adults, $25 for children 12 and under) includes the buffet, soda, iced tea and coffee, and valet parking.

Photo by John Anderson

Café No Sé Thanksgiving Brunch

For those of us who like to have “dinner” at 1pm on Thanksgiving, Café No Sé is hosting an all day (7am-7pm) Thanksgiving brunch on both the big day and Black Friday, to help you fuel up post shopping spree. Of course they’ll have their Instagram infamous avocado toast with a soft boiled egg, crème fraîche, arugula, beets, and carrots roasted with aleppo pepper, alongside dishes like sweet potato hash with kimchi, pork belly, jalapeno, and mustard greens, and oatmeal hot cakes topped with toasted pecan butter and peach thyme compote. Only a good first stop if you’re not planning on having an early dinner!

Thanksgiving Buffet at the Park

It’s hard, presumably, to focus on sports when there’s so much cooking to do, which is why the Park is hosting a $20 football focused buffet at both their South Lamar and Domain locations. The games will be playing on big screen TVs as fans help themselves to a traditional buffet centered around turkey and pork tenderloin, along with classic sides such as, jalapeño cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, broccoli rice casserole, sautéed fresh vegetables, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. There will be pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie for dessert.

Thanksgiving Charcuterie at APT 115

If even the idea of fully cooked food seems like an oppressive extension of the Thanksgiving spirit, head to this East Austin wine bar for a day of Thanksgiving themed charcuterie board, which includes slices of smoked turkey and cured ham, alongside deconstructed green bean casserole, chilled dill potato salad, cranberry relish, and chilled bread stuffing. Plus, they’ll be serving $10 glasses of Lucien Albrecht Grand Cru Gewürztraminer and $5 Provence Rose and Beaujolais Nouveau all day long.

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Thanksgiving Dining 2018

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