Friday, November 18, 2011

Lots To Gobble Up for Atlanta Diners This Thanksgiving

Decision time. One, nail down those Thanksgiving meal plans (and be thankful for so many choices). Two, what to do about braving Black Friday, even as it edges into Thanksgiving Thursday. Tough choices, but remember, Atlanta restaurants are ready to come to your rescue with order-ahead meals, dining-out reservations and spreads...and plenty of places for bargainistas to take refuge on Black Friday.  

The night before the relatives arrive, both locations of Atkins Park Tavern will be holding a Thanksgiving Eve Party to usher in the holiday! Then enjoy Big Green Egg smoked turkey breast with caramelized apples, sage stuffing and cider gravy, along with braised pork shoulder with roasted root vegetables and bourbon glaze at Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland starting at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna opens doors at 4 p.m. to serve deep-fried Creole turkey breast and Dr. Pepper spiral glazed ham for the main course joined by Southern sides of pimento cheese deviled eggs and pickled beet and squash casserole with a cracker topping. At both restaurants, the meal is $20 for adults, $15 for young adults and $8 for children 10 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). And yes, there will be desserts. Reservations are recommended; call Virginia Highland at 404 -876-7249 or Smyrna at 770-435-1887.

At Midtown-fave Briza, seasonal American cuisine with Southern inspiration tops the tables on the day's Thanksgiving turkey plate along with fall squash soup and pie served until 8 p.m. Or, take advantage of the lounge and bar area's all-day menu. Reservations are recommended; call 678-412-2402.

Head north to Marietta for a traditional Southern meal at Chicken and the Egg, where the menu offers a choice of entrée, three sides and a dessert. Served 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $18 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). Reservations are recommended; call 678-388-8813.

Ease into the kitchen and simultaneously enjoy your company by including the New York Butcher Shoppe in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs on your guest list. Turn over your own casserole dishes, and they'll fill them with your choice of sides to serve 8 to 10 people. Sides include green bean, squash or broccoli casseroles, Grandma Mary's potatoes au gratin, mashed regular or sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, sausage or bacon/egg casserole, roasted veggies or roasted baby dill carrots, and an array of salads including tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella, Caesar, Greek pasta or broccoli.  There's even cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Talking turkey, theirs are $2.99 a pound and come in three sizes to feed 6-8, 9-12 or 13-16 people -- and they'll brine your turkey for you. Fresh Tanglewood Farms free-range, all-natural turkeys are raised in North Carolina and packed fresh, not frozen or deep chilled. These are the same turkeys featured by four- and five-star restaurants and private clubs! Contact your nearby shop via email or phone:  Dunwoody at 770-399-6328 or Sandy Springs at 404-303-0704.

"RA Retail Therapy" at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant reveals food and drink deals extended from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on the busiest shopping day of the year, November 25. You have time to rack in some retail action first -- RA Sushi's doors open and specials begin at 11 a.m. Shop the menu of more than 35 sushi, appetizer, and tapas selections, plus a wide variety of beer, wine and signature cocktails ranging from $2 to $7.

Two Ray's Restaurants locations will dish up Thanksgiving feasts. Spoon some of this, more of that from the extensive Thanksgiving buffet at Ray's on the River at the perimeter top end$39.95 for adults and $19.95 for children 5-10; available from 10 a.m. until the last seating at 7:45 p.m. For reservations, call 770-955-1187. A few miles north at Ray's at Killer Creek in Alpharetta, savor a Thanksgiving meal of roasted turkey, house-made dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and succotash. The by-the-plate cost is $27 or choose the three-course option with soup or salad anddessert is $36. For reservations, call 770-649-0064.

Southerners seeking kitchen relief can turn to South City Kitchen Midtown and South City KitchenVinings, where doors will be open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A special three-course menu offers guests their choice of one appetizer, entrée and dessert, priced at $39.95 for adults and $19.98 for children 12 and under (tax and gratuity are not included). Reservations are recommended. If you prefer a Thanksgiving meal at home, order a complete dinner to go for eight people for $200. Included are a boneless, roasted turkey breast, collard greens, buttermilk whipped potatoes, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, house-made biscuits and corn muffins and a whole pumpkin or pecan pie with whipped cream for dessert. Orders must be received by Monday, November 21 for pick up on Wednesday, November 23. For reservations or to-go orders, call Midtown at 404-873-7358 or Vinings at 770-435-0700.  

The pilgrims ventured west, but you can head towards a Southeast Asian-inspired Thanksgiving meal at Spice Market in the W Atlanta-Midtown for $39 per person (tax and gratuity are not included). The menu is available from 5 - 9 p.m.  For reservations, call 404-724-2550.

Home chefs saying "yes" to impressing guests with their own poultry prowess can order an American Standard Bronze turkey from White Oak Pastures (WOP). Raised in an open-pasture lifestyle, WOP's Free Range Pastured Turkeys are very different from the hybrid industrial turkeys filling freezer cases during the holidays. No antibiotics, no added hormones, pure taste. Three sizes:  $75 small (8-12 pounds), $100 medium (12-16 pounds), $125 large (17+ pounds). Shipping costs are calculated per mile per pound. Order online or by calling 229-641-2081.

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