Avoid the kitchen fuss,
but still enjoy Thanksgiving dinner
in your own home
By Mary Thurwachter
Some of us aren’t afraid to admit we’re impatient cooks — not fond of long hours in the kitchen peeling spuds, basting turkeys, baking pies and doing dishes.
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, our recipe for success involves making a phone call and placing an order for turkey and all the sides from somebody who excels in the culinary skills we lack.
We love turkey takeout, and frankly, so do our guests. Sure, those mostly unflappable folks working the Butterball hotline will miss our calls.
They chortled mercilessly when I called to complain that my turkey had no breast! (They suggested I had cooked the bird upside down!)
Oh, well. Not to worry. There are several restaurants and stores ready to take my order and yours for the Nov. 23 holiday. But don’t wait too long. The sooner the better. And if you’re going to fake it, be sure to trash the takeout containers before your guests arrive.
Ellie’s 50’s Diner
Bob and Ellie Smela have been selling turkey dinner for years, and this year will be no exception.
The restaurant is open, too, but the turkey takeout business has grown every year, Bob Smela says. The meal, which serves 12-14, includes a slow-roasted turkey, country-style cornbread stuffing, Ellie’s famous mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry and mandarin orange relish, bakery rolls and butter and homemade pies — pumpkin and apple.
Cost: $190. Orders must be prepaid and need to be made no later than seven days in advance. Pickup is 9 a.m.-noon Thanksgiving Day.
2410 N. Federal Highway, Delray Beach, 276-7716
Turkey takeout is an eight-year tradition at Café Frankie’s, says owner Anthony Calicchio. Dinners are cooked the night before and morning of Thanksgiving.
The menu includes free-range turkey (Italian-style stuffing with 40 ingredients is from Calicchio’s mother), gravy, mixed green salad with roasted pepper dressing, tomato and red onion salad, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with raspberries and pistachios, string beans with fennel and lemon, broccoli rabe with garlic and oil, three types of homemade bread sticks with roasted garlic, chickpea spread and pumpkin nutmeg butter, and mixed berry cobbler and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Cost: $200 for 6-10 servings, $270 for 12-15. Cash only. 50 percent deposit required. Orders must be made no later than five days in advance. Additional items are available and, for $25, Calicchio will carve your turkey for you. Pickup is 12:30-2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
640 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach, 732-3834
Thanksgiving dinner to go includes choice of baby spinach salad, butternut squash bisque, Henry’s salad or split-pea soup, slow-roasted turkey with green beans, glazed carrots, mashed sweet potatoes or mashed red bliss potatoes, herb stuffing, sage gravy, cranberry relish and choice of apple, pumpkin or pecan pie.
Cost: $160 for 4-6 servings, $275 for 10-12. Orders must be placed by Nov. 20. Pickup 2-5 p.m. Nov. 22 or 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
16850 Jog Road, Delray Beach, 826-1791
This popular honky-tonk barbecue joint offers family-style Thanksgiving takeout prepared by pit master Bryan Tyrell. Whole smoked turkeys range from $54.95 for a 10- to 12-pound bird, $92.75 for 18-20 pounds and $122.95 for 24-26 pounds.
Pig-Sty BBQ has a variety of Thanksgiving packages, including full meal options, or you can buy items separately. Besides turkey, proteins include glazed ham, brisket, sausage and pulled pork. An array of sides, as well as house-made pies, cobblers and homemade ice cream, are available.
For prices, see www.pigstybbq.com. Orders must be placed 48 hours prior to pickup, which will be available until 6 p.m. Nov. 22. The restaurant is closed Thanksgiving Day.
706 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., 810-5801
Meating Place of Boca Raton
Jack Baitz, manager of the 50-year-old butcher shop, says takeout dinners include freshly cooked turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy and a choice of pumpkin, apple, pecan or peach pie. Extra side dishes or turkey breasts are available for added price.
Cost: $129 for 6-8 servings, $179.95 for 10-12 and $219.95 for 12-14. Orders should be placed ASAP because the number of turkeys is limited. Pickup is 8-11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.
277 E. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, 368-1191
Joseph’s Classic Market
Family dinner includes turkey, appetizers, stuffing, sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, roasted vegetables, green beans and apple and pumpkin pies. Cost: $149 for 10-12 servings. Orders should be placed by Nov. 17 and picked up by noon on Thanksgiving.
5250 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, 347-2314
Whole Foods Market
Holiday meals at Whole Foods come in a variety of sizes — from meals for four all the way up to feasts for 12. Organic and conventional selections are available, as are a vegan meal option, a meal with turkey breast meat and non-turkey options. Turkeys are animal welfare rated through the Global Animal Partnership and raised without antibiotics or added hormones. A turkey feast for 12 includes turkey, spiral cut ham, mashed potatoes, traditional herb stuffing, gravy, cranberry orange sauce, green beans with garlic and parsley, roasted butternut squash, creamed spinach and kale, pumpkin and apple pies. Cost: $249.99. Customers can order in any of three ways: in store, at shop.wfm.com; or by calling 844-936-2428. When you order, you set up a pickup date for the week of Thanksgiving, including Thanksgiving Day.
1400 Glades Road, No. 110, Boca Raton, 447-0000; for other locations, see www.wfm.com
Fully cooked turkeys come with dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, marshmallow delight dessert and cranberry relish. Cost: $44.99 for 7-10 people and $84.99 for 14-18. Orders should be placed at least a week in advance and picked up the day before Thanksgiving.
Various locations. www.publix.com
Thanksgiving dinner for 12 includes a roasted turkey, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable stuffing, cranberry walnut dressing, dinner rolls and two pies — pumpkin and apple. Cost: $119.99. A basic turkey dinner for 12 with no appetizers, relish or pies is $99.99.
Place orders a week ahead of time. Pick up the day before or on Thanksgiving.
799 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 391-9262. For other locations, see www.bostonmarket.com
* All turkey providers will give reheating instructions.