With the holidays on the horizon, many families are going to be making some changes to their plans this year. The pandemic still demands large gatherings be avoided, which will likely lead to fewer people gathered around Thanksgiving tables come Nov. 26.
But, regardless of the size of the celebration, area restaurateurs don’t want the occasion to pass without plenty of flavor.
Some locations, like the King and Prince Golf and Beach Resort, have served up limited dining room seating for patrons. In fact, it has already sold out of space for its highly anticipated feast.
In addition to reservation based in-person dining, many restaurants are also creating carry out options. And several are offering full meal to-go service for those looking to cut down on the turkey day workload.
For Tanya Sergey at A Moveable Feast, the pandemic didn’t create her Thanksgiving menu, in fact she’s been doing it for years.
“In years passed, we’ve done Thanksgiving as well, but this year I think it’s even more relevant since it’s hard to travel and get together with family,” she said. “Last year, I think we did 90 (dinners). It’s just a good way to economize time and money.”
Even in pre-pandemic times, many people would order their meals from Sergey to avoid having to go through the rigmarole of cooking. That’s especially true if a family is small — individuals, couples or empty nesters.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to do all of that cooking. So it can be better, especially this year, to just pick up your food and then get on a Zoom call to loved ones across the nation,” she said. “You could even get your grandparents a meal if they’re here.”
At A Moveable Feast, the menu will include salad along with oven roasted turkey with sherry mushroom gravy plus stuffing. Sides will be some of the traditional favorites — mashed potatoes, green bean and sweet potato casseroles.
“We’re offering soup and salad to start along with oven-roasted turkey with stuffing. We have five different sides that are all homemade,” Sergey said.
Dessert options will be homemade pecan or pumpkin pie. Bottles of wine may also be ordered to go. The cost is $30 per person. Orders must be placed by Nov. 20 with pick up on Nov. 25 or before 11 a.m. Nov. 26.
Like Sergey, Bernie Gendron, the owner of Island Jerk, has also been finalizing her Thanksgiving day menu. The Newcastle St. restaurant will be serving up Jamaican jerk turkey dinners along with all of the fixings.
“We’re catering turkey dinners — hot to table. We’ll also have green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes,” Gendron said. “People can order the meal as a whole or à la carte.”
The complete dinner feeds 10 to 14 people it’s a 12 pound turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dressing, cranberry sauce, bread and two pies. The cost is $135. Orders are due by Nov. 23.
She is also opening the doors to those who might be homeless, lonely or simply just looking to get out of the house on the holiday.
“We’re going to have a buffet from noon to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving. It’s open to everyone — including the homeless ... so we’ll all be one big happy family,” she said. “It will be donation-based so whatever people want to pay is fine, then we’ll be closed on Friday.”
For Gendron, offering a seat to the less fortunate is part of her M.O. She started her Meals in Reserve in 2019, which allows patrons to offer $5 for a jerk chicken bowl for an underprivileged stranger. She hopes the community will support the buffet in the same way.
“I just want to give people a nice, fresh Thanksgiving meal that they would get if they could go home,” she said.