Free Your Brine: Let the Pros Handle Your Thanksgiving Meal Stress | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Free Your Brine: Let the Pros Handle Your Thanksgiving Meal Stress 

Stephen Polzin removes fresh bread from the oven at La Farm Bakery in Cary.

Photo by Alex Boerner

Stephen Polzin removes fresh bread from the oven at La Farm Bakery in Cary.

For some, Thanksgiving is a time to dust off heirloom recipes and pretend you always set the table with fancy napkin rings and flickering candlelight. For others, the holiday is a headache of shopping and cooking logistics, loads of dishes, and too few chairs.

Why not leave it to the professionals to whip up a perfect turkey (and perhaps a perfect martini, too) and clean up afterward? Or do something totally different this year?

Be thankful for these Triangle restaurants staying open on Thursday. And be sure to tip your server generously. (For restaurants listed below, reservations are recommended. Unless otherwise noted, prices do not include alcoholic beverages, tax, or gratuity.)

Traditional dining

Stick to the tried-and-true Thanksgiving menu at hotel and restaurant buffets.

Eat your golden-brown turkey among the fuschia penguins at 21C Museum Hotel's Counting House restaurant. The buffet features fried turkey with a sorghum glaze and truffled mac and cheese. $60 adults/$25 children under twelve, eleven a.m. to seven p.m.

At the Durham Hotel, the family-style turkey dinner starts with oysters on the half shell and ends with a dessert table. $75/$35, eleven a.m. to four-thirty p.m.

Carrboro's Tandem Restaurant offers breakfast pastries and pancakes down to a sweet-tea-glazed ham and smoked apple soup. $35/$15, ten-thirty a.m. to three p.m.

Nontraditional Thanksgiving

There are options that subvert the standards.

Talullas in Chapel Hill puts a Turkish spin on turkey, serving it over eggplant puree (or have it as it delighted the sultan, with lamb shank). Choose from a set menu starting with a shepherd's salad of cucumbers and tomatoes and ending with milk pudding, or order a la carte mezze and kabob plates. $35 prix fixe, one to ten p.m.

In downtown Cary, Kababish cafe puts a Pakistani twist on turkey, marinating it in yogurt and masala spices. Round out your plate with curried vegetables; bring your own beer or wine. $30/$12, noon to seven p.m.

Barbeque might not be de rigueur for Thanksgiving, but it's always appropriate in the South. The Pit in Raleigh and Durham will have whole-hog chopped barbecue alongside pit-cooked turkey and smoked ham, plus fried pimento cheese bites and banana pudding. $29.99/$14.99, eleven a.m. to four p.m.,

Totally nontraditional

Whether you're eating vegan or you just fancy yourself bohemian, you can dispense with the typical trappings or maybe begin a new tradition.

Have breakfast with violin accompaniment at Johnny's Gone Fishing. Classical musician Jennifer Curtis will give a concert on Thanksgiving morning; arrive early for seats and coffee. Free, ten-thirty a.m. to noon.

If a pie base of Fritos and chili sounds appealing, the Accordion Club in Durham is your place, with cold beer and hot dogs all day, plus tabletop Pacman. Noon to two a.m.,

Dinner and a movie has long been an alternative for the nonobservant on Christmas, so there's no reason not to move up the timeline. Trilogy at Silverspot Chapel Hill goes beyond a bucket of popcorn with an everyday menu of dips, salads, and flatbreads available in the theater, which emphasizes holiday-themed sequels, superhero flicks, and heartwarming animated fare. Eleven a.m. to ten p.m.,

Take-out turkey

If you like the classic bird and stuffing spread but would prefer to spread out at home, pick up a fully cooked dinner or a few sides.

At Grub Durham, a full meal for four with a choice of smoked turkey, ham, pulled pork, or spare ribs is $120. Order by November 21 and pick up next day.

Picnic's barbeque smoker may be at rest Thursday, but you can order a dish of pimento mac and cheese or sorghum gingersnap cheesecake to get you through. Order by November 19 for pickup by November 22.

La Farm Bakery will be working over a hot oven even on November 23 at Cary's new Whole Foods. Pick up a fresh pastry or crusty baguette on Thanksgiving Day; place an advance order for fig-walnut bread or braided pumpkin challah made with North Carolina-milled flours. Order by November 20 for pickup at any of their three locations by November 22.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature

Twitter Activity


A great little family Italian restaurant. Good menu. Quiet setting. Good service. …

by Anthony Dean Morgan on Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant (Durham County)

The Refectory is no longer on the Duke Campus. Their new, permanent location is on Chapel Hill Blvd, and yes …

by Beth Owl's Daughter on The Refectory Cafe (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Might be more accurate to note that Davidson County just approved alcohol sales but Lexington has allowed alcohol sales inside …

by Virginiamaxine on We Go Behind the Scenes at Bull City Ciderworks to Get the Juice (Food Feature)

January may be rough on the service industry but December, with all of the after work holiday parties and increased …

by LT on Why Everyone's Dry January Is Your Lucky Break (Food Feature)

My experience was less-than-delicious sushi, but I am spoiled having grown up with parents who make their own sushi and …

by Breana van Velzen on A Japanese American Cautiously Accepts Conveyor-Belt Sushi at Rockin' Rolls--And All That It Means for a New Foodie Generation (Food Feature)

I feel the same thing! I love Rockin' Rolls but I find myself craning my neck to get glimpses of …

by Jack Mac on A Japanese American Cautiously Accepts Conveyor-Belt Sushi at Rockin' Rolls--And All That It Means for a New Foodie Generation (Food Feature)

Strong Arm Baking is the BEST! We are so thrilled and proud to have them in Oxford. Entrepreneurs like Julia …

by Jackie Sergent on You Don't Need a Storefront to Run a Popular Bakery, But a Wood-Burning Oven Helps (Food Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation