Eating out: Enjoy turkey day minus the cooking

The Fresno BeeNovember 18, 2013 

Each Holiday Feast serves six to eight people and features a complete dinner with all of the trimmings and a Marie Callender’s signature pie.

SPECIAL TO THE BEE

If slaving away for hours in the kitchen isn't your thing, don't worry. Several restaurants and grocery stores are willing to shoulder the work and are selling complete Thanksgiving meals that you take home and reheat.

They come with all the basics — turkey or ham, pumpkin pie, etc. — but I'll pull out some of the more delicious details to whet your appetite.

The Market

Locally owned The Market at West and Herndon avenues is selling holiday meals with much of the food made at the store's bakery and deli. The turkeys are roasted in their rotisserie, which gives them a more crispy and even outside than you'd get with an oven, says deli manager Rebecca Vavrosky.

The meals serve six to eight people and cost $124.99 for the turkey meal and $99.99 for the ham meal. In addition to the main dish, they include sides such as mashed potatoes, stuffing and a choice of dessert: pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread pudding.

The bread pudding is something different, but Vavrosky — a self-described "pumpkin pie girl" — says it is delicious. It uses a glaze similar to cinnamon roll glaze that oozes over the bread pudding, which is served warm.

"It's just really yummy," she says.

The store also sells individual sides such as green bean casserole.

You can taste test much of the meal at the store Thursday. Meal orders must be made by noon Monday. Order in person or by calling (559) 432-3306.

Sprouts

This is the first Thanksgiving for the Fresno Sprouts store on Blackstone Avenue near Alluvial Avenue. The store with the emphasis on healthy eating is selling premade Thanksgiving meals with no — or at least minimal — preservatives.

The store has several meals on its website, ranging from the beef rib roast meal serving six to eight people for $79.99 to the turkey breast meal for two people. Both come with all the sides, including mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing.

The Fresno store's assistant manager, Pete Mordwinow, had the Sprouts Thanksgiving meal last year.

"I'm a real stickler when it comes to my mashed potatoes and stuffing and those were right on par with home cooked," he says.

Sprouts also sells individual sides. Order in store, online at Sprouts.com/holiday or by calling (559) 256-1735.

Elbow Room

Fig Garden's Elbow Room restaurant once again is selling a premade Thanksgiving dinner. You can get a whole roasted turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, old-fashioned corn bread stuffing, green beans with caramelized onions, sweet yams, and cranberry sauce.

The meal costs $109.99 and serves six to eight people. Or, you can buy just the turkey for $48.99. Sides also are sold individually.

The earlier you order, the better. Call (559) 227-1234 or order in person.

Campagnia

The chefs at Campagnia restaurant are cooking up herb-marinated turkey dinners and bone-in prime rib dinners for your Thanksgiving.

Both come with sausage stuffing, candied yams, orange-cranberry relish, green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie and garlic mashed potatoes with gravy. Both serve six to eight people. The turkey dinner costs $130 and the prime rib dinner costs $190.

Order by calling (559) 433-3300.

Whole Foods

For the health conscious — including vegans and people who reject genetically modified foods — Whole Foods has a huge range of options.

Most meals feature an organic Diestel turkey. The Sonora ranch's organic turkeys this year have a Non-GMO Project verified seal, meaning that an independent organization has confirmed that the turkeys are raised with feed that is not genetically modified.

The vegan holiday meal features a "field roast stuffed en croûte," a meat substitute made from grains and toasted hazelnuts and stuffed with a "sausage-style" mix of cranberries and apples, all wrapped in vegan puff pastry.

Meals include sides such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc.

Prices range from $39.99 for a vegan dinner for two to $279.99 for an organic heirloom roasted turkey dinner serving 12.

Meals must be ordered in-store or online by Nov. 26.

Save Mart

Save Mart sells a turkey dinner and a spiral ham dinner, both for $49.99. They include green bean casserole and other side dishes such as scalloped or mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie.

Meals serve four to eight people and can be ordered in store or via phone and are subject to availability.

Marie Callender's

Marie Callender's restaurants are open on Thanksgiving and also sell take-home "holiday feasts." Options include a turkey breast or a whole turkey meal, ham, or a combination of ham and turkey.

Sides include apple-sage stuffing, cornbread, mashed potatoes, fire-roasted yams and, of course, pie. The meals serve six to eight people and range in price from $99.99 to $149.99.

Order meals by calling or visiting your closest Marie Callender's restaurant.

 

The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6431, bclough@fresnobee.com or @BethanyClough on Twitter. Read her blog on fresnobeehive.com.

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