With people cooking for themselves less frequently than ever, many find the prospect of preparing a full Thanksgiving feast to be incredibly daunting. Brine the turkey? Start cooking it upside down? Tent it? And what the heck is spatchcocking anyway?
Thankfully, Houston's restaurants are here to help. We've rounded up a range of options from new (and new-ish) places as well as selections from tried and true favorites that are sure to please both local diners and out-of-town guests.
While most restaurants are trying to sell packages, the truly ambitious gourmet should round up a couple of families (or a large group of friends) and get everyone to pitch in on an a la carte feast. Start with ceviche from Hugo's, tamales from Picos and squash, carrot, ginger soup from Etoile. Prime rib from B&B Butchers would make an excellent main (sorry not sorry, turkey fans), with sides from Underbelly, Revival Market and Pondicheri. For dessert, gets pies from Pour Society and L'Olivier. Just think of the Instagram likes when a photo of the whole spread hits the table.
Or just order the feast from Table. The Galleria-area restaurant delivered one of its meal to the CultureMap office, and we devoured it.
For those who go this route, be mindful of ordering deadlines. Some of them arrive as soon as Thursday.
Why eat turkey when you can have prime rib? The Washington Ave steakhouse is selling whole (feeds 10-12, $550) and half portions (feeds 5-7, $300) through its butcher shop to diners who feel like splurging on the celebrated cut. Turkey (10-12 lbs at $4.35/lb), traditional sides like sweet yams and cranberry sauce, and pies are also available. Order 48 hours in advance.
Craft Burger Truck
The thought of ordering Thanksgiving from a food truck that hasn't even hit the streets yet may seem ludicrous, but chef Shannen Tune's pedigree at places like the Hotel Derek suggests your meal is in good hands. For $375, choose from one of four different turkey preparations (roasted, smoked, jerk or fried), with three sides and two desserts. Tune estimates his menu will feed 10-12 people. Best of all, he delivers.
The Southern-influenced, upscale pub in Gateway Memorial City keeps things classic with turkey and trimmings packages designed for 10-12 people ($185) or 15-20 ($325) that include a cooked turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and choice of pie (sweet potato pumpkin, whiskey pecan, Southern buttermilk). Turkey, sides and pies may also be ordered ala carte.
The Italian restaurant in CityCentre goes traditional American with a $300 package designed for six to eight people. Turkey, pumpkin soup, Brussels sprouts, green beans, potatoes and two kinds of pie are all included. Order by November 23.
The revitalized French restaurant offers a $350 feast that's designed to feed 10-12 people. Available either for pickup on Thanksgiving morning or delivery ($25, within 10 miles of the restaurant), the menu includes a whole turkey, chestnut mushroom stuffing, potato puree, roasted corn, three other sides and two kinds of pie. Even the typically ravenous CultureMap staff had some leftovers, but diners may want to inquire about the possibility of ordering extra potato puree.
Tried and True
Get a small taste of France thanks to chef Philippe Verpiand's three-course, to-go menu that starts with butternut squash, carrot and orange ginger soup ($20 for one quart), turkey and trimmings (the aged brandy gravy sounds tempting, $190) and pecan vanilla bourbon pie ($22). Order the whole combo for $230.
Give Thanksgiving a Mexican twist with starters and sides from one of the city's best restaurants. Offerings include red snapper ceviche ($42/lb), a variety of tamales (chicken and mole, seafood, wild mushroom, $24/dozen), guacamole ($32/quart) and the signature tres leches ($45). Orders must be placed by November 23 and picked up on November 25.
Kenny & Ziggy's
Getting a little deli flavor on the Thanksgiving table with this Galleria-area staple. The $260 offering include a 20 lbs turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry compote and choice of two sides (potatoes, kugel, candied yams, etc). A la carte options include all of the package options plus honey-glazed corned beef, pies (pecan, pumpkin and apple) and chocolate bobka. Place order by November 18 for pickup November 25.
The French restaurant offers a variety of Thanksgiving options, but those looking to splurge should opt for the "French Traditional Deluxe" that features turkey, ham, smoked salmon, pate, sides and two kinds of pie. Yes, it costs $340 for six to eight or $490 to feed 12 to 16, but why put a value on hospitality? Proteins, sides, desserts and breads are also available a la carte. Order by November 23.
The international, gourmet grocery store has a wide range of Thanksgiving options. Choose from traditional roasted turkey or a Halal version with a harissa olive oil rub. In addition to garlic mashed potatoes and traditional stuffing, customers can choose roasted potatoes with Aleppo pepper and quinoa stuffing. One may even choose a tray of their signature baklava instead of pie.
The Upper Kirby Mexican restaurant's tamale stand returned for its second year on Monday. Open daily through January from 11 am to 7 pm, the stand features both Oaxaca-style (wrapped in banana leaf, $36/dozen) and Norteños-style (wrapped in corn husks, $18/dozen) tamales. No, it's not Thanksgiving specific, but they will make out of town guests pretty happy to be in Texas.
Let the celebrated Upper Kirby Indian restaurant add flair to the traditional meal with sides and desserts like pumpkin samosas, Goan sausage stuffing and pumpkin chai pie. Order by November 21.
The restaurant and market has a full lineup of mains, sides and desserts. Build a meal around either free range, hormone free turkeys or holiday ham. Round it out with staples like cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and duck fat fingerling potatoes. Order by November 19.
Add "the story of Houston food" to the more familiar one about the Pilgrims with sides and desserts from Chris Shepherd's Montrose restaurant. Rest assured that dishes like blue crab and corn pudding, sorghum-glazed charred carrots and vinegar pie will stand out from whatever your cousin from Dallas is bringing to the meal. Order by November 22.