Dining Out on Thanksgiving: An Austin Guide
One big problem with cooking Thanksgiving turkey dinners at home: the birds are so big that one must have a feast with family and/or friends to have it make any sense at all. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the holiday tradition of turkey and all the fixings this Thursday even if you are flying solo, duo or as a small family. Unlike the upcoming Christmas holiday, when restaurants serving up fare for the occasion are few and far between, Thanksgiving meals can be enjoyed at a variety of eateries all over town, and many are available to take out.
Go Out Down Home
Make it feel like a family dinner by hitting some of our city's longtime Southern/Texas cooking joints. Both Threadgill's locations serve roast turkey with cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce entree and two vegetables ($13.95) plus a pared down version of its usual menu from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (no reservations).
Hill's Cafe offers a choice of oak-smoked turkey breast with cranberry sauce or smoked ham and sides, pecan or pumpkin pie and a non-alcoholic beverage for $15.95 and $6.95 for 12 and under (reservations for parties of six or more). For the same price the Bakehouse has roast turkey and honey-glazed ham and fixings plus pumpkin pie or strawberry shortcake with unlimited seconds (reservations strongly advised; $12.95 take out).
At Hoover's Cooking the choices between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. include oven-roasted turkey, smoked ham steak, Cajun pork roast, Jamaican jerk chicken, smoked filet of sirloin or a vegetarian medley of grilled portabello on grit cakes, garden gumbo & acorn squash plus two sides and Caribbean fruit salad for $16.99. 24 Diner opens at 10:30 a.m. with brined & roasted turkey breast, turkey leg confit, Beeler's house-cured ham with two sides and a slice of pumpkin pie for $24 (plus usual menu) while supplies last. Hyde Park Bar & Grill serves a roasted turkey breast dinner for $16.95 (and a $12.95 vegetarian meal) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at both locations.
Off the Beaten Turkey Trail
All Alamo Drafthouse locations will be serving turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, dressing, rolls and pecan pie with the scheduled movies and at some locations the University of Texas/Texas Christian University game.
Spare the life of a gobbler by dining at Casa de la Luz whose 100 percent organic vegetarian/vegan menu on Thanksgiving day from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. is fresh garden greens salad with sunflower basil dressing, mixed beans and vegetables, minestrone soup, apple & raisins quinoa stuffing seasoned with onions, celery, walnut & herbs, two real cranberry sauces (one sweet/one tart), sweet mashed potatoes with roasted pecans smothered in white almond coconut-milk sauce, kale & collards greens with crunchy sesame ginger sauce, almondine green beans with garlic and three-week slow pickled onion and beet. Even a carnivore like this writer finds the Casa's food delicious.
Cannoli Joe's serves brunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with turkey (with italian sausage cornbread stuffing) or ham and sides and pumpkin pie or cheesecake for $17.99/$7.99 kids 4-7 and their Italian food menu (reserve now). The three Le Madeliene locations are open for early eating from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with roast turkey and spiral-cut ham samplers for only $9.99.
Fine Gobbler Dining
Green Pastures hosts an 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving brunch with their "fabulous milk punch" for $63. Trio at the Four Seasons serves a Thanksgiving buffet highlighted by roasted tom turkey, smoked roasted ham, mahi mahi, chicken breast and braised short-rib ragout from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the ballroom foyer ($88 adult/$25 child inclusive) and until 8 p.m. in the restaurant ($78 adult/$32 child plus tax & gratuity). Hudson's on the Bend features a special Thanksgiving menu of its wild and exotic that includes an ancho cured pecan stuffed wild turkey served atop wild boar cornbread stuffing meal ($34).
Chow Down at the Old Reliables
Both Kerbey Lane Cafe's five locations and Magnolia Cafe's three restaurants will be open all 24 hours of Thanksgiving day. And Luby's (five Austin locations) will serve $10.99 Thanksgiving dinners to eat in or takeout from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also note that the Eat Out In service delivers from the Bakehouse, Cannoli Joe's, Hyde Park Bar & Grill and Threadgill's.