Friday, November 15, 2013

With a Little Help, Holiday Meals Can Be Easy and Tasty

Posted by on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Not Martha? Its OK; these folks can help.
  • Not Martha? It's OK; these folks can help.
I know; you’re not ready. But it’s time to start planning for the holidays. This year, we’re dealing with the once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and, with the late Thanksgiving, one of the shortest true Christmas seasons at just under four weeks between T-Day and Christmas. So it’s time to get planning. Regardless of which meal you need a little extra help with in the kitchen, a number of area restaurants and caterers have got you covered. Here’s a short list of some favorites from all over the city.

North of town, perennial Best of Nashville winner Chef’s Market in Goodlettsville has you covered. The holiday menu has a little of everything, from appetizers and party bites to entrées (ham, turkey or beef), sides and desserts. They even offer delivery on orders over $150. Check the website for their complete holiday menu, hours, and pricing (note: they’re open for pick up until 9 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving and until 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve).

Out east, Riffs Cafe has a holiday menu of sides and desserts for portions as few as eight servings. But hurry; the cutoff date for orders is Thursday, Nov. 21, for pickup on Nov. 27. On my list: caramel apple streusel pie and yeast rolls. Check their Facebook page for the full menu and for updates on additional holiday menus.

On the west side, the secret of many exquisite Belle Meade meals, Corner Market Catering also has a special holiday menu. Whole cooked turkeys are available, as well as sliced turkey, dressing/stuffing, cranberry sauce … every item necessary for a traditional Thanksgiving meal as well as a whole dinner package deal. They also have some great non traditional items available from their regular menu. See the website for more information, but act quickly; orders must be received by Saturday, Nov. 23, for Wednesday pickup.

In Hillsboro Village, Provence has a Thanksgiving menu that extends well past the pastries. Turkey, gravy, dressing and other staples are offered up with a bit of a twist. A package deal is available with turkey, or you can order a la carte. And of course there are pies, cakes and breads on the menu, including sweet potato bread and a fig and goat cheese tart. Their website has the full menu, including descriptions of each dish. The deadline for ordering pastries and breads is Nov. 25, but other items may require an earlier order date.

Also on the west side, McCabe Pub continues its tradition of doing the cooking while letting you take the credit; they’ll prepare dishes in your own baking pans, so no one will know you didn’t make it yourself. Their menu consists mainly of casseroles and desserts (recommended: Sour Cream Coconut Cake), but includes soups and their tea punch as well. Deadlines for ordering are Nov. 25 for Thanksgivukkah and Dec. 20 for Christmas. The full (“bulk”) menu is on their website.

Before it was mentioned by Bitester Nicki Wood, I’d never heard of a spiced round. But is apparently a thing of lore among native Nashvillians — the creation long ago of meatpackers in Germantown — and a pet project of the folks at Porter Road Butcher, as J.R. Lind reports in this week’s issue. In addition to the spiced round, PRB will also be selling turkeys at both east and west Nashville locations (see their Facebook page for more information).

In Green Hills, Nero's Grill offers turkey packages at two levels as well as side items by the quart and pies. Nero's will also be open for a lunch buffet on Thanksgiving Day. For more information about both, visit their website.

Just a bit further out west, Bellevue’s Perl Catering also has a Thanksgiving menu that includes the option for buying a package deal for a meal that serves 12, or a la carte. Among the options are turkey cooked two different ways, wild mushroom and barley salad, truffled macaroni and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, and my favorite, the caramelized onion bisque. Additionally, an assortment of desserts is available. For more information, scroll to the bottom of their homepage. Perl Café will also host a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes on Saturday, Dec. 21.

For those of you south of town, Mack and Kate’s in Franklin is offering a traditional dinner a la carte, including a precooked, “oven-ready” turkey and an array of sides including dressing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole plus appetizers and desserts (hello, salted caramel pie!). Orders must be placed by noon on Monday, Nov. 25, to be picked up by 3 p.m. Wednesday. Delivery is available on Thanksgiving day for large orders and by appointment. The information I received came via email and isn’t available online, so check out their website for more contact information.

Also down south (as well as in downtown Nashville), the Puckett's family of restaurants are offering Thanksgiving to go. You can order a small or large turkey and have it roasted, smoked, or fried. They've also got a great selection of sides and fixin's plus desserts. Check their menu online for more details. The locations in Franklin and Nashville are hosting all-you-can-eat lunch buffets on Thanksgiving Day as well and offer pickups that morning.

On the strictly sweet side, acclaimed pastry chef Lisa Donovan is taking a different approach to selling her pies this year: the pies will only be for sale at the Thanks & Giving Show at Peter Nappi on Friday, Nov. 22. The show is a benefit for Magdalene House, so you can fill your heart and your belly with any purchase. Chef Donovan admits this isn’t optimal timing for Thanksgiving, but I think some pies can be refrigerated or frozen for a couple of days.

If you are looking for pie—sweet or savory—for a different time frame, check out The Loving Pie Company as well. Recommended: caramel apple. Be sure to order at least 24 hours in advance (a longer lead time is better during the holidays).

And Merridee's Bread Basket in downtown Franklin also has a delicious menu of Thanksgiving sweets — as well as dinner rolls — to help augment your holiday spread. Get the Italian Cream Cake. It's worth every penny.

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