Thanksgiving is about two things: food and family. Both wonderful, of course, but under all that tradition and joy there’s the hidden cost of inviting the relatives over, making mountains of food and cleaning up afterward. And let’s not forget about the time you have to spend tidying up before company even arrives. Start a new tradition this year by taking the family out for Thanksgiving dinner. Many places offer excellent prices, and none of them make you wash the dishes when it’s all over. And you can skip waking up at 5 a.m. to brine, baste or peel.
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A measly $26 will get you a dinner of turkey, cornbread stuffing made with sausage and fennel, mashed potatoes, green and yellow beans, and cranberry compote. If you’re over the whole traditional thing, the standard menu options are available, too. Start your own tradition with the succulent barbecue duck tacos or the cheesesteak croquettes.
200 South St., $26 per person, 215-922-1813, www.bridgetfoys.com
Just because this bluesy Headhouse Square spot is known for barbecue doesn't mean you can't gobble up roasted turkey. Along with the classic bird, the family-style offerings include prime rib, honey-barbecue-glazed salmon and pineapple-citrus-glazed ham. Sides are a traditional assortment of Brussels sprouts, cranberry jelly, sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing and baked beans. Eat there, or order as take out.
509 S. 2nd St., $35 per person, 215-558-2471, www.thetwistedtail.com
The Fairmount comfort food staple will also offer a buffet-style meal for Thanksgiving. The spread includes streusel-topped sweet potato casserole, cornbread and sausage stuffing, vegetarian stuffing, ham, turkey, mac ‘n’ cheese and pumpkin-ricotta pie. Pumpkin-ricotta, people.
2301 Fairmount Ave., $45 per person, 215-978-4545, www.londongrill.com
True, this one is more of a splurge. But if you've got the dough, doll yourself up and get ready for a fancy all-day buffet. The food starts at 11 a.m., making those who wait until 3 o’clock to eat look like a bunch of turkeys. The steam trays will be filled with herb-roasted turkey breast and pomegranate-glazed turkey thigh, glazed ham, garlic mashed potatoes and three varieties of stuffing. Choose from traditional; apple, comte and truffle; or clam and guanciale. Or try them all. It is a buffet.
210 W. Rittenhouse Square, $95 per person, 215-790-2533, www.lacroixrestaurant.com
This year Hanukkah begins on Thanksgiving Eve, and that’s cause for celebration.
At Zahav (www.zahavrestaurant.com, $39 per person), celebrate both holidays with a menu of honey-baked lamb, cornbread and cranberry stuffing, latkes, hummus with braised brisket and Yemenite-style turkey necks. For London Grill, a Thanksgiving Day buffet just wasn’t enough. Wednesday there will be all sorts of latkes available — traditional for the purists, and Thanksgiving-inspired latkes for those who understand the true meaning of Thanksgivukah: food fusion.