There are about as many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving as there are stuffing recipes. (Or would that be dressing recipes? See what I mean.) The single requirement: You simply positively must make a pig of yourself. Allow us to help. Whether you’re planning to dine out, prepare the feast yourself or have it catered, we’ve put together a guide to area Thanksgiving specials.
Southport Grocery & Cafe, 3552 N. Southport, is taking orders through Nov. 20 for its complete turkey dinner, which feeds 12 ($265, not including tax). The meal includes an Amish turkey (free range but denied Internet access?), challah bread stuffing, green bean casserole, roasted butternut squash, mashed potatoes and gravy. For dessert: maple pumpkin and rustic oatmeal apple pie. Call 773-665-0100 to place your order.
City Provisions, 1818 W. Wilson, has all the fixings for a unique feast, available in either its deli case or for pre-order. Opt for sage butter roasted turkey or honey glazed ham. Sides include baby fennel and homemade sausage stuffing baked in a pumpkin; black bottom cupcakes and pecan bourbon pie are among the dessert options.
Time is running out to order a HoKa turkey from Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen. The 12-18 pound birds are antibiotic- and hormone-free, raised in Illinois, and come plain or brined and seasoned. Order in person or by phone, 773-728-7243, through Nov. 18. Side dishes also are available: cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry relish, and pork and veal sage stuffing.
OK, we’re done talking turkey. Let’s get to the real reason we all love Thanksgiving: pie. And lots of it. If the thought of baking your own is intimidating, there’s no reason to settle for a frozen Sara Lee.
Bakin’ & Eggs, 3120 N. Lincoln, is whipping up apple, pumpkin, pecan, pumpkin and pecan, and chocolate pecan. Pies come in 9-inch or 4-inch versions, either of which is the perfect size to serve two.
In addition to the usual suspects (apple, pumpkin and pecan), Dinkel’s, 3329 N. Lincoln, is offering chocolate silk and banana Bavarian pies, along with pumpkin cheesecake, turkey- or leaf-shaped cookies, and dinner rolls. Order by Nov. 22.
Angel Food Bakery, 1636 W. Montrose, has challah rolls and pumpkin and toasted pecan pies. Or shake things up with an apple-fig crisp or pumpkin cupcakes (choose between cream cheese icing or vegan chai cider glaze). Order by Nov. 20.
Pumpkin cupcakes, with cinnamon custard and cream cheese frosting, are also a seasonal favorite at Sweet Sensations, 1918 W. Montrose. Other options: pumpkin pie, pecan tart, apple pie with oat streusel and pumpkin cheesecake. Order by Nov. 20.
The holiday pastry menu at Cafe Selmarie, 4729 N. Lincoln, goes way beyond the pumpkin-apple-pecan trilogy. Check out the complete list of options, which includes cinnamon chocolate ganache cake and croissant bread pudding. Skip Thanksgiving altogether, why not, the retailers have, and jump straight to Christmas with a buche de noel for your guests.
Things a bit chilly around your holiday table? Only because you brought a frozen custard pie from Scooter’s, 1658 W. Belmont. Choose among pumpkin, turtle, Oreo and Reese’s Snickers.
The Chopping Block, 4747 N. Lincoln, is baking pumpkin pie, along with its wildly popular deep dish apple version (more than 1,500 slices sold at Apple Fest). Order by Nov. 21. If you forgot to enroll in a Thanksgiving prep class, the Chopping Block forgives you, and has even posted this helpful online guide to cooking turkey.
Amy’s Candy Bar, 4704 N. Damen, is taking orders for sugar cookies, pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing, and carrot cake or cupcakes.
Blue Sky Bakery & Cafe, 3720 N. Lincoln, has pumpkin, apple cranberry and chocolate pecan pies, as well as pumpkin cheesecake. The pumpkin is locally sourced from Nichols farm and Blue Sky makes its own gingersnaps for the cheesecake crust. Email orders by Nov. 21. Blue Sky pies can also be ordered at Provenance Food and Wine, 2312 W. Leland, where you can pick up cheese trays, roasting and grilling salt to brine your bird, and bread from Red Hen. On Sunday, Nov. 20, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., get your carving knives sharpened at Provenance; $4 per knife, cash only.
If picking up the phone to order your food seems like too much exertion, Northdown Cafe and Taproom, 3244 N. Lincoln, is hosting Thanksgiving Night, featuring sweet potato soup, compact turkey dinner (including a vegan version), pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream, and more. Stay for drinks: pumpkin ale, hot buttered rum and spiced wine.
We leave you with this final tip: Wanna be the MVP of your holiday gathering? Bring beer. Half Acre, 4257 N. Lincoln, has brewed up the perfect in-law antidote: Avena Sativa, an English Oat Bitter. Growlers only, available through Nov. 22.