By Jose Ralat Maldonado

People who cook Thanksgiving dinners at home—for other people—are nuts. (We include ourselves in that clinical lot.) There’s always too much food with kin and kith one might not care for, not to mention the aftermath. Oh, the dishes! For those who prefer to keep their kitchens—and sanity—intact, myriad eateries are offering Thanksgiving specials, some of which are spotlighted below. Take note, however, sometimes doing a little clean up is worth a catered order from the likes of the establishments in the lineup.

(credit: Bailey's Prime Plus)

Bailey’s Prime Plus
3 North Texas locations

From noon to 9 p.m., this extravagant steakhouse’s three locations will offer a $64 per person, four-course meal that could kick off with seared squab breast, Cinderella squash and cinnamon Chantilly, move on to acorn squash soup with crème fraîche and spicy pepitas, before being faced with a tremendous decision: roast turkey, grilled tenderloin, rack of lamb or grilled salmon. (Fish appears on most restaurants’ Thanksgiving menus.) It’s a decision we can all be thankful to face. After dessert, don’t forget your “The Day After Turkey Sandwich To Go,” which includes sliced turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. A special menu for children 12 and under is available for $12. Regular menu is available upon request. Reservations are recommended and a “Holiday Meal To-Go” serving eight to 10 diners is also available. When the selection is this good, a few dishes is a small price to pay.


Bonnell’s Texas Fine Cuisine

4259 Bryant Irvin Road
Fort Worth, TX 76109

Native son Jon Bonnell has been serving locally sourced gussied up Lone Star State food for a decade. You can relish that history by ordering a Thanksgiving to Go. A catered holiday can include wild boar chops with peach BBQ sauce, cornbread and oyster stuffing and a 10-pound deep-fried turkey. Finish off your the feast with caramel-pecan cheesecake. Orders must be placed to the Bonnell’s catering department by phone (817-231-8827; by Friday, Nov. 18, and picked up by 9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 23.


The Fatted Calf
112 E. Rusk St.
Rockwall, TX

Rustic family-friendly fine dining in Rockwall goes buffet for Turkey day (reservations recommended). From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., guests can munch on cranberry bread; lobster bisque; heritage roasted turkey with Riesling pan gravy; bourbon-cane syrup baked ham with apricot chutney; green-bean casserole with crispy onions, pancetta and Parmesan; cornbread and sausage dressing; and marbled pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust. In other words, families (adults: $24.95, children under 10: $10.95, kids under 4: free) can have a traditional Thanksgiving slightly tweaked to deliciousness.


Highland Park Cafeteria
1200 North Buckner Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75218

The cafeteria of legend doesn’t run on reputation alone. Since 1925, this landmark has served phenomenal cuisine straight down the line—and for a reasonable price. Thanksgiving at Highland Park Cafeteria will set back each diner $10.99, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The celebratory menu includes roast turkey; ham; cornbread dressing; giblet gravy; cranberry sauce; baked squash; green beans; mashed potatoes; candied yams as well as fresh pecan and pumpkin pies. A catered meal for the house will cost $59.99 for two to four people or $89.99 for eight to 10 people. Please place order by Monday, November 21.


Holy Grail Pub
8240 Preston Road, Ste. 150
Plano, TX 75024

The Continental-influenced pub in Plano goes Yankee 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 24 for a four-course meal ($30 per person and $12 for kids under 12). Aside from the traditional bird (here, presented as a fried breast with smoked porter gravy), the menu will offer chili-rubbed lamb chops with pumpkin seed sauce entrée. The appetizer selection includes brie en croute with red wine mushrooms and Granny smith apples. As a gesture of goodwill, the Dallas Cowboys game will be shown on the big screen, beginning at 3 p.m. As always, the bar will be stocked with the superlative craft beers, domestic and international.

Fairmont Hotel Pyramid Restaurant

Pyramid Restaurant and Bar at Fairmont Dallas Hotel
1717 North Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75201

Executive chef André Natera and his staff, including sommelier Hunter Hammett and pastry chef Maggie Huff, at this noted hotel restaurant are already adept at plating the perfect blend of classical technique and familiar fare. Thanksgiving Day, they’ll be applying for not only brunch but also for a holiday dinner and turkeys to go. French-influenced flavors are the inspiration for the autumnal menu that takes creative liberties at first surprising. Take, for example, the sushi selection. Nigiri sushi with soy, pickled ginger and wasabi seem out of place on a Thanksgiving list. That is until you realize the first Thanksgiving—you know, the one with the pilgrims?—was predominantly a seafood banquet. However, traditional foodstuffs will abound, like candied yams with brown sugar glaze and turkey rubbed with herbs from the terrace garden with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. Seating will be at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Cost range from no charge for children under seven to $59.95 for adults.


Restaurant Ava
108 S. Goliad St.
Rockwall, TX 75087

Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland have quietly built a dining room of regulars, some who travel from clear across the Metroplex for their classic American cuisine pushed through a locavore sieve. For their annual Thanksgiving buffet, the chef duo will have available items traditional and unique. Spinach salad will sit next to deviled eggs. Turkey and Virginia ham will share real estate with grilled trout and stuffed quail, while sides teetering at the edge of the plates could be cornbread stuffing, mac and cheese or creamed kale. Before being rolled out the door, sweeten the deal with chocolate sticky toffee pudding.