Turkey Day done the easy way


Some people enjoy Thanksgiving cooking. Those people spend hours preparing, trussing, seasoning, and roasting the perfect turkey, not to mention chopping, boiling, mashing, and baking to make sides and forget about the scrubbing and scouring afterward.

Those people are welcome to their work. But for the rest of us those of us who want Turkey Day treats and a full belly without all the work Alexandria businesses are happy to provide options.

Many businesses offer ala carte selections as well as meals for up to ten people. If your Thanksgiving guest list is smaller, prepare for a mountain of leftovers. Also, though many grocery stores will remain open on Thanksgiving Day for last-minute purchases, its recommended placing orders far in advance. And youll still have to allow time for reheating dishes the day of; even pre-cooked birds will arrive cold.

Balduccis Food Lovers Market
600 Franklin St.
The Banquet Meal for six or 12 servings comes oven-ready or pre-cooked. Comes with stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, turkey gravy, cranberry orange relish, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, and a leftover survival kit just-add-leftover-turkey soup and cranberry mustard. Cost: $139.99-$259.99. Look for ala carte sides, pies, soups, and more. Of note: the Creamed Harvest Corn ($16.99/2lb) is new this year.

Order by the 16th. See www.balduccis.com/catering-
for a full menu.

Bittersweet Catering
823 King St.
Bittersweet has an extensive holiday menu including a roasted turkey meal ($125, serves 6-10), Holidays at the Office (lunch-style, ala carte Thanksgiving fare, $16.95 per person/10 person minimum), appetizers, and dessert trays. The turkey meal includes a whole roasted turkey, cornbread, gravy, two sides, cranberry orange relish, rolls, and cookies. Also available are cocktail finger food (for 10 or more) and La Hora Feliz, which includes empanadas, mini quesadillas, and Latin-flavored dips. Order by the 19th. See www.bittersweetcatering.com (click on Catering, then 2007 Holiday Menu) for full details.

Whole Foods
1700 Duke St.
Whole Foods Thanksgiving menu boasts more than 10 vegan dishes (though no tofurkey in evidence), like curried pumpkin soup, mulled wine and saffron poached pears, and more. Choose from six kinds of mashed potatoes, four stuffings, three soups, eight pies and, of course, turkey. The Traditional Dinner ($159.99, serves 8) includes an oven-ready turkey, the usual sides, and pumpkin or apple pie. The Southern Feast ($169.99, serves 8) swaps in cornbread stuffing and Southern-style veggies; your pie choices are pecan or coconut custard. Full menu available at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
; order by Sunday, November 18.

Giant, Safeway, and Shoppers all offer turkey packages including a bird, potatoes, and stuffing; sides like vegetables and dinner rolls vary. Each package costs about $45 and serves 8-10.

And if you burn the turkey? Head to Teds Montana Grill (Eisenhower Valley), which has a $35 prix fixe Thanksgiving meal from noon to 8pm. The Morrison House will serve an $85 tasting menu, but space is very limited. And dont forget the many hotel buffets in the area; Embassy Suites $34.95 offering has roast turkey, salmon, and tenderloin plus the usual Thanksgiving trimmings. Other area hotels plan to have their buffets open, too. Last but not least, theres always pizza delivery which, thankfully, doesnt require scouring and scrubbing either.