Take ‘Damien’ out for ThanksgivingEditorial Thursday, November 17th, 2011
It’s five in the morning and I must rise to stuff a bird.
I could have been in Mexico or Palm Springs. Instead I committed to preparing Thanksgiving dinner for a bunch of people I really can’t believe I’m related to, including Aunt Norma’s scary son who reminds me of Damien from The Omen. They will undoubtedly caravan with them some weird dishes that will totally destroy my diet and nullify my workout regimen.
If cooking Thanksgiving dinner for your relatives just isn’t going to fly this year, never fear; this city’s got some great places you can shuffle off to with your entire familial brood. In true Restaurant Insider style, San Diego LGBT Weekly (i.e., yours truly) has comprised a list of options we hope you’ll be thankful for.
(Note: On the off chance you wait until the last minute, and my suggestions are booked solid try Opentable.com, as they will have last-minute availability for some of the best cuisine in town.)
Café 21 Gaslamp District
750 Fifth Ave.
San Diego 92101
Prix fixe menu $35- $45 per person
Café 21 has long been hailed as one of San Diego’s best restaurants, under the clever direction of Chef Lela Javadov who is a shining example of art on a plate.
Chef Javadov has created the perfect holiday meal. These and more will be available to share with your chosen loved ones: Pumpkin soup, holiday meatloaf, involtini, sage roasted turkey, salads, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, honey mustard glaze carrots, pork loin, three bean cassoulet and crème brûlée for dessert.
Inn at the Park Restaurant and Piano Bar
525 Spruce Street.
San Diego 92103
Prix fixe $36 per person; 12 and under $18 per child
Shell Vacations Resorts newly acquired Inn at the Park, under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Tony Wilhelm and Executive Sous Chef Brad Hightow, will be preparing their famous Thanksgiving feast. I was an invited guest two Thanksgivings past, and what a wonderful night it was. This year’s menu will include traditional favorites with Chef Wilhelm’s creative twist. Some of the menu options to tempt your palate include: Roast prime rib, oven roasted turkey platter, pork loin, brown sugar glazed salmon, butternut squash and apple bisque, ham hock and lentil soup and spinach and duck confit salad.
Argyle Steakhouse Carlsbad California
7447 Batiquitos Drive
Buffet 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $85 per person; children $21-$42
Chef Kurtis Habecker is well known for his culinary skills. A buffet will be offered from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. which will feature the holiday favorite of hot and cold seafood, dessert bar and other culinary delights that will be revealed on the day; this chef shares no secrets. The steak house will be off the menu with cuts starting at $25 or the traditional turkey dinner at $38 per plate.
Pala Casino Spa and Resort North County
Oak Room Steak House
11154 Hwy. 76 Pala 92059
$36 or $28.40 with Pala Privileges Card
Pala is comprised of ten restaurants all under the direction of Executive Chef Robert Camerota, former Bon Appetit magazine Chef of the Year. Both Choices Buffet and The Oak Room are excellent for Thanksgiving dinner. Choices will be offering an all-you-can-eat buffet complete with turkey, king crab, made to order steaks and chops and more than 80 holiday desserts to choose from.
For upscale dining, The Oak Room will be featuring lobster, steak and an intimate dining experience.
Two insider tips: Choices has a lovely weekend brunch that you can enjoy any time of year if you are unable to make the Thanksgiving feast. Also, if you aren’t finding your craving at the buffet please ask one of the chefs; if that item is anywhere within the premises they will be happy to prepare it for you.
Tobey’s 19th Hole Restaurant
2600 Golf Course Drive
San Diego 92102
Thanksgiving lunch till 3 p.m.
$8-10 per person
For the last seventy-six years the Tobey family has been serving some of the best comfort food at an unbeatable price. Hidden away at the Balboa Park Golf Course it is one of San Diego’s incognito gems complete with an amazing view of downtown and the San Diego Bay. A traditional Thanksgiving meal will be served to accompany the view.
In this time of tradition and giving thanks we seek to have an environment conducive to the love and comfort associated with the season and I hope these few suggestions will be able to guide you in your quest for a memorable holiday.
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