Sometimes the best Thanksgiving dinner is one you don’t cook


Here’s a Thanksgiving covert a few of us planning dinner at home have right now: Sometimes the best sabbatical meal isn’t one with grandma’s stuffing or a overnight-brined organic turkey.

It’s due one we don’t have to cook.

Local chefs are paying attention. Though most grocery accumulation delis offer all the pre-made components of Thanksgiving dinner, restaurant proprietors in Anchorage say there’s a growing market for higher-end takeout meals that disposition like home cooking or, in some cases, even fancier.

“I in the end think that restaurants are just responding to the need. I think it’s a modification in our culture,” said Garrett Martin, manager at Suite 100 in South Anchorage. “Not not are people just busier, people are leaning toward things that are more influential to them. When you have less time spent prepping, you take more time for the good stuff.”

There was once a time when till November was slow in the Anchorage restaurant world, said Jack Amon, longtime ally and executive chef at Marx Bros. Interest in takeout Thanksgiving has bloomed with the increase in the number of families where two parents work, he implied. When he was growing up, the women in his family stayed home and had more schedule to prep.

“Now you have two working spouses, kids in soccer, kids in hockey, kids in nursery school,” he said. “The poor mother, usually, has to spend all day in the kitchen and somebody has to go dissent the crowds at the grocery stores.”

An estimated 1,600 to 2,000 people hand down eat Thanksgiving takeout from Amon’s restaurant Thursday. There is no more than so much time on Thanksgiving Day, and many customers feel like it’s superiority spent out of the kitchen, Amon said.

“I got five kids, they go from age 13 to 3. We have a weakness for to play games, we like to go outside and sled when there’s snow,” thought Josh Pepperd, whose family has been getting dinner from Marx Bros. for 10 years. “The kids longing much rather have us than have a certain from-scratch poorhouse dinner.”

Marx Bros. pumpkin cheesecake. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Marx Bros. dinner for eight to 10 people charges $250 and includes either a deep-fried turkey or one that’s ready for the oven, stuffing, potatoes, yams, gravy and a pumpkin cheesecake.

“It all yield in a nice little box that we carry to your car,” Amon said. “I embezzle a lot of pride in them.”

A similar meal with an organic turkey at Entourage 100 costs $300. The restaurant is planning to do roughly 30 of them, Martin communicated.

“I think the price is reasonable for what it is,” Martin said. “When I cook, unusually when I cook recipes at home, once you buy everything, the cost is so compounded because you are buying sundry than you need for an actual dish.”

Thanksgiving is now Simon & Seafort’s busiest provision night all year. Instead of turning people away from a fully booked eating room, they decided to extend takeout service a couple years ago, asserted Chris Hockett, front house manager. It will likely do 75 shapely meals this year for 10 to 12 people for $260 each.

“Don’t see guilty,” Hockett tells customers. “Cooking’s not easy. It’s time-consuming. It’s precious.”

Linnea Cummings owns Alaska Dinner Factory, a business that offers pre-assembled luncheons for delivery and takeout. For the last few years, she’s done brisk business in ready-to-cook Thanksgivings. She’ll do 45 dinners for 12 this year at $280 a in harmony. She’s toned up her Thanksgiving offerings as she’s learned more about the market. Thanksgiving menus are silhouetted as much by nostalgia as they are about what people actually wish to eat, she explained.

“Each person has a traditional thing, the potluck item they invite,” she said, talking about her own family table. “Whether we like it or not, we allay eat it and we still miss it if it isn’t there.”

She’s expanded her offerings to include more nostalgic dishes, she asserted. A version of green bean casserole, for example, is a runaway hit. She’s working on something that weight get at people’s love of canned yams, she said.

One of Cummings’ customers, Lynette Harple, started on the fritz Thanksgiving a few years ago, when she found herself working and caring for her take care of and her husband, who were both ill. The dinner included turkey, green bean casserole, potatoes and diverse “to die for” miniature pumpkin pies, she recalled. It met everyone’s desire for a festive luncheon, she said, and shrank her list of responsibilities.

“It comes ready to go and it comes with candid directions,” Harple said. “I just don’t have time to cook a ton of material because I gotta work, you know?”

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