Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Food for Thought: Thanksgiving Out
Last night I was driving home from work, visions of my upcoming family Thanksgiving feast dancing through my head, when I spotted a sign posted on the board of a local McDonald's. It read "Open Thanksgiving Morning". As I veered off the road to take a picture of this disturbing sight, I thought back on all of my Thanksgiving meals from years past and determined that not one of them included a Big Mac or Fillet-O-Fish. This is a good thing in my opinion.
I have conflicting feelings on restaurants that choose to open for business on Thanksgiving Day. My first and foremost reaction is pity for the employees who are potentially forgoing their own family gatherings (or missing out on sleeping in that cold morning) while they stand behind a cash register or refill condiment dispensers. My second thought is that it's a benefit to many people that McDonald's will be open for breakfast that morning. To a traveler looking at multiple hours of driving ahead of him, an Egg McMuffin and a hot cup of coffee provides great relief.
My third thought is that I feel very blessed that I have a Thanksgiving feast to anticipate, unlike many people who may be homeless or simply without family or close friends with which to enjoy the year's best holiday meal. McDonald's isn't an option for me because I have better plans . . . but what if I didn't?
This got me wondering where I would like to dine if circumstances dictated that I couldn't eat a home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day as usual. Assuming that every restaurant was open and ready to prepare dinner for me, where would I want to dine? McDonald's, of course, was far from my first choice. I tried to decide if I would want to find a place that might make home-style food and good turkey, like Cracker Barrel, or if I would want to go all out and indulge in the seven course tasting menu at Restaurant Eugene.
Eventually I eschewed both of these routes, deciding instead upon Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Sandy Springs for my Thanksgiving Meal out. Why Ruth's Chris? For one thing, steak cooked in sizzling butter whets my chops every time. Also, the creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin are nice comfort foods. The service at Ruth's Chris is always great, and there's at least one fireplace on the main level that invites you to lounge around, full to the brim with rich food, in one of their comfortable armchairs alongside the table. And while they may not have pies for dessert, the bread pudding with whiskey sauce is a fitting winter treat.
I'm sure you've got your own ideas about the best Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant. Please share them with my blog community, and have a very happy and delicious Thanksgiving!