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Don't Want to Cook? Dine Out for a Deliciously Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Close by, Scott's Bar & Grill and other local restaurants are ready to host your Thanksgiving meal. Robb's 125th Street Grill in North Seattle is another tempting option.

I love Thanksgiving. At the risk of hurting the feelings of any of the other holidays, I’ll even go so far to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite annual day of celebration.

Not contrived by a greeting card company, tied to no particular religious holiday, devoid of the pyrotechnics that send family pets into a state of frenzy, Thanksgiving doesn’t offer much in the way of grounds for criticism. It’s simply a day to celebrate things great and small for which we’re fortunate.

Not a bad idea for a holiday.

Unfortunately, the mission of creating a perfect Thanksgiving food memory for family and friends can in some cases supersede the day’s spirit of community and gratitude. Threats of rolls not risen and turkeys unthawed can send even a seasoned home chef into a tailspin. If such peril haunts you, please know there is no shame in relying on professionals to provide your Thanksgiving feast. You are hereby given permission to put the cooking in the hands of someone else and focus on the fellowship of the day.

After shedding your apron, you’ll find that PCC Natural Markets have the ready-made goods to cover your Thanksgiving table. Dinners of turkey, rib roast or vegan field roast plus a variety of sides are available and orders can be placed online. All PCC stores, including the one in Edmonds, will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, so plan to pick up your feast in advance.

Should you prefer to get out of the house altogether for Thanksgiving, several Edmonds-area restaurants are welcoming diners for the holiday. Known for its roast turkeys, will offer Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for $12.99.

If excels in turkey the way it does in chicken, its $24 Thanksgiving dinner should be a good a bet.

Or, spice up the day by heading to Northgate’s for a Thanksgiving buffet promising Tandoori turkey, cranberry chutney, mashed potatoes and an Indian version of pumpkin pie.

Also offering a Thanksgiving Day meal is Robb's 125th Street Grill in North Seattle, my choice for dinner this week and worth the trip from Edmonds. Turkey dinner is a standard on the Grill’s menu of American classics, and a traditional Thanksgiving feast will be served on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ($17.95 adults, $8.95 children). If turkey isn’t your cup of cranberry sauce, Thanksgiving plates featuring prime rib, Alaska salmon, and Virginia baked ham will also be offered.

Intel on 125th Street Grill told me to expect a “mature” crowd taking advantage of early-bird specials, but on Tuesday evening, as I approached the Aurora Avenue joint, its doors spewed forth into the night a gaggle of tipsy twentysomethings. Inside, the neon-lit bar was bustling, cackles of laughter punctuated by a trill “I looooove you, Edgar!”

I was fine with being on the quieter restaurant side of the establishment, a respectable number of booths occupied by an eclectic mix of folks. The lady next to me giggled delightedly over ordering a dish of butter pecan ice cream, her Netbook and Coffee Nudge both close at hand. I requested a glass of Shiraz, upon which my dutiful server informed me that Tuesday is half-price wine bottle night. That explained the tipsy twentysomethings.

Not wanting to spoil my appetite for next week’s turkey-centric dinner, I opted for prime rib, one of 125th Street Grill’s several Thanksgiving specials and a standard on the regular menu (8-ounce cut $15.99). The use of commas and conjunctions on the Grill’s menu was a bit confusing, and I soon learned that I had a choice of soup OR salad AND a choice of potatoes plus vegetables OR a whole bunch of vegetables with no potato.

I opted for what proved to be a forgettable garden salad heavily dressed with bland blue cheese dressing. In retrospect, I probably should have chosen one of the housemade soups (clam chowder or Navy bean), as it would have been nice to moisten my exceedingly crusty dinner roll.

My potato selection was the mashed variety, a food I am known to nitpick. 125th Street Grill’s smashed spuds included more bits of potato skin and black pepper than I prefer. The crisp-tender vegetable medley was clearly designed to repel me, its colorful composition including my nemeses: squash and green bell pepper. My prime rib, however, was delightful. I ordered the 16-ounce cut with a modicum of embarrassment, explaining that I wanted leftovers. “Oh yes!” my dear of a server gamely replied. “That’s the best!”  

The prime rib arrived cooked to medium just as I had ordered, the slab of meat impressive on my plate. I savored morsels of beef dunked in horseradish sauce and jus, relishing each bite and reluctantly raising a white flag after polishing off only half the piece. Accommodating to a T, the wait staff cheerfully wrapped and redelivered my leftovers.

With plenty of options for dining out for Thanksgiving, time spent basting turkeys and scrubbing pans can easily be exchanged for more minutes of camaraderie and cheer.

Whether your Thanksgiving dinner is around your dining room table or in a booth at your favorite diner, may it be one be one that celebrates goodness and the grace of the day. The rest is just gravy.

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