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Restaurants offer Thanksgiving alternatives

BY MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY

South Whidbey Record

Shopping, cooking, baking, coordinating travel plans and making sure family members are taken care of are just a few minor things people are juggling before Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it be great to escape some of this work?

A recent study by Butterball Turkeys, Inc. revealed that Thanksgiving is indeed one of the most stressful holidays of the year for those who are in charge of cooking.

Getting everything done on time tops the list of stressful aspects of Thanksgiving with 38 percent of those who took the survey. Thirty-five percent of the respondents said clean-up was the second most stressful aspect of Thanksgiving, revealing this dirty job as one that really gets to them.

And almost half of those surveyed share the ultimate Thanksgiving fear; 46 percent noted that they are afraid of serving a dry bird for Thanksgiving. The second most popular fear was serving a turkey that doesn’t taste good.

To avoid these and other downfalls, a number of South End restaurants offer an alternative.

They cook. You eat. They clean. You go home and watch football.

The Braeburn on Second Street in Langley is open on Thanksgiving for its sixth annual Turducken Dinner.

“It’s a southern, family-style atmosphere,” said Constance Ross of the Braeburn. “Turducken — it’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing.”

Turducken, a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey, is a New Orleans favorite.

“Turducken is something no other restaurants in the area has,” she said.

The Braeburn also offers stuffed pork roast.

The atmosphere is informal and fun.

“It’s a blast,” Ross said. The concept works, too, because the dinner usually sells out quickly.

Dinner will be served from 3 to 8 p.m. To make sure you’ll get a table, make a reservation, though walk-ins and take-out orders are encouraged.

“We help people out, if they need it,” Ross said.

Chef Matt Costello of The Inn at Langley will be serving an upscale turkey dinner.

“We do serve Matt’s version of Thanksgiving dinner. It is a six-course meal for $85 per person, and does include turkey,” said Brenda Norton, group coordinator at the inn.

Norton said The Inn at Langley does the dinner for a simple reason.

“We serve Thanksgiving dinner as a courtesy to our guests and the community,” Norton said.

The restaurant offers two seatings; 1 p.m., open to all and a 6 p.m. seating for in-house guests only. Call 221-3033 for information.

The Edgecliff is having a traditional Thanksgiving buffet with all the trimmings. They are open from noon to 3:30 p.m. Call 221-8899 for reservations.

In Freeland, the Beachfire Grill serves a three-course dinner with lots of choices.

After soup or salad, a wide variety of entrees will be offered. Besides a traditional turkey dish, people can order prime rib, salmon or other entrees. For dessert, the chef will whip up pumpkin cheesecake, apple tarts and chocolate bread pudding.

The guests keep coming back year after year.

“Surprisingly, we’re busy every single year,” said Matthew Sherlock, a Beachfire Grill employee.

He added most guests are couples who don’t want to cook for just the two of them or “empty nesters” who enjoy their newfound freedom. They often host families on vacation on Whidbey Island.

Call 331-4129 to make reservations.

The Butterball Turkey study also revealed that Americans begin thinking about Thanksgiving on an average of 5.8 days before the holiday. So this time, don’t think too hard about shopping and cooking, but call one of these local restaurants, make a reservation and have them do all the work.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300 or mmarxwheatley@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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