Thanksgiving To-Go

Adapting to the changes for the 2020 holiday season, many customers are turning to the area restaurants and caterers for an easy, stress-free feast.

"This is our tenth year offering Thanksgiving takeaway meals," said Sandra Morris, co-owner of Portabellos of Kennett Square. Their price fixe three-course dinner includes salad and dessert with main course choices of the traditional turkey and sides, as well as beef, fish, and vegetarian options. In addition, cocktails to-go are available for takeaway. "We are very serious about our sanitary practices and social distancing and our tables are spaced farther away than required. For takeaway, there is no need to come into the restaurant, masked wait staff will bring it right to your car."

"For our dinner seatings, we are seeing smaller parties this year. Instead of 10-12 people, we have a lot of reservations for groups of two and four," said Morris. Pre-orders are requested by Sunday, Nov. 22 with pick-up times available until 2 pm on Thanksgiving. "If someone's plans get canceled, we will do everything we can to accommodate orders coming in after Sunday. We do this every year because we love it and we don't want anyone to go without Thanksgiving dinner."

While some area restaurants opt to close on Thanksgiving, several Chadds Ford restaurants are featuring special holiday meals. Brandywine Prime offers a three-course price fixe traditional turkey dinner as wells as their regular menu. To-go meals are available for pick up from 1:30 to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving but need to be ordered by Tuesday, Nov. 24. The Gables at Chadds Ford has added a roast turkey option to their eat-in and take-out menu as well.

"We have limited seatings available," said Kate Hussey, general manager of the Chadds Ford Tavern. Take-out orders from their special Thanksgiving menu or their regular menu can be requested on Thanksgiving. "Most people tell me they just can't wait for things to get back to normal."

Until then, staying safe and healthy is translating into smaller crowds.

"We are selling out of the small turkeys this year," said Angela Burke in customer service at Whole Foods. "A lot of our prepared entrees are selling out, too. I think that elders aren't going to family events and they don't want to cook."

In addition to traditional holiday menus, Whole Foods offers a wide variety of options, including Paleo and vegan options. Orders must be placed a minimum of 48 hours before pick up time.

Wegman’s offers turkey for one, scalable to any size crowd.

"Cold packaged meals are very popular this year and are a great option for individuals and couples," said Linda Kent, of Wegman's Meals To-Go Department. Pre-orders are encouraged for their traditional turkey dinners so they can meet the demand. "One of the things we're noticing this year is that people are gravitating towards smaller dinners. Carved dinners for six is our most popular and is almost sold out."

Brandywine Catering is already sold out and has to turn down people. Owner Ted Pace has been catering Thanksgiving for 10 years from this location and another 10 years before that at his Pace One Restaurant. "We are here all day, cooking so our customers pick up their meal fresh from the oven and put it right on their table – no need to reheat."

"Only about half our regulars returned this year, the rest are new customers looking for a takeout alternative to sitting down in a restaurant," said Pace.

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About Karen Myers

Karen Myers lives in Pocopson Township and has written for several local publications. A strong supporter of our community, Karen has served on several non-profit boards, such as Pocopson Elementary PTO, The United Way of Southern Chester County, Chester County Art Association and Tick Tock Early Learning Center. She received her M.B.A. from the University of Delaware and worked in marketing and operations with a focus on banking.

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