Skip to main content
Eat and Drink
Arts and Entertainment Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 8 years ago

Thanksgiving Day: Super Bowl for Foodies?


When it comes to holiday celebrations that include food and wine, there is no holiday more food focused than Thanksgiving. However, the question remains: are Thanksgiving Day and the traditional holiday meal the Super Bowl for foodies?

With traditional multi-generational family recipes, a tight range of typical ingredients and the expectations of those partaking in the meal, gourmet experimentation may be relegated to a few side dishes or desserts. That's not to say a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal can't be outstandingly delicious, but the culinary creativity might need to be curtailed for the sake of tradition and the expected outcome.

I informally polled a number of Sarasota foodies to gather their thoughts and opinions. Although not scientific, the consensus is that Thanksgiving is indeed a foodie feast and could be considered the Super Bowl for foodies. What better challenge for a foodie than to take a traditional Thanksgiving meal and make it gourmet great?

Just like the Super Bowl, there are two teams playing the game and a great many spectators, which make it so exciting. The Thanksgiving Day “home team” prepares its traditional family meal, well, at home. Planning, preparation and key ingredients might come from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Morton's: 1924 S Osprey Ave #100, Sarasota, 34239, 941-955-9856 Holiday Thanksgiving Menu. You can buy a la carte or the whole meal, soup to nuts.
  • Fresh Market: 5251 University Pkwy, University Park, FL 34201, 941-355-0417 Get all the fixings (including brussel sprouts still on the stalks), and make it yourself, or they will pre-make your meal ... you just need to heat it up!
  • Whole Foods: 1451 1st St, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-955-8500 All natural turkeys, no antibiotics, all vegetarian diet. Pre-made Thanksgiving meals, turkey, ham or vegan. Also, complete organic meals. Pre-made turkeys are available, smoked, roasted, raw both plain and brined and organic. Gluten-free options.
  • Butcher Block: 3242 17th St, Sarasota, FL 34235, 941-955-2822 Amish, all-natural fresh turkeys. Prime meats, trim-out filets. They make their own sausage, great for stuffing. Pre-made sides. Order soon!
  • Yoder's: 3434 Bahia Vista Road, Sarasota, FL 34239 941-955-7771 PIES!

On the other hand, there is the Thanksgiving Day “away team,” which is also preparing a special holiday meal for those who prefer to dine away from home. Some of this year’s away players are:

  • The Bijou Café: 1287 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941-366-8111 The Bijou will be offering their full dinner menu as well as several chef's specials and of course roast Carolina turkey with all the trimmings. Open from noon to 8 p.m., so bring your friends and family. A turkey dinner is $28.95 per person and just $12 for children younger than 12.
  • Duval’s New World Café: 1435 Main Street, Sarasota, FL. 34236, 941-312-4001 Chef Duval will be offering an extensive Thanksgiving Buffet from noon to 6:30 p.m. $34.95 per person and $15.95 for children.
  • Euphemia Haye: 5540 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228, 941-383-3633 The fine dining area will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Offering full a la carte menu along with nightly specials. Chef Ray will also prepare roast goose, roast duck and sliced turkey specials.
  • Louies Modern: 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-552-9688 Opening from noon to 9 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Louies Modern will be offering its full menu and a special Farm Table to Fork Dinner priced at $30.00 per person.
  • Ophelia’s on the Bay
    : 9105 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, FL 34242, 941-349-2212 Ophelia’s will be offering its full dinner menu with a special turkey entree priced at $25.00. Ophelia’s will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Local foodies and public relations specialist Elise Lipoff Ramer summarizes it best: "Thanksgiving is absolutely the Super Bowl," she says. "You have to really plan ahead, wear the right gear and have a strategy. Wearing the right shoes is key to making it through the day. I make sure to wear my best cross trainers with insoles. Cute or not, meals don't make it to the table with a cook who is having foot pain!”

So, on the big day, whether you are playing for the home or away team, we wish you the very best Thanksgiving holiday!

Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.

Related Stories