Restaurants Busy Preparing Pre-Made Thanksgiving Meals

More and more restaurants are saving their customers from the cooking and clean-up this Thanksgiving.

Café Louise on New Britain Avenue in West Hartford has been selling their turkey dinners in a bag for 27 years, but their popularity has grown recently.

“Nobody wants to cook everything from scratch and be completely stressed out,” said owner Louise Albin.

Dorothy Roberts of Bristol has been there, done that.

“Lot of work, lot of work. It’s fun when everybody’s there but you don’t really get a chance to sit down and enjoy the people,” said Roberts.

Her feast for four purchased from Café Louise cost $173, which is more than she might spend to make it herself, but she said less than going out to eat, which was her original plan.

“For me, it’s worth every penny for the convenience,” said Roberts.

For days Albin and her staff have were making and baking everything from scratch. Wednesday, the turkey, sweet potatoes, pies, and rolls flew out the door.

Dave Orzech of West Hartford was sent by his wife to pick up gravy.

“She wanted to do less than in the past so I picked up a couple things here,” he explained.

Albin said her turkey gravy is one of the most popular picks on the menu.

“Everyone’s intimidated about making turkey gravy. I think we’ve sold close to 15 gallons of gravy today,” she said.

Plant-based Flora catered to those looking for a less traditional Thanksgiving meal.

“Everything that we are doing for Thanksgiving takeout is vegan,” said co-owner Jaime Ward.

The Blue Back Square establishment was the go-to for Mikell Germond’s family in Wallingford.

“Instead of cooking, we want them to cook,” she said. “To make my mom’s life easier and just to enjoy.”

When we think of Thanksgiving dinner often we think of turkey. That’s on the menu here as well, sort of.

“We are offering a honey turkey seitan, impossible meatloaf, Brussel sprouts, polenta, apple cobbler, mac and no cheese,” said Ward.

She pointed out that the ingredients used to make the nut, soy, and wheat-based meatless versions of a traditional turkey day dinner are hard to find at most grocery stores. That’s why some people are leaving the cooking to the pros.

“I don’t know if it tastes exactly like the real thing but it makes you not miss it,” said Germond.

Whether the turkey on their plates is tradition or not, Roberts and Germond both said they’re thankful they won’t have to spend their holiday in the kitchen.

“If I don’t ever have to cook again, I’m happy,” said Roberts.

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