Thanksgiving is coming, and you know the drill: spend a whole day grocery shopping, spend three days preparing food and on the big day, wake up at 3 a.m. to stick a turkey in the oven, only to spend the rest of the day beating eggs, mashing potatoes and shucking corn. When all is said and done, you have about a month’s worth of leftovers and a leaning tower of dishes in need of washing. If you love Thanksgiving but don’t have the time or energy to spend cooking and cleaning, you have five fantastic Bay Area restaurants that are happy to do the work for you.
2117 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
If you’d like to have Thanksgiving with some Spanish flair, check out the Colombia, which serves authentic Spanish cuisine with a heaping side of culture, including Spanish music. Enjoy a steaming plate of ropa vieja, empanadas or croquetas de pollo, or load up on traditional Thanksgiving favorites like turkey with stuffing, candied yams and mashed potatoes for $21.95. The restaurant will be open during its regular Thursday hours, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The best part is dessert – save room for pumpkin flan. Reservations are encouraged.
Marchand’s Bar & Grill
Renaissance Vinoy Resort
501 5th Ave. N.E.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
The Vinoy will make you and your family feel like royalty with its gorgeous décor and luxurious dining hall. Beginning at 1 p.m. and lasting until 8 p.m., guests can enjoy a four-course meal that includes choices of soup, salad, entrée and a dessert course. You can even skip the turkey and choose beef or fish instead. Wine lovers will be thrilled with the huge selection of wines to pair with any dinner. This Thanksgiving experience costs $52 for adults and $18 for children.
Yacht Star Ship
603 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Have you ever wanted to take a cruise, but just couldn’t get the time off work? Yacht Star Ship offers a mini-cruise experience year-round that is extra special on Thanksgiving. This floating paradise will offer one cruise from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and a second one from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Thanksgiving buffet will include traditional favorites like roasted turkey and candied sweet potatoes, but will also feature dishes like carved beef and mahi-mahi. A cash bar and live DJ will add to the cruise atmosphere. The mini-cruise experience costs $44.95 for adults on the first cruise and $49.95 for adults on the second cruise, and $29.95 for children.
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Bon Appetit Restaurant
148 Marina Plaza
Dunedin, FL 34698
Bon Appetit has two choices for diners: a buffet or a four-course meal. If buffet is more your style, you will be comfortably seated in the upstairs dining room any time between noon and 6 p.m., and you can pick and choose what’s on your plate, such as turkey, ahi tuna, roast beef, eggplant, cauliflower and much more. If you’d rather have a four-course meal, you will be served in the downstairs dining room any time between noon and 9 p.m., and will enjoy fixings like butternut squash bisque, ham, turkey, salmon, filet mignon and more. You even have choices for dessert.
Pearl in the Grove
31936 Saint Joe Road
Dade City, FL 33525
Pearl in the Grove has won numerous awards for its fine Southern cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients. On Thanksgiving, guests can enjoy a traditional dinner with all the trimmings for $60 for adults and $30 for children under 13. Seatings will be at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. In addition to roast turkey, you will love dishes like mashed sweet potatoes, steamed and seasoned vegetables and sumptuous hand-made desserts. Go to its Facebook page to buy tickets in advance.
Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.