Thanksgiving Options if You Can’t Cook or Travel

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Can’t go home for the holiday and have no kitchen of your own? Your Thanksgiving doesn’t have to suck.

There are places in the Mission serving traditional Thanksgiving dinners — and maybe even something extra-special to help you enjoy the holiday with or without your family.

One is Luna Park, 694 Valencia St., which has enough space for a large group. It will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The salad course will include wild arugula with shaved fennel and parmesan cheese. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, try the baby spinach with dried cranberries, candied walnuts and buttermilk dressing.

For that rare breed, the San Francisco carnivore, the restaurant will have roasted turkey breast with sage gravy and maple brown sugar baked ham. If you’re not into meat, there is a vegan cassoulet slow-cooked with gigante beans, farro verde, dino kale, winter squash and fig mostarda.

For old-school, traditional Thanksgiving sides, Luna Park’s menu includes cranberry apple sauce, sautéed green beans with a lemon shallot dressing, roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash, buttermilk mashed potatoes and, of course, a classic turkey dressing.

If you still have room in your stomach after stuffing your face with all this food, you have your choice of coconut cream or pumpkin pie.

Just down the street at the Blue Fig, 990 Valencia St. near 21st, owner and chef Shirene Massarweh has planned a special Thanksgiving menu for people in search of a cozy restaurant away from the chilly weather. She’ll be serving a soup made with ginger, tofu, corn, cabbage and wheat noodle in a lemongrass broth, and a salad with shaved fennel, arugula, toasted pecans, warm goat cheese, persimmon, pomegranate seeds and a honey, lemon and thyme dressing. Her Thanksgiving sandwich will be roasted turkey on brioche with brie, arugula and cranberry chutney, served with a side of fingerling potatoes.

The Phoenix Bar and Grill, an Irish joint at 811 Valencia St., will serve a special menu that includes a roast of turkey burger, mashed potatoes and, of course, stuffing. If you’re not in the mood for a turkey burger, the Phoenix is also serving grilled salmon fillet with vegetables and butter sauce.

Head chef Hilda Dias has been working Thanksgiving for 10 years at the Phoenix, which makes her particularly qualified to satisfy the tastes of hungry locals. Dias said she served 100 families on Thanksgiving day last year. On Thursday morning, she will come in early to help the kitchen staff prepare, staying all day to supervise. She said she plans to leave at some point to have dinner with her family, but if things get busy she’ll stay the entire day to help in the kitchen. Despite the demands of her job, Dias said she has had fun every Thanksgiving she has worked.

Need a place to go for drinks after dinner? There will be plenty of bars open, but the Elixir, “the neighborhood saloon,” has a special autumn drink menu. The Thanksgiving crowd usually consists of “a lot of orphans who are not going home for the holidays,” said manager Nick Des Enfants.

Ten drinks are on the seasonal menu, each a unique creation of Elixir’s owner, H. Joseph Ehrmann. Some are classics, Ehrmann said, and some are new. “A Pear of Roses,” an Elixir classic, features Square One organic botanical spirit, pear juice, muddled rosemary, fresh lemon and lavender syrup shaken and served with a rosemary sprig.

For something a little edgier, try the new “Kentucky Bourbon,” which is made with Wild Turkey 101 bourbon with cardamon, cinnamon, dried cranberry, Luxardo maraschino, fresh lemon and demerara syrup; it’s shaken and served up with a lemon twist. You can also order it as a hot cocktail in a mug.

The Elixir will open at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving day, just in time for people who have finished eating dinner and need a good drink to put them in the holiday spirit.

“Not everyone has a place to go on Thanksgiving … we’re a neighborhood bar and we’re here for the people,” said Ehrmann.

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