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FOOD & DRINK

A Season for Food:

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is the filet mignon of holiday meals, with tables full of delicious delectables, all waiting to spring off the plate and drop-kick the taste buds into a blissful culinary whirlwind. This holiday provides an entire spectrum of flavors in trademark dishes. Tasteful representatives from the realms of warm and juicy, to cool, sweet and crunchy go hand-in-hand in a yearly feast fit to satisfy armies of foodies.

For those who wish to stay out of the kitchen, there are endless amounts of food available at many local restaurants around the Port City Thursday, November 25th. Here are but a few great specials we recommend to assure a satisfying holiday meal.

East at Blockade Runner Resort

275 Waynick Blvd • (910) 256-2251
11:30a.m.- 4p.m.
Adults: $40 Child: $16

Host to a huge yearly brunch, East has designed an entirely separate menu for Thanksgiving cravings. “The brunch is fairly traditional in the sense that we will have carving stations set up,” Mark Lawson says. “There will be a whole roasted turkey, rosemary Dijon roast beef and orange honey glazed Virginia ham.” A traditional breakfast station offering made-to-order omelets, waffles and shrimp ‘n grits will be offered, and pasta lovers can also look forward to a station devoted to various types of noodles, sauces and garnishes.

Chef Mark Lawson invests his creativity into the other main selections, including chicken forestiere with merlot mushroom demi-glace, potato-crusted cod with lemon beurre blanc, or ratatouille-stuffed flounder turnedeaus with saffron rice and creole tomato coulis.

Bridge Tender

1414 Airlie Rd • (910) 256-4519
12-8 p.m. Adult: $21.99 Child: $11.99

Thanksgiving never looked so beautiful as when indulged among the backdrop of a waterfront setting. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, Bridge Tender has collected a powerhouse of dishes for their entrée selection. Diners formulate their own menu by choosing oven-roasted turkey, honey-glazed ham or certified Angus beef ($5 extra), along with an assortment of vegetables, like candied yams or spicy collard greens. Each dish comes with oyster stuffing, corn pudding, fresh baked rolls, and the customer’s choice of potato and vegetable.

Chef John McLatchy admits that though Thanksgiving is not a holiday of free time for his staff, they still enjoy providing for over 450 guests with their made-from-scratch meals. “What I do is take a break, if you can call it that, in the middle of the day and go home,” McLatchy explains. “Last year, I took home Bridge Tender food, and made a point to take some time out to enjoy it with good company.” Reservations can still be made for this Thanksgiving showdown.

Verandah Cafe at the Holiday Inn Resort

1706 North Lumina Ave.
(910) 251-2231

Standard dinner menu plus holiday chef’s choice menu items.
Although a select menu has not been devised for Thanksgiving specifically, the Holiday Inn’s Verandah Cafe still offers great dishes that will perfectly satisfy a hungry stomach on Turkey Day. The “Chef’s Corner” portion of the menu will be spiced up for the day, featuring handpicked Thanksgiving selections to accompany existing entrées. Celebrating the season of giving beachfront-style without sacrificing delicious food provides a great twist on this joyous gobble day. Now, there’s a new tradition worth checking out!

Milner’s Café

311 Judges Road #1a • (910) 350-8899
11 p.m.- 3p.m. • Turkey: $18.95 Ham: $21.95

Sometimes families want a freshly-cooked meal yet don’t want to dine out. This conflict is no more thanks to Milner’s Thanksgiving day dinner packages. Milner’s Café will provide a very special and personal Thanksgiving experience for customers this year with the option of putting together an entire meal prepared by Chef Mark Milner and staff.

Beginning at 11a.m. customers on-the-go will begin picking up their meals, which the staff ensures will be every bit as delightful as what grandma used to make. “Trust is a huge part of our Thanksgiving routine,” Milner says. “Customers entrust us because they know we can deliver.”

Included in their packages are a variation of creamed corn casserole, succotash, green bean casserole, herb stuffing, cranberry sauce, collard greens and dinner rolls.

Caprice Bistro

311 Judges Road #1a • (910) 815-0810
3 p.m. – 9 p.m. • $40 prix-fixe

Downtown’s most delightful French eatery will offer an American classic on Thanksgiving Day: the traditional roast turkey meal, served with mushroom, rice and walnut stuffing and sweet potatoes, with rich Yukon gold mashed potato jus. Choices of an appetizer consist of their famed country pate, escargot, soup, salad, or a goat cheese and asparagus pastry. Dessert finishes it extraordinarily, as a triplet of Caprice’s best sweets will be served.

Folks who wish to steer clear of turkey can enjoy traditional French fare, with waterzooi (seafood stew), lamb, steak or grouper. Reservations are recommended, as Caprice is a famed Thanksgiving hotspot in the Port City.

College Diner

911 S College Rd. • (910) 793-0991
Turkey entree (with two sides): $9.95

College Diner leaves no stone unturned. Most categories of dishes can be found on their extensive menu and Thanksgiving is no exception. Aside from the standard menu options available, the restaurant is adding a roasted turkey plate for Thanksgiving. This option comes with dressing and two sides of the customer’s choice. For those on a budget or working with some time constraints, College Diner is great location to slay one’s holiday hunger. Meals are prepared quickly to customer satisfaction every time.

Casey’s Buffet, Barbecue and Home Cooking

5559 Oleander Drive • (910) 798-2913
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wilmington’s favorite spot for home cookin’ will turn their buffet into a feast come Thanksgiving. Not only will they be serving their staples—fried chicken, chitterlings, barbecue, mashed potates, green beans, corn and the like—they’ll have a roasted turkey, roast beef, carved ham and pigs feet! Diners can also expect dressing, mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet potato souffle, cranberry sauce, peach cobbler, banana pudding and so much more! They’re open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the line is sure to be a nice once, so arrive early for the freshest of flavors!

Other restaurants open for Thanksgiving include: Carolina BBQ, 703 North College Road, (910) 392-1955, or 1602 South College Road, (910) 799-3464; Two Fat Ladies Over a Simmering Pot, 1601 Dawson Street, 910-341-0032; Hilton Riverside, 301 North Water Street, (910) 763-5900; Pilot House, (910) 343-0200, and Elijah’s, (910) 343-1448, 2 Ann Street; K&W Cafeteria, 3501 Oleander Drive, (910) 762-7011; Bluewater Grill, 4 Marina Street, (910) 256-8500. Call ahead to determine if reservations are needed.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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