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Thanksgiving chow in Tampa?

This will be our first T-day in Tampa, and heck if I'm cooking for a crowd. Any recommendations for good T-day dinners in the greater Tampa Bay area? We went to the Belleview Biltmore for Christmas brunch last year, but I was not impressed. We'd prefer to avoid standard hotel brunch fare and opt for a restaurant that does the holiday right with traditional fare made with flair. Our best T-day meal ever was at Marisol in New Orleans (I hope it's survived Katrina--it's a great place), and we'd love to find a place locally that isn't afraid of inventive twists on holiday standards. We wouldn't mind traveling to Sarasota or environs for the right place. Suggestions, anyone?

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  1. i think the columbia does thanksgiving but i don't know what it serves. you can check online.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tandoori Girl

      The Columbia features its normal menu, along with a thanksgiving option:

      The Gonzmart family invites you and your family to join us for a traditional Thanksgiving feast of Roast Vermont Turkey, Columbia stuffing, fresh vegetables, whipped potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. Dinner also includes a choice of Columbia soups or Caesar salad. Beverages include your choice of Coffee, Tea or Soft Drinks.

      The complete dinner menu is also available all day. We will begin serving at 11 a.m.

      The cost is $19.95 for adults and $5.95 for children under 10.

      1. re: andy huse

        Hey, Andy! Since I started this post a few years back, the Columbia has become our go-to resto on Christmas Day for their melt-in-your-mouth lechon with all the trimmings. Congrats on your book and your launch party tonight! I'm looking forward to reading it.

    2. Castaway on the Causeway puts out a decent Thanksgiving extravaganza...

      We did it twice...

      It was great, with the only neg being that in the effort to not let the turkey's white meat dry out, they undercooked the dark---my favorite parts...

      It was a bummer, but the spread is amazing...

      Prime rib carver, omelet bar, Ham, Smoked Salmon, Turkey, tons of other stuff, tons of desserts...

      Bad thing is that you get full fast at these things...

      Man, after typing this, I'd go now if I could...

      They do a Sunday brunch that's 'similar', just not holiday themed...

      1. Thanks, Bill. We tried out the Castaway brunch a few weeks ago and unfortunately, we were disappointed with the quality of the food. Not only was it pretty unimaginative, but the meats were overcooked and the other offerings just generally lacked flavor. I don't think we'll be back.

        1. Yeah.... It wasn't SO bad when we went for the Thanksgiving thing, but I knew it could've been better.

          So--- I'm keeping my eye on this thread...

          1. Cafe Alma, in downtown St Pete, has great food. They just sent me an email outlining what looks to be a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner, 39.99 pp, open that day from 2-7 PM, phone is (727) 502-5002.


            1. Oooooooh, what a place!

              1. Thanks for the tip, Joan! I've read good things about Cafe Alma; this just might be the occasion to check it out!

                1. Does anyone have any similar suggestions for now? I called Alma and they are closed on thanksgiving. bummer! i've been there and it's good.


                  1 Reply
                  1. maggiano's is doing thanksgiving $33 in the dining room for family style and $30 in the party room buffet I think

                    1. I hvnt been in a couple of years but the Thanksgiving Day(& Mother's Day!) buffett at CK's used to be very good. Turkey, ham, crab legs, everything you could think of and much better quality than Castway's in my opinion.

                      1. So is the Columbia the way to go this Thankgsgiving? My family is looking to do the meal outside the home this year, food is plus, but so is atmosphere and something under $30 per person. Any other suggestions for a first time dining out in Tampa for T-day??