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Best pre-prep'd holiday meal? Whole Foods VS Bristol Farms

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Having Christmas at my place this year and would like order a turkey or ham dinner already made to free up my day. I was thinking the menu at Whole Foods looked pretty good and was also going to check out Bristol Farms. Anyone ever order a pre-made holiday meal from either place? What was your experience? Or any recos for another place I should order from instead?

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  1. Here's my suggestion (FWIW), you should (also) repost this question on the "General Chowhound Topics Board" as there are some wonderful online places to order exactly what you're looking for!!!

    And Con-grats to you for posting your question well before 12/24!!!!!!

    1. Consider Julienne in San Marino.

      I haven't done the premade holiday dinner from either BF or WF, but did T-Day one year from Wild Oats (I think same owner as WF), wasn't great, & the everyday pre made food at both BF & WF I don't usually get. There are a few prepared things I like (like the roasted chicken at BF) but I'd be wary of doing the whole dinner unless other posters can recommend.

      I think we've used the premade ham from WF, though, which was pretty good--they usually have a few brands, can't remember which brand.

      Julienne may be a cut above, probably more expensive. In the end I usually give up & cook or make reservations (which usually doesn't live up to home cooking, either). I'm going to watch for suggestions online if you post on General Topics, as I could use some good premade assistance, as well.

      1. Thanks. I posted under general topics, so stay tuned! I'm hoping the chowhounders come through with some great suggestions!

        1. I've ordered from Whole Foods for the past two years - Northridge and Westwood - and they were both FABULOUS!! Growing up in an Asian household, I never liked Thanksgiving food prior to Whole Foods. We always had an Asian spread and a Thanksgiving spread and I always stuck to the Asian foods. I've also had several home-cooked Thanksgiving meals at my "American" friends' homes and while I always went in with an open mind, I never liked it in the end. But when I tried the Whole Foods stuff, it was soooo yummy!! Their cornbread stuffing is really good, as is all the sides and the turkey is moist. Highly recommended. Can't comment on Bristol Farms since I've never had theirs.

          1. Gelson's turkey is pretty good. We've had it for Thanksgiving for the last 4 or 5 years. I suggest you just get the turkey and make your own sides - they just aren't worth the money.

            1. Bristol Farms.

              But it is also a bit more expensive that Whole Foods IIRC.

              1. Another option is Honey Baked Hams. I've never tried their turkey but love their hams. It's been a long time since I've had any of their sides, so can't comment, but you can just walk in and sample.

                1. We did it last year and this is what I came up with after researching it:
                  Clementines-offers all of the sides , appetizers and pies
                  Joans on Third-offers the whole dinner and all of the other yummy things for the store
                  Auntie Em's Kitchen-offers the whole dinner with vegetarian options, cheese platters and pies
                  Julienne in Pasadena-offers the whole dinner

                  We like to support the small places, and find that they have higher quality than the chain stores.

                  1. The difference between the two is WFM will not ever use artificial ingredients (trans fats, preservatives, artificial sweeteners). Bristol Farms does not hold that same standard.

                    I've had the sides from WFM Santa Monica during holiday parties, and special order from them for my regular poker parties. And, it really is great stuff.

                    Particularly, the crowd favorites are the cornbread stuffing, their mashed potatoes, and the roasted harvest vegetables.

                    I know you're thinking Christmas, but for Thanksgiving, we used Josie for trimmings and pies. It was EXPENSIVE but fabulous. I'm sure if you ask them, they will make arrangements for Christmas.