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Nov 5, 2007 07:48 PM

Anybody ever done T'giving takeout?

OK, I'm a very proud home cook, who hosts about 20 relatives each Thanksgiving and Christmas. Only this year, family and personal circumstances make it impossible for me to even think about cooking. Has anyone ever done Thanksgiving takeout? What's it like?
Is it any good? I know I'll at least make a couple of pecan pies. But that's it.

I live in Long Beach, and I'm looking at a menu from Olives for their takeout deal. It looks pretty reasonable at $130 for a complete menu for 6. I'd end up doing it for at least 18 - 24.

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  1. I did it one year too. I ordered from Gelson's for 6 people and made a salad and a pie and it was very nice.
    My friend does Tgiving every year for 30 people and has reduced costs and stress by making it into a potluck. She supplies the space, bar and seating and all the family groupings bring a dish or two....

    1. My family has ordered Thanksgiving dinner from Mimi's Cafe and we were very pleased.

      1. I've done it with Gelson's too, and it was fabulous.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Diana

          We do it at work every year and last year Boston Market was very good. I think even better than Gelson's.

          1. re: compucook

            You're kidding! Gelson's turkey and sides are so amazing.
            BM is just not so delicious.

            I hear Bristol Farms and Whole foods are good, too.

            1. re: Diana

              I was disappointed by the roasted turkey breast I got from Whole Foods for Thanksgiving about 3 years ago. A lot of rosemary, and it was dry.

        2. I dated someone who decided to do Thanksgiving "take-out" for us.

          The take-out was courtesy of Ranch99 Market ... yes, that Ranch99 Market.

          We got a turkey that tasted like it was brined in soy sauce, stuffing made from sticky rice (basically a tsong-tzi without the bamboo wrapper stuffed into the cavity of the turkey), fried rice instead of mashed potatoes, stir-fried green beans, and an apple pie that looked and tasted like the Ranch99 kitchen staff bought it from the Ralphs down the street.

          We're no longer seeing each other.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            We've done takeout Thanksgiving over the past few years with mixed results.

            We did it for 2-3 years from Knotts' Berry Farm, and it was great.

            However, last year, the turkey was not very brown, looked like it wasn't completely
            cooked. We had to finish it off in the oven. Sides from there were great.

            However, I don't think we'll go back there again.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              You know, I thank you for posting that! For several years I have been seeing the annual 99 Ranch "Holiday Meals" posters and wondering if it was worth a try-doing "Thanksgiving with a twist".

              Now I know not to bother!

            2. I generally do Thanksgiving takeouts with a few home made side dishes, since I usually celebrate in a small group and don't have the time to prep a bird or a ham. In general, while nothing compares to home-cooked, but most Thanksgiving takeouts do a fairly decent job at it.

              I actually had a not-so-pleasant Gelson's experience, they misplaced/lost/gave away our order (even after confirming the day before) so I wound up getting a few side dishes that I didn't want (even though to compensate, they did give me much more than what I ordered ~ but still . . .)

              Boston's Market was OK, but my best takeout was with Wild Oats last year -- everything tasted wonderfully fresh and flavorful. R.I.P. to their Pasadena location, but I hope the new flagship Whole Foods will do just a good a job and for a comparable price.


              4 Replies
              1. re: AquaW

                Did you go to the manager of Gelson's to complain, or call the main office. I know they would find that inexcuseable, and would have made it up to you in some way or another.

                It happened to me once-a new Deli staff "misplaced" my order sheet and there was nothing for me. I went to the manager (at Encino, that's usually Adam) and let him know. He marched right back to the deli, grabbed the deli manager from whatever he was doing (and yes, it was busy for the DM, being holiday time) and told him to make it right, RIGHT NOW.

                not only did I get my order, I got extra for no charge and he threw in a few loaves of the Corn Bread.

                I also go effusive apologies from everyone.

                I imagine the new staff got chewed out by both the deli manager and the store manager.

                1. re: Diana

                  Didn't discover the mistake (wrong side orders) until I got home, and didn't have the time or energy for dealing with Gelson's again that afternoon. I know Gelson's tend to have a good track record with service, so my experience is probably an exception; nonetheless, I probably won't consider that place for holiday meals for quite a while.


                  1. re: Diana

                    I too have had nothing short of stellar customer service at the Encino, Calabasas, Pacific Palisades and Westlake village Gelsons locations. Like you brought to attention the key is bringing the issue to managements attention. Once you do prepare to be amazed at the lengths gelsons employees will go to to ensure you leave more than satisfied... Sometimes even gratis! I've even have deli orders delivered to my home from neighboring stores ( as management felt I was already inconvienced too much and should be able to resume my holiday cooking ASAP... By the time I got home there was a gelsons employee waiting in front of my house with my compete order and couldn't be more apologetic about their mistake.) there is a reason while gelsons prices are as high as they are and it's all about service.

                    1. re: Jimmymacdonald

                      Ummmm....just fyi Jimmymcdonald. The comment you're responding to is from 2007. And Diana disappeared from this board years ago.