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Where to order a fresh turkey in the Triangle?

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Hi "Hounds. Can any of you recommend a great place to order a Thanksgiving bird? Not Whole Foods or Fresh Market or Southern Season - that I know I can do. $Cha-$ching! Many thanks - I checked the past board postings to no avail (at least I couldn't find any info).

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Fresh Market
4223 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC

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  1. Retailers have already placed their orders for fresh turkeys several weeks ago. The places you have expressed disinterest in are the very ones who do enough volume to offer a wide variety of sizes and types. There may be a few other places, but you will have less selection.

    Either way, you should order soon, as each store gets a limited quantity.

    1. You can add Weaver Street to that list but, for me, the better source is the farmer's market. Most folks will be sold out already but asking around may yield something that is available.

      1. I'm not sure what the "Cha-ching" you used above is supposed to mean, but Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Weaver Street, and Southern Season are the cheapest whole fresh birds that you can buy locally, as expressed by meatn3.

        If you think that's expensive, I can't imagine you'll order a pastured, heritage-breed bird from any of a number of local great farms that raise them, like Coon Rock.

        So perhaps Food Lion or Harris Teeter can help you.

        1. Yep - ordering from a place like Coon Rock is going to be even more expensive than Whole Foods et. al. I know Harris Teeter will have fresh birds available closer to the holiday - I don't know if you can order ahead of time though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: romansperson

            Without getting into a debate on fresh versus frozen turkey, a frozen turkey is actually "fresher" than a fresh bird ....which is deep chilled to below 32 degrees during transport anyway. I've never found any difference in final product results between commercially available birds as long as they're not overcooked (the cardinal sin). Sometimes, it's a matter of convenience not to have to defrost.

            I'd buy a frozen one, preferably one without injections of mystery ingredients, and brine it myself (that will make a huge difference). Use the savings for something else.

          2. We get a fresh free-range bird from Whole Foods every year. Yes, it's pricey. But we consider it a once-a-year treat. The birds are FABULOUS, & SO much better than the generic supermarket birds. Really deep turkey flavor, juicy without any injected "stuff", & best of all - even the leftover meat stays juicy & flavorful. We get SO many meals out of the one bird that frankly, when one figures out the cost per serving, it's pretty darn cheap in the long run. I think we paid around $30 for our turkey last year - around 20 pounds if I remember correctly.

            Since we're surrounded by several organic free-range livestock farms here, we just visited a couple & priced their heritage-breed birds. $80 was the base price. So as much as I'd love to try one, it'll be Whole Foods for us again this year. But the quality is so good, that I don't really consider it "settling". :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: Breezychow

              We bought a turkey from Coon Rock last year and it was awesome. It had lots of flavor. I went to the Raleigh Farmer's Market to pick it up. I ordered late last year, so I imagine you can still get one from Coon Rock.

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              Farmer's Market Cafe
              63 Chattahoochee St, Helen, GA 30545

              1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                Coon Rock is exactly what I was interested in and what I decided to do. I was being cheap, resented the non-local commercial options (no matter how "organic" and this is the holidays so I'm spending up! Thanks, everyone, for your help.

                1. re: Pigeage

                  Actually some of the bigger stores do carry a fair amount of local product.
                  For instance, Alison Farms poultry is carried by Earth Fare and IIRC Whole Foods. This is a NC company, perhaps an hour from the triangle. They produce a really good product. Nice people too, who care about the birds, the customer and the environment.

                  http://www.allbusiness.com/agricultur...

            2. Just visited a homestead in Chatham Co to pick up my organically fed, free range Heirloom turkey yesterday. Saw the turkey processing process. WHOA. Crazy! I'm totally intimidated by this bird, but I was psyched to find the article on chow.com, "How to Cook Heritage Turkey and Grass-Fed Beef for the Holidays". You might find it helpful too. Good luck!

              1. If by fresh you also mean "local" it's going to be expensive. If you just mean "not frozen" then a lot of places sell them that way. I picked up a not frozen turkey from Trader Joe's this weekend. I picked TJ's because their turkeys are pre-brined so I don't have to mess with brining and $1.79 is a reasonable price. They also have Kosher turkeys for $2.29.