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Where to dine on thanksgiving??

ramsaythefirst Sep 21, 2011 11:13 AM

My family and I like to avoid cooking on Thanksgiving and instead go to a restaurant.

This is the first year we will be spending the holiday in Austin.

We are looking for somewhere southern, unique and unpretentious. Any ideas?

Thank you so very much for your input.

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  1. popvulture RE: ramsaythefirst Sep 21, 2011 11:30 AM

    I think your odds of finding a southern place actually open on Thanksgiving are a bit low, but I'd call Hoover's and ask them. You could always order to go a day or two before and heat it up on T-day.

    10 Replies
    1. re: popvulture
      lixlix RE: popvulture Sep 21, 2011 12:33 PM

      I remember Hoover's being open on Thanksgiving but serving a traditional Turkey dinner and not all of their regular menu.

      1. re: lixlix
        popvulture RE: lixlix Sep 21, 2011 12:39 PM

        Well if that still holds true, then it's definitely one of the better (if not the best) options.

        1. re: popvulture
          lixlix RE: popvulture Sep 21, 2011 12:47 PM

          To be fair, I was only at the North location. I'm not sure if the Manor one is also open.

          1. re: lixlix
            agoodbite RE: lixlix Sep 21, 2011 02:43 PM

            Manor Rd location was open as of 4 years ago. I can't imagine the policy would've changed since then. H had a reasonably decent there with his family that year.

            I feel compelled to mention that my most recent experience at Hoover's Manor Rd location was bad enough to keep me from ever returning. The meat in my CFS was shoe leather and the gravy on top could pass for wallpaper paste. The crust was under-seasoned to boot. H and I filled out a comment card describing how awful the entire meal was and asked if the cooks ever tasted anything that comes out of the kitchen. We left ample contact information and never got a reply.

            You might check with Green Pastures for a fancier option. Last I knew, they are open on Thanksgiving. It's definitely southern and the grounds are beautiful.


            Green Pastures Restaurant
            901 W Live Oak St, Austin, TX 78704

            1. re: agoodbite
              chrisdds98 RE: agoodbite Sep 21, 2011 08:08 PM

              I went to green pastures for the first time this monday. the starters were ok (had the gulf coast starter and she had a salad). next time I go, I won't waste the stomach space or $$ on the apps. the mains were spectacular. I had a veal chop special with a mushroom risotto. the veal just melted in my mouth it was so tender. she got the espresso ribeye which was just fantastic. green pastures is now in my top 3 restaurants of Austin (including Congress and Uchi) and i can't wait to go again.

              Uchi Restaurant
              801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

              1. re: chrisdds98
                chrisdds98 RE: chrisdds98 Sep 21, 2011 08:39 PM

                by the way, when we went there were maybe 2 or 3 other tables during our time there. this is a grand shame. I'd hate to see such a beautiful restaurant with amazing food lost from this city. if you've never been, check it out.

                1. re: chrisdds98
                  tom in austin RE: chrisdds98 Sep 21, 2011 08:51 PM

                  I used to live a few blocks away and went there a number of times due to convenience. While never bad, per se, it was never really good either, certainly nowhere near as compelling as Uchi's average experience.

                  I'll give it another shot based on your recommendation. Maybe they've secured the work of a hell-on-wheels chef who is making a difference and making a name.

                  Uchi Restaurant
                  801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

              2. re: agoodbite
                Alan Sudo RE: agoodbite Nov 18, 2011 08:41 PM

                Yes, the Hoover's on Manor Rd will be open Thanksgiving day, and is an excellent choice. They are serving a special menu that day available on the website.
                I have to add that I eat at Hoover's on Manor road at least once a month and the bad experience related by agoodbite is not usual. They do have a fairly steady turnover of employees, and Hoover himself has been kinda busy setting up a veggie trailer over on 12th St, so I can understand a bad meal slipping by, but it's rare.

                1. re: agoodbite
                  NWLarry RE: agoodbite Nov 21, 2011 07:25 AM

                  You're not alone. I have eaten at both locations of Hoover's multiple times and I'm always astonished at the love for Hoover's. They would last a week in the south.

          2. re: popvulture
            sqwertz RE: popvulture Sep 22, 2011 05:30 PM

            I like cooing Thanksgiving dinner, but a couple years we went to the Omni hotel buffet and it was pretty good. About $30/pop IIRC, but it was well done and unpretentious. They have several seating during the day.

          3. amysuehere RE: ramsaythefirst Sep 21, 2011 11:56 AM

            Our Turkey Day tradition is Din Ho Chinese BBQ. Not southern, but unique and unpretentious.

            1. b
              bullcreek RE: ramsaythefirst Sep 21, 2011 03:30 PM

              I've done Threadgill's on N. Lamar a couple of times on Turkey day. Turkey, dressing, all the trimmings. Really good.

              Threadgill's Restaurant
              6416 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752

              1. m
                magicbus RE: ramsaythefirst Sep 21, 2011 04:19 PM

                It's not particularly southern, but I've had a great Thanksgiving meal at Hudson's on the Bend. It was years ago, though; no idea if they still do it.

                1. popvulture RE: ramsaythefirst Sep 21, 2011 04:29 PM

                  Though I've never been, Maxine's in Bastrop is supposed to be great for the southern/home cookin' route. I'm not sure if they're open on Thanksgiving, but it'd probably be pretty nice to send a little business to Bastrop if they happen to be.

                  I didn't hear anything about downtown Bastrop suffering any damage from the fires. Anybody have any info on this?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: popvulture
                    ethylmax RE: popvulture Sep 22, 2011 07:00 AM

                    Downtown Bastrop is ok. Wildfires were mostly north, south and east of the city over towards Smithville area.

                  2. l
                    LulaKitty RE: ramsaythefirst Nov 18, 2011 03:10 PM

                    Snack Bar on South Congress is open for Thanksgiving. They have breakfast 9am - Noon and lunch / dinner Noon - 8pm. The lunch / dinner is either a prix fixe for $26 or order items a la carte. Everything I've had there is great and they do a good job sourcing locally & organically for the price. snackbaraustin.com

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: LulaKitty
                      rudeboy RE: LulaKitty Nov 18, 2011 04:36 PM

                      Well, I'll be damned. I don't know what prix fix means - is that French or something?

                      1. re: rudeboy
                        LulaKitty RE: rudeboy Nov 18, 2011 06:26 PM

                        It's a complete meal at a fixed price with or without options.

                        1. re: LulaKitty
                          rudeboy RE: LulaKitty Nov 18, 2011 07:03 PM

                          So, I can get a fixed priced meal with options for the same price?

                          1. re: LulaKitty
                            sweet100s RE: LulaKitty Nov 21, 2011 12:44 AM

                            LulaKitty, that rascal is pulling your leg :-).

                            1. re: sweet100s
                              LulaKitty RE: sweet100s Nov 21, 2011 07:14 AM

                              With the handle of rudeboy, I figured him a rascal. Cheers!

                      2. a
                        aed77tx RE: ramsaythefirst Nov 18, 2011 06:38 PM

                        I agree with the Threadgill's suggestion. I've eaten some fine Thanksgiving dinners there myself. You can't get much more southern and unpretentious than Threadgill's.

                        1. sqwertz RE: ramsaythefirst Nov 19, 2011 03:35 PM



                          4 Replies
                          1. re: sqwertz
                            Rptrane RE: sqwertz Nov 21, 2011 08:50 AM

                            We got take out at Hoover's one year. Best stuffing I've ever had but the portions were ridiculously small for the price. When I'm alone on a holiday I pull "A Christmas Story" and eat Chinese. Ho Ho rules and they never close. The duck is awsome.

                            1. re: Rptrane
                              sqwertz RE: Rptrane Nov 21, 2011 08:55 PM

                              I used to do that in San Jose. Chinese or Vietnamese every Thanksgiving. Then when we started cooking I would always make sure to at least get a Cantonese duck hanging inside a window and serve that as well as Turkey or Rib Roast. This year I'm smoking a couple ducks. or maybe a goose if Restaurant Depot has them cheap (I keep forgetting I can search their stock from here... Nope. No goose)

                            2. re: sqwertz
                              BTAustin RE: sqwertz Nov 21, 2011 10:49 AM

                              First thing mentioned in the Chronicle article is the Driskill. I'll gladly malign them again for old times sake. What a disaster going there:


                              1. re: sqwertz
                                NWLarry RE: sqwertz Nov 22, 2011 02:48 PM

                                anyone eaten at the Renaissance?

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