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Where to dine on thanksgiving??

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. 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

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

      1. re: lixlix

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

        1. re: popvulture

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

          1. re: lixlix

            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.

            http://greenpasturesrestaurant.com/

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

            1. re: agoodbite

              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.

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              Uchi Restaurant
              801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

              1. re: chrisdds98

                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

                  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.

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                  Uchi Restaurant
                  801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

              2. re: agoodbite

                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

                  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

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

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

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

              1. 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. 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

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

                  2. 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

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

                      1. re: rudeboy

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

                        1. re: LulaKitty

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

                          1. re: LulaKitty

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

                            1. re: sweet100s

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

                      2. 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. re: sqwertz

                            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

                              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

                              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:

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/575981

                              1. re: sqwertz

                                anyone eaten at the Renaissance?