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Thanksgiving 2011 in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia (for a very traditional & simple eater)

I am looking for a place to take 4 or 5 people on Thanksgiving day 2011.

The kicker is this- one person going will only go to a place that has some sort of simple beef dish with a potato type thing. This person is really looking for the most simple of beef dishes. I believe a filet just cooked with no sauce, no marinade, no spices, no herbs, etc is their favorite thing and they like it with a potato and or perhaps a simple iceberg salad.

This persons wife has already said no to- 701, Oval Room, Bastille Alexandria, Blue Duck, Acadiana, Vidalia, the Majestic, Virtue Feed and Grain and a few others.

I just do not know what to say or do about this one. Everywhere that I know of in the area is not going to feature such a simple type item. Unfortunately if this person does not go then the meal probably will not happen. I also usually eat seafood so I'm not familiar with good beef places.

All of the other folks are more open minded for food however some are not totally open. I think the other folks would want some sort of turkey traditional entreee. I get the idea that the picky eater wants to go somewhere like Daniel O'connels in Alexandria but places like that are always closed on Thanksgiving.

We will be touring Mt Vernon that day so somewhere near Alexandria or Northern Virginia would be easy. However I have no problem going to DC and then we can roam around there. I guess I would consider MD for the right place.

I already thought about eating at Mt Vernon, as I am sure you can imagine, that is not possible they are booked solid.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or hints.

1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

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  1. what FUN!

    surely any place that has a steak and potato on the menu would be happy to serve it plain and just charge the same as the regular. call ahead and arrange it so these jokers you're fond of (I have some too) don't hijack the day (mine do the same thing).

    wait on re-read Mr. Picker's WIFE is the one vetoing? sure it's not them both? you might check out Corduroy, RIS and Georgia Brown's, they're all fairly straightforward but good (can't vouch for Georgia's anymore - been too long but they used to do a deep-fried turkey T-day prix fixe for the others as well as ala carte)

    1 Reply
    1. re: hill food

      RIS is a great idea if they are open for Thanksgiving. Also maybe Poste.

      2275 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

    2. I'd start by going to Open Table and seeing what is available for a party of five or six this late in the game. (1789 probably has been fully booked since the day after Thanksgiving 2010.) Then, I'd start phoning those places and asking directly about the special meal.

      I don't understand the responses of the person's wife. If you've gotten an agreement from the restaurant to deliver exactly what her DH wants, why should she veto any restaurant?

      1. what about Old Ebbitt or Clydes?

        1. Why were those other restaurants vetoed? I imagine if you call up 701, the Oval Room or Blue Duck Tavern they will grill you a simple steak along with the rest of the meal.

          Blue Duck Tavern
          1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

          1 Reply
          1. re: Elyssa

            I looked online for the Thanksgiving menus for these three restaurants. Blue Duck's web site isn't posting any special menu for the day, although I assume one will be available.

            Between the 701's and The Oval Room's menus, I think your group would enjoy 701 more since the turkey entree there is somewhat more traditional than The Oval Room's turkey entree. Appetizer choices at both places seem trendy, with only the soup sticking close to something grandma might have included in her menu. The desserts at 701 seem closer to tradition than those at The Oval Room.

            No restaurant among the list you started with is going to offer the stripped down meal one of your guests likes as part of its menu, but these are all service-oriented places who are likely to meet your needs with planning.

          2. I'm not sure what their other menu options would be on Thanksgiving, but there is always BLT steak.

            1. I didn't see a price point in the original post. Michel Richard's place at the Tysons Corner Ritz Carlton has a special Thanksgiving menu. Worth a call to see if a plain filet can be ordered for the above mentioned diner [they already have a petit filet on the kids' menu]. There's the traditional turkey & sides as well as fish and veg on the menu too.

              http://www.michelrichardva.com/menu.php [Thanksgiving menu is one of the selections on this page]

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lydia R

                I heartily recommend Clyde's. I have enjoyed their Thanksgiving Day menu at their various locations (I prefer Tysons and 1789 but you won't get in to 1789). The T-Day special meal is of very high quality and pricing is quite reasonable. The "regular" Clyde's menu is also available should anyone in your party not favor turkey with the usual sides and desert. Several locations I have been too were, in recent years, packed so reservations would seem to be essential.

                I plan to return to Clyde's Tysons this Thanksgiving for a fifth year in a row. I think there are ten locations in the DC area. As other posters suggest, you should be calling now to see about your options and make reservations (and do try 1789 in case there is an opening).

              2. I'd cook for this person at home or maybe, let them cook for themselves-why aren't they offering to cook for themselves anyway, if they have such restrictive dining options? Good luck w/ your guest, & hope you both manage a great T' giving...

                1. Why are you letting *one* person determine where you will eat on Thanksgiving day?

                  Do you live in the area? Perhaps the best solution is to have a pre-ordered Thanksgiving meal delivered to your house and grill a strip of steak on the side for your guest?

                  Supermarkets and catering companies often have Thanksgiving-to-go packages.

                  1. These are all some excellent suggestions and I really appreciate all of the suggestions. Some of the suggestions I thought about and pitched. I told the wife that any place serving a beef dish for example will serve it without the sauce or garlic for example. And every restaurant has potatoes so I'm sure any place could throw out a potato as a side dish. They like Clyde's and have been there but they only want to go there if Clyde's is serving a beef filet which he previously had but is not on the menu now. I told them that I think it was probably a special and that they could call to ask if it will be a special for that day.

                    They were not interested in custom ordering something to be plain. I think the wife is being overly sensitive about the situation honestly. I do not know maybe he as pitched a fit about something in the past. Some other family members told me that he has gone to places like Rosa Mexicano in the area and ordered something simple like a enchilada then taken two bites and said no I do not like it, I do not want it. I'm also told that he protested that the salsa was just chopped tomatoes and did not have a sauce consistency like grocery store canned.

                    I have friends that are traditional eaters but this just seems so extreme. I almost feel like I am planning a Thanksgiving meal for a toddler or something. He will not even eat Turkey and the traditional side dishes- even if they are without herbs and such. He demands a cheeseburger and fries or a steak and potato. He also eats a seafood dive type restaurants- which again not open on Thanksgiving!

                    These kind of places that serve food like this are usually pubs- in my opinion and they are not open on Thanksgiving and if they were I would not want to take my holiday meal there probably anyway. I did not even invite them for this Thanksgiving meal, they kind of invited themselves. And when they did I cautioned them that it would be a proper meal at a proper place. So I am rather confused.

                    Well the other day after having suggested about 25 different places I got kind of frustrated. So guess what? I kicked the ball to them. I said- you know what- I'm fine with most places and everyone else in the party is fine with most places. So then I said why don't you guys pick the place? I send them an email with some links to open table, Washingtonian, Yelp, Wash Post, the open table page with Thanksgiving meals on it, a link to the page showing places open at our times and such. I even said if you go on there and find one or two places that you like then we can go there or I can find something similar for you. The process of me suggesting things and a constant no was just not productive or effective.

                    They have never cared much for the places that the various family members have taken them around here or anywhere else for that matter. I like trendy type food I guess and everyone else in the family does. I do like eating at dives, diners, and drive ins but not for a holiday!

                    Well the end of the story is that they go so angry by my email suggesting that they pick the place that they will not even talk to us now! They did not reply to the email. We called them the other day about 4 or 5 times and they would not answer the phone once. The kicker is that another family member paid for their hotel via priceline bidding so that person is now stuck with a non-refudnable hotel room that they do not need.

                    I'm just really at a loss for words to explain the whole situation. I have friends with similar relatives of the same age group, from a rural area also, that are traditional eaters. But they do not seem to have problems like this. I think he has some sort of issue or something like that with going to a "fancy place".

                    Well unfortunately it looks like the entire situation is a bust but I do really appreciate all of the great suggestions that I got from everyone! I have definitely learned a valuable lesson here and I will for sure be more cautious in the future when I agree to accommodate picky eaters for group meals!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: drake0388

                      Sometimes things just work out like that. Is it a nice hotel? Why don't you and your partner give yourself a night off and spend a night there after enjoying your dinner without this picky eater?

                      I was going to suggest that you just leave these folks out of the dinner party but this is Chowhound.

                      1. re: drake0388

                        Sounds like the problem relative was looking for an excuse to back out of the event. He not only wanted plain but he wanted to control the way plain arrived on his plate (i.e. could not be a special request). Perhaps these folks really felt embarrassed about relying on another family member for picking up the hotel tab and had to invent a -- to them only -- plausible reason for refusing to come. I hope everyone who does attend has a warm and loving Thanksgiving visit despite the drama that has led up to the day.

                        1. re: drake0388

                          wow. that IS passive-aggressive. I'd take Mike R's suggestion and somebody should use the room, ask for extra blankets, turn down the temp, order something in and watch bad movies all night. make it dinner and a slumber party for the non-spoil sports.

                          "I kicked the ball to them." I don't know how else you might have handled that without sending the normal holiday stress up to a steam whistle shriek.

                          with this update, I get the sense the wife's caught in the middle, he may have just not wanted to do it at all and it was the only way he saw out of it. sad. I find it odd when some freak out when the place is too 'fancy'. I wonder if there's an economic thing going on (as Indy implies) and he saw being treated as a 'charity' gesture. did he or did she sort of invite themselves along? I ask as that might go towards explaining the dynamic here.

                          1. re: hill food

                            +1. You can't please everyone, and it seems like this solution was the best of both worlds. Order take out, enjoy the hotel if it's nice and be thankful you aren't with these people!