Cooking isn't for everybody. And neither are leftovers.
With Thanksgiving a few short days away, folks allergic to the kitchen crave turkey - or ham - and all the fixin's just as much as the epicureans.
So if eating holiday food is your pastime but cooking and cleaning are not, what do you do?
The following is not meant to be a complete list of places that offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But we did survey several dining establishments across the Verde Valley. Most - if not all - recommend making a reservation. Many serve buffet style. Some even feed people for free. Even the grocery stores will cook the meal so all you need to do is take it home to reheat.
One thing is certain about Thanksgiving in the Verde Valley. It's hard to end the day without a serious need for exercise.
So stay tuned for that ...
Bread of Life Mission
Feeding people in need for 20 years, Bread of Life will serve a hot Thanksgiving dinner - and give out a free box of food - on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at the Camp Verde Community Center Gymnasium at Main and Hollamon. Menu includes turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, green beans, cranberries and pie. The dedicated nonprofit is looking for donations to help feed the community. "Any money or turkeys donated would be wonderful," says Bread of Life director Duane Burris. Bread of Life will also feed the soul, with a special message at 5:30 p.m. prior to dinner. All are welcome. All meals are free. Call (928) 567-6931 for more information.
Mountain Springs Buffet
Serves turkey, honey-glazed ham, candied yams, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, chicken pot pie, baked cod, shrimp scampi, pot roast with stewed vegetables, assorted holiday side dishes and a special holiday dessert bar. Served 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cost $19; children ages 3-10 eat at 1/2 price; ages 2 and younger eat free. Located at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, 555 Middle Verde Road. Call (928) 567-7900 for reservation.
Prosciutto-wrapped herb-stuffed turkey roulade ($29) or seared salmon with cranberry pistachio sauce ($27).
Comes with choice of salad or soup - black bean and pumpkin soup with Andouille sausage - and two sides: roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta, roasted asparagus with almonds or browned butter mashed potatoes. Can also order from regular menu. Served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Located at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, 555 Middle Verde Road. Call (928) 567-7905 for reservation.
Sliced turkey breast, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. Served with choice of two sides and dinner bread. Cost is $8.99. Senior holiday turkey and dressing dinner also available for $7.59. Served anytime until the end of the year. Open 24 hours. Located at 1630 W. 260. Call (928) 567-9505 for more information.
Serving VFW members and their guests only. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, rolls, salad and cranberries. But bring dessert, enough to share. Free. Dinner served at 1 p.m. Located at 377 W. 260. More information, call (928) 567-4642.
American Legion Post 93
Serving Post 93 members and their guests only. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, vegetable, desserts. Also coffee, tea and water. Dinner served from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Located at 286 S. Third St. More information, call (928) 567-6154
With prices ranging from $49.99 to just short of $100, turkey or ham dinners come with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry orange relish, fresh baked dinner rolls and choice of apple or pumpkin pie. Bashas' recommends you allow about two hours to prep/reheat the meal. Located at 650 Finnie Flat Road. Call (928) 567-4585 to reserve your meal. Deli clerk Laura Fonte says it's "better to order and cancel than to wait and to not get a meal." Deadline to pick up your meal is noon on Thanksgiving.
Nate's Cowboy Café
Beef, pork, turkey and ham, with mashed potatoes and gravy, potato salad, stuffing, yams, cole slaw, assorted casseroles and a full salad bar. Buffet style. Does not include drinks nor dessert. Cost is $15.95 for adults, $7.95 for kids 12 and younger. Serving from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Located at 1481 W. 89A. Call (928) 639-3838 to make a reservation or for more information.
Now located in Cornville, the Sedona Center of Vedic Culture will offer a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner and kirtan starting at 2 p.m. at the Vedic Ranch, located at 1775 Equestrian Way. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (928) 204-4455. Cost is $10.
Serving free Thanksgiving dinners for 16 years. Turkey and ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots, yams, tomato Florentine soup, pumpkin pie and drinks. Serving from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 517 N. 12th St. Reservations are really encouraged. Call (928) 639-0751.
Serving ham and turkey, stuffing, potatoes, salad bar and pumpkin pie. Buffet style. Does not include drinks. Cost is $14.99 for adults, $7.99 for kids 9 and younger. Seniors $12.99 includes drinks. Serving from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Located at 1041 S. 260. Call (928) 634-3605 for more information.
Sliced turkey breast, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. Served with choice of two sides and dinner bread. Cost is $8.99. Senior holiday turkey and dressing dinner also available for $7.59. Served anytime until the end of the year. Open 24 hours. Located at 2211 E. 89A. Call (928) 639-3805 for more information.
For those of you with gluten-free needs, Fry's offers a Thanksgiving dinner, turkey or ham, with gluten-free mashed potatoes, gluten-free cheese broccoli quinoa and corn with butter sauce for $59.99. The standard Thanksgiving dinners cost from $44.99 to $89.99. Fry's offers turkey, ham or prime rib dinners with all the appropriate fixings. Located at 1100 S. 260. Call (928) 634-9611 to reserve your meal. Allow about two hours to prep/reheat your meal. Deadline to pick up your meal is 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Priced as little as $49.99 or as much as $79.99, Safeway offers turkey, ham or prime rib dinners with enough side dishes to fully fill your plate. Located at 1635 E. Cottonwood St. Call (928) 634-3711 to reserve your meal or for pickup time. Allow about two hours to prep/reheat your meal.
Turkey and ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, carrots, baby green bean casserole, buttered corn, mixed green salad, butternut squash soup, homemade bread, pumpkin, apple and peach pies, as well as sugar-free apple pie and gluten-free brownies. Buffet style. Cost is $19.95 for adults, $11.95 for kids ages 10 and younger. Served from noon to 6 p.m. Located at 5155 N. Dave Wingfield Road. Call (928) 592-9220 for reservations or for more information.
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