Despite what tradition might tell you, eating a roasted bird is not a requirement every year on Thanksgiving. Having food on the table is the only true necessity of the holiday.
Whether you’re in charge of grabbing brunch for the cooks, hors d’oeuvres, the mains, or beverages, here are a few Rhode Island restaurants and pop-ups to pre-order from, to break the standard holiday routine.
SEAFOOD AND CHOWDER FROM DUNE BROTHERS
Bring a little local seafood to your holiday feast. Dune Brothers is offering a special Thanksgiving menu that’s available for pre-orders, which includes classic New England and Rhode Island-style clam chowders by the quart, half gallon, or gallon containers. Their assortment of homemade pickles can serve two to four people as a solid appetizer next to cheese boards and vegetable platters. Their Jonah crab dip is a warm blend of butternut squash, spinach, cream cheese, and citrus.
Big Rhode Island family? Add a few stuffies to the mix for $7 each.
Details: Place your order by Wednesday, Nov. 15, online or by calling 401-480-1269. Orders must be pre-paid, and picked up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Nov. 22. All items will be served cold, but will include heating instructions.
BRISKET FROM BEWITCHED BARBECUE
Chef Ian Gormley previously operated the ever-popular pop-up restaurant Our Table Barbecue inside Buttonwoods Brewery in Cranston until earlier this year, when he and his wife announced they were shutting down. Gormley, who was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in July 2020, saw his health decline and contemplated having to hang up his chef’s apron for good.
Yet this fall, after scores of request, Gormley is bringing back his annual tradition of firing up his smoker to serve brisket for Thanksgiving under the pop-up name Bewitched Barbecue. You can order a whole, 8- to 10-pound brisket for $150, which is smoked for more than 15 hours and feeds eight to 11 people. Each order includes 2 quarts of his homemade sauces and pickles. But he has other packages, which can include sides like trays of nutless herb pesto pasta, smashed tater salad, or cornbread cake tres leches. Or add sticky wings, a tray of pulled pork, or a whole smoked turkey breast.
Details: Pre-order online by Saturday, Nov. 11. Brisket orders are available for delivery on Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reheating instructions are included in every order.
A VEGAN THANKSGIVING FROM SOCO VEDGE
Don’t feel like eating meat this year (or ever)? Plant-based SoCo Vedge is preparing “Turkee Wellington” with gravy, which is what co-owner Julie Couchey said they make from beans, mushrooms, and walnuts that’s wrapped in puff pastry. Sides include orange ginger cranberry sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, rosemary and sage stuffing, sriracha glazed Brussel sprouts, green bean and mushroom casserole, and plump dinner rolls. And you get all of that for $75, which serves about two people.
For an additional cost, grab a pint of harvest bisque, or vegan dessert — like maple bourbon pecan pie or a pumpkin cheesecake.
A BEVERAGE SOLUTION WHEN NOT EVERYONE DRINKS, FROM KRISTI’S KRAFTAILS
You want to bring drinks, but you — or others in your family — aren’t drinking. Cut the soda and plain water from the plan, and look into trying a few bottled and canned mocktails. Kristi’s Kraftails, founded by Kristi Dukoff in Warren, sells seasonally-inspired mocktails by the bottle that use locally-sourced ingredients and are low in their sugar content. If someone is drinking, just add a little liquor to one of her flavors. She has options like hibiscus lavender “daiquiris,” and “Mint to Be,” a play on a strawberry-basil margarita, a mint orange blossom “sour,” among others.
Details: If you only need a few bottles, bottles of Kristi’s Kraftails are available at the Hope & Main Downtown Makers Marketplace, and several farmer’s markets each week (keep an eye out on her social media for a list). If you need to order in bulk, you can place an order on Kristi’s Kraftails’ website. Dukoff asks that customers allow for 24 hours for her to contact them to coordinate a time, date, and location for pickup or delivery.
BREAD, BREAKFAST PASTRIES, AND SCONES FROM SEVEN STARS
In charge of desserts or breakfast goodies on Thanksgiving Day? Seven Stars is accepting pre-orders for all sorts of breads, like their small country rounds, French baguettes, and sourdough sticks for the dinner table, or the leftovers sandwich at midnight. If your family hosts brunch that weekend, grab some of the bakery’s ginormous cinnamon rolls, croissants, muffins, and gooey pecan sticky buns. Massive chocolate chip cookies and brownies are also available for purchase to keep the kids’ table happy.
Details: Place your order online by Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 1 p.m. Orders can be picked up on Wednesday, Nov. 22, or on Thanksgiving Day. The cafés will be closed on Friday, Nov. 24.
CHEESE BOARDS FROM WEDGE OR EAST SIDE CHEESE & PROVISIONS
Having a cheese board at Thanksgiving isn’t exactly breaking any traditions. But cheese can go with any meal (or be served on its own — hello, girl dinners are still very much well and alive). Yet buying various cheeses and accompaniments to build your own board can be pricey and time consuming — especially if you’re feeding a crowd. Here are two cheese shops that’ll do the work for you.
In Warren, cheese shop Wedge is offering to build a Thanksgiving cheese board for you, which includes cured meats, preserves, fruit, and other tasty treats. Three sizes are available: the small board will feed about four to six people for $90, the medium-sized board is $150 and will feed 10 to 15 people, and the large board will be suitable for 20 to 25 people for $250. Pre-order online by Sunday, Nov. 12.
If you’re closer to the city, East Side Cheese & Provisions in Providence is also accepting pre-orders for holiday boards. Each cheese board includes a range of cheeses, such as soft and bloomy, hard and blue, and various milk types including cow, goat, and sheep. The small board is $85 for four to six people, and includes meats, fruit, honey, small-batch jam, whole grain mustard, olives, pickled vegetables, and more. Prices increase to $185 for a medium board and $255 for a large one. You can also request a “cheese only” board to make it vegetarian.