Thanks to all who made recommendations for pre-prepared Thanksgiving meals. I was traveling (look for my Vegas report on the Southwest Board) and, therefore, unable to cook this year. As any variation from my familys Thanksgiving tradition causes severe drama and emotional distress (for instance, the Green Chile Turkey Stew I prepared one year was an instant and complete flop), I only researched the traditional meals, though the others sounded fantastic.
I chose Andronicos because it was the most affordable and convenient for me and because it could be picked up Thursday. (I didnt pursue the Whole Foods option because the meal had to be picked up Wednesday)
I was very pleased. Andronicos meal feeds 8-10 according to their promotional materials (our group was much smaller, so we had enough to send everyone home with leftovers, including the turkey soup simmering on my stovetop even as I type) and costs $100.
I would definitely do it again Andronicos cooks at least as well as I do and its a whole lot easier to have them do it. Though, next time, Ill probably try the Fairmonts dinnerits only $20 more than Andronicos and offers more choices and, I suspect, would be a notch above. Everything at Andronicos was very basic, which is perfect for my family, and extraordinarily well organized.
I reserved my meal over the telephone about 2 weeks in advance. They asked what time I planned to show up and then gave me a confirmation number. I did not pay until Thanksgiving morning. When I arrived to pick my box up at about 9am, there were, perhaps, a dozen people ahead of me. The line moved slowly, but, when my turn came, the cheerful staff walked me through the contents of my box and answered all my burning (hahahaha! I had to slip in at least one dumb pun!) questions.
ANDRONICO'S THANKSGIVING MENU: (fully-cooked--simply needed to be heated):
Turkey (very moist!)
Bread stuffing2 quarts (good, but not my moms. Next time, I would plan to add a few things to dress it up)
Mashed potatoes2 quarts
Green beans with mushrooms2 quarts (a little spicy, yum)
Gravy1 ½ quarts
Cranberry chutney (wonderful)1/2 quart
Dinner rolls (12?) (nothing special. Next time, I might make my own, though, its nice to not have to worry about making room in the oven)
Pumpkin pie (whip your own cream!)
The only thing I wish theyd done differently is weigh and label the turkey. We were instructed to reheat the turkey 1 ¾ hours to 2 ½ hours, depending on the weight. Although I had a thermometer to tell me when the turkey was done, it would have been nice to know the weight of the turkey in advance so I knew when to start heating up the rest of the meal.
The best thing of all, though, was that leftovers were so easy to handle. Since everything came in quart containers, it was almost effortless to pack it all up and sent it off with the guests.
Andronicos also offers Christmas meals:
Turkey dinner (serves 8-10): $99.99
Prime rib dinner (2 rib, serves 4-6): $89.99
Prime rib dinner (5 rib, serves 8-10): $169.99
Garlic leg of lamb (serves 4-6): $129.99
Andronicos has locations in Berkeley, SF (415.753.0403), Los Altos, Palo Alto, San Anselmo, Danville, Walnut Creek, and Emeryville.
The recommendations that I researched for Thanksgiving that I didnt pursue:
Fairmont Hotel San Francisco
950 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Basic Turkey with Dressing: $89.00(plus tax)
(Feeds 4-6 Persons)
A La Carte Additions Are As Follows:
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, $11.00
Gravy and/or Vinaigrette (each), $6.00
Fresh Cranberry Relish, $8.00
Apple, Mince Meat or Pumpkin Pie, $20.00
Dinner Rolls and Butter, $6.50
Baked Yams with Jack Daniels Orange Glaze, $8.50
Green Salad with Vinaigrette, $9.00
Winter Vegetables, $9.00
House Wine White or Red, $38.00 per bottle
Complete Turkey Dinner, $120.00 (plus tax)
W/House Wine (Red or White), $150.00 (plus tax)
Pick Up Time: 11:00am 3:00pm
All Items Will Be Cooked And Boxed.
Heating Instructions and a Special Chef Hotline Will Be Included.
Servers Will Be Dressed In Pilgrim Costumes.
Pick Up Times: 10:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM
Pick Up Location: Pine Street between Grant and Stockton
Price: $295.00, tax and gratuity are included
Fully cooked and satisfies up to six people
Reservations: Requested by November 22nd and must be guaranteed with a credit card.
Pumpkin Soup ($28. per quart)
Mesclun Salad with Basil Walnut Dressing ($22.)
10 ~ 12 pound Fully Cooked Turkey ($160.)
Stuffed with Chestnut Dressing ($25.)
Or Traditional Cornbread Dressing ($24.)
Baked Beet and Fennel Salad ($25.)
Yams Candied in Brown Sugar ($22.)
Creamed Spinach ($30.)
Green Beans ($28.)
Mashed Potatoes ($18.) and Gravy ($20.)
Pumpkin Pie ($28.)
One Dozen Corn Muffins ($20.)
Cranberry Sauce ($15. per quart)
* * *
Clam Chowder ($28. per quart) Mushroom Soup (28.00)
Pecan Pie ($35.)
Flowers: Thanksgiving Theme arrangements ranging from $45.00 to $75.00