Side Orders: Time to think about Thanksgiving menus, meals to go

A 15-pound turkey should be enough for 10 people. If your guests prefer more breast meat, buy a larger turkey. They generally have more breast meat.
A 15-pound turkey should be enough for 10 people. If your guests prefer more breast meat, buy a larger turkey. They generally have more breast meat.

Where will you be spending Thanksgiving Day? At home enjoying a meal you've labored over for days? Or are you planning on letting someone else do the cooking this year?

According to 2017 figures from the National Restaurant Association, one in 10 adults surveyed said they planned to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal in a restaurant, while many of those who said they planned to eat at home added they would be supplementing their meal with dishes - or ordering the entire meal - to go from a restaurant in their town. And those figures are expected to rise.

Here are a number of restaurants opening their doors - letting you get stuffed without the stress of cooking the meal.

photo Anne Braly

» Ruth's Chris, 2321 Lifestyle Way. This popular steakhouse will be serving a full Thanksgiving meal on Turkey Day, complete with all the amazing side dishes you've come to love at Ruth's Chris, including the sweet potato casserole and spinach souffle. If you want a change of pace from turkey, the restaurant will be offering its regular menu filled with steaks of all kinds, seafood, chicken and pork. The Thanksgiving menu is a three-course affair that includes your choice of soup or salad; hand-carved turkey with sausage-herb stuffing; and a side of your choice. The meal also includes the delicious dessert duo. Prices start at $39.95 per person. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 423-602-5900.

» Bluff View Art District, 411 E. Second St. The culinary arts come alive for the annual Thanksgiving brunch. This year's buffet includes many of the traditional offerings, from turkey and dressing, prime rib and sour-cream mashed potatoes to green bean casserole. You'll find the unexpected, too, such as Asian salad with chicken and udon noodles, shrimp with bow-tie pasta, challah French toast and assorted quiches. A wide assortment of breads, pastries and house-made desserts also will be served. Price: $36.95 adults, $19.95 children 12 and younger. Prices do not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. A full bar is available, but soft drinks, tea, coffee and orange juice are included. Hours: 11 a.m-4 p.m. Reservations: 423-265-5033, ext. 4.

» The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St. From a traditional meal to one that offers something different from turkey and dressing, The Chattanoogan has it all. The buffet spreads across the ballroom to include numerous salads and other cold items from greens to cheeses, seafood, veggies and dips. Entrees and sides include the traditional turkey and ham, but will this year feature made-to-order turkey tacos for a south-of-the-border flair. Sides include dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, butternut squash ravioli and sweet potato casserole. For dessert, take a spin around the pie a la mode station and pick up a slice of white chocolate pumpkin pie - one of several choices - topped with a scoop of Clumpies vanilla ice cream. Cost is $45 for adults, $22 children ages 5-12, free for younger children. Buffet hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations: 423-424-3700.

» Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, 2 W. Aquarium Way. The Southern decor in this popular downtown eatery is the perfect setting for a down-home Thanksgiving buffet featuring smoked turkey and ham, fried chicken and pulled pork, along with sides such as corn pudding, mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans and mashed potatoes. For dessert? Pumpkin and pecan pies, along with seasonal cobblers. Cost: $26.99 adults, $13.99 for kids 12 and younger. Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations: 423-708-8505.

» Terminal Brewhouse, 1464 Market St. While the popular brew house will not be serving a special Thanksgiving menu, it will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. So if you want to celebrate Turkey Day with a burger, pizza or other tavern fare alongside a good craft beer, here's the place to find them. Information: 423-752-8090.

» FoodWorks, 205 Manufacturers Road, will open its doors Thanksgiving morning for a tremendous feast of soups and salads, breads, roasted turkey and other meats, mouthwatering sides and a treasure of homemade desserts. There will be three seatings for the Thanksgiving buffet - 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. - at a cost of $35 per adult and $15 for children under 12. Reservations: 423-752-7487.

» Beast + Barrel Gastro Smokehouse, 16 Frazier Ave. Thanksgiving will feature a bountiful buffet of assorted cheeses; soups; salads; a chef-manned carving station with turkey, ham, salmon and herb-crusted prime rib; and a full spread of homemade desserts. Cost: $39.95 adults; free for kids 10 and younger. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Reservations: 423-805-4599.

» Herman's Soul Food, 3821 Brainerd Road, will open on Turkey Day offering a special meat-and-three menu with lots of choices ranging in price from $12.99 to $15.99. Hours: noon-5 p.m. Reservations: 423-624-5715.

» Sticky Fingers (Hamilton Place). One of Chattanooga's favorite places for 'cue will change course just a bit on Turkey Day, offering a buffet with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. But if you want a change of pace from tradition, order some barbecue or ribs for your Thanksgiving Day meal. Sticky Fingers also will be offering its regular menu. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Information: 423-899-7427.


If you plan to dine at home this Thanksgiving but need a little help with the cooking, here are some restaurants to help augment your meal with a slew of delicious choices.

» Cafe on the Corner, 826 Scenic Highway, on Lookout Mountain, will prepare take-home sides and desserts to help you along. Sides serve 10-14 people. Among the choices: Southern cornbread dressing ($22), squash casserole ($22), oyster dressing ($60), butternut squash soup ($12.95 per quart). Desserts include pecan pie ($18), pumpkin pie ($15) and apple pie ($18) as well as a luscious triple chocolate Kahlua cake ($35). Orders need to be placed no later than Thursday, Nov. 15. Call 423-825-5005 or email

» Bluff View Art District, 411 E. Second St., will take orders from the "Dinner Is Done" menu Thursday through Tuesday, Nov. 15-20. Order the entire meal or just pieces of it. A 3-pound turkey breast that serves eight is $35, and sour cream mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing, serving 12 to 15, are $20 each. Breads and desserts are also available. For a complete list or to order, call 423-265-5033, ext. 4.

» Ruth's Chris, 2321 Lifestyle Way, has select, signature "Sides To Go" for your Thanksgiving dinner. The restaurant is offering its popular creamed spinach, velvety roasted garlic mashed potatoes and the classic sweet potato casserole topped with a crunchy pecan-brown sugar crust. Each side dish is $29.95 and serves 10-12. Sides must be ordered no later than Monday, Nov. 19, and need to be picked up by Wednesday, Nov. 21. Orders can be placed online at, or by calling the restaurant directly, 423-602-5900, at least 48 hours in advance of your desired pickup time.

» Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, 2 W. Aquarium Way, will accept to-go holiday catering orders through Monday, Nov. 19. In addition to all the traditional turkey and side-dish offerings, the takeout menu also features smoked or fried turkey, smoked spiral ham, cherry-wood-smoked pulled pork, slow-smoked beef brisket and smoked baby back ribs. Desserts include chocolate chess, maple-pecan pie or pumpkin pie and several seasonal cobblers. The full menu is online at Orders can be placed by phone at 423-708-8505 or in person.

» The Acropolis Grill, 2213 Hamilton Place Blvd., has several offerings available for pickup through Wednesday, Nov. 21. They include turkeys, ranging from 14 pounds with dressing and gravy ($80) to a huge 20 pounds with dressing and gravy, enough to feed 18-20 people ($110). Also available are spiral ham (6 pounds, $50); assorted sides ($18-$25); and a bevy of dessert choices, including pumpkin pie, pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake to round out the take-home menu. To order, call 423-899-5341.

» Main Street Meats, 217 E. Main St. Order your turkey brined and ready to take home and roast yourself, or let the the experts smoke it for you. Prices range from $4.99 to $13.99 per pound depending on size, type of turkey ordered and whether you want it smoked or raw to roast yourself at home. Side dishes, serving up to 12 and ranging in price from $40 to $45, also may be ordered. This year's menu features broccolini with roasted garlic, Allepo pepper and parmesan; potato salad with bacon; and bacon-cornbread dressing with sausage gravy. To finish the feast: bacon-chocolate chip cookies for $24 per dozen. The deadline for ordering turkeys is today, Nov. 14. More turkeys may be available after that, but no promises. The deadline for ordering sides is Sunday, Nov. 18. Call 423-602-9568.

» Herman's Soul Food, 3821 Brainerd Road. Herman's will be offering turkey and ham with all the sides, including mac and cheese, broccoli casserole, turnip greens, broccoli salad and dressing, but it will also be offering a half pan of Herman's famous turkey and dressing for $115 (feeds 15-20) or a full pan for $155 (feeds 40-50). And don't forget dessert, such as a sweet potato pie ($15) or a red velvet cake ($48). The deadline for ordering is Monday, Nov. 19. For orders, call 423-624-5715.

Email Anne Braly at

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