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Houstonians can do better than turkey and dressing this Thanksgiving. Add Killen's brisket tamales, for example.

Image: Kimberly Park

A food-focused holiday if ever there was one, Thanksgiving is upon us and preparations for the feast day have begun. While grocery stores and farmers markets will no doubt be bustling with activity for the next few days, we have a short list of some of the best places to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal if cooking isn't necessarily your forte.

Benjy's

Open for a very special Thanksgiving Brunch on Thursday, November 26, Benjy's in the Village will be offering guests a variety of innovative Turkey Day brunch specials in addition to the standard brunch menu. Notable menu items include pumpkin spice French toast with cranberry chutney, a green bean omelette with mushroom gravy and decadent sweet potato pie with candied pecans. Putting a spin on the traditional turkey and gravy, Benjy's will be serving up a hearty Thanksgiving panino with slow-roasted turkey, crispy Brussels, Brie, cranberry jam and garlic aioli, served between slices of Kraftsmen Baking challah.

Just a hop, skip and a jump away, Benjy’s on Washington welcomes guests to enjoy a full Thanksgiving menu on Thursday, November 26 in addition to a convenient Thanksgiving “on the run” to-go menu. Signature dishes include herb-roasted turkey breast, braised pork shoulder and jalapeño beer sausage, along with a plethora of sides and desserts. 

Holley's Seafood & Oyster Bar

 
Chef Mark Holley invites Houstonians to enjoy a seafood-laden Thanksgiving dinner. At his upscale, midtown restaurant, an extraordinary dinner menu will be packed with Southern favorites. Savory selections include pumpkin soup with curried shrimp; fried quail with sweet potato waffle, creamed mustard greens and sorghum-persimmon syrup; and Holley's famous Thai-style fried whole snapper.
 
On the traditional side, Chef Mark is serving up a turkey dinner with sweet potato soufflé, collard greens, oyster-cornbread stuffing, mac-and-cheese, cranberry chutney and giblet dressing. The three-course, prix-fixe menu will be served Thanksgiving Day from 11am – 6pm, priced at $60 for adults and $30 for kids.

B&B Butchers

 
Houston's newest boutique steakhouse welcomes guests to take the stress out of Thanksgiving and partake in a four-course dine-in menu priced at $55 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. The restaurant is known for superior meats hand-cut daily in its butcher shop.  In addition to the regular dinner menu, the meat mavens will also serve up a traditional Thanksgiving meal with a B&B twist.
 
Expect to choose from savory items like roasted turkey with sausage stuffing or roasted prime rib with creamy horseradish and beefy jus. Decadent sides will include sweet yams oven baked with cinnamon and marshmallows, cranberry sauce with raisins, and Brussels sprouts topped with applewood smoked bacon and aged balsamic. The charming backdrop of the two-story space, complete with sweeping views of the Houston skyline, make this a very special place to celebrate with family and friends. 

Killen's BBQ

 
You may be the type to set fire to the kitchen when making toast, but you can provide your family with another kind of fireworks this holiday with just a short road trip down to Pearland. Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Killen's BBQ is offering to-go orders for pick up until it closes on Wednesday, November 25th.
 
Who better to get a bird from than the master of meat himself? Chef Ronnie Killen is preparing only 200 smoked turkeys this year. Moist and succulent, the limited supply makes the birds all the more special. For $75, you can score a turkey up to 24 lbs., enough to feast on Thanksgiving and more importantly enjoy for leftovers through the weekend.
 
In addition to a classic Thanksgiving turkey, Killen's BBQ is offering all of its signature meats to pre-order by the pound including brisket, beef and pork ribs, pulled pork, and bone-in pork belly. And for a truly out of the box meal, tamales, stuffed with Killen's beef brisket and savory house sauce, retail at $20 for a dozen. Only offered once a year, these babies are available Thursday through Saturday until December 31st, perfect to add on to your Thanksgiving menu. This is Texas after all.
 
Just as important as the meat, Killen's does not disappoint when it comes to sides and desserts. Available by the quart, half pan and full pan (which can serve up to 50), mouth-watering sides include pinto beans, baked beans, potato salad, green beans, mac -n-cheese, and creamed corn. Nobody at your table will miss the pumpkin pie when you serve up an unbelievably sinful pumpkin bread pudding, my absolute favorite dessert in Houston.
Thanksgiving nhix70

Pilgrims and Native Americans gather together in the spirit of cupcakes at Crave

Image: Megha Tejpal

Crave Cupcakes

 
Though they're not offering Houstonians a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, this cupcake boutique with locations around the city is serving up holiday cupcakes that kids — and adults — won't be able to resist. Thanksgiving themed, handcrafted toppers give the always delicious Crave cupcakes a festive look and will no doubt make a colorful addition to your dessert table. Available until they run out, Crave is making life a whole lot easier by offering nationwide shipping (just in case you're traveling and cannot live without a Crave cupcake dessert option at your Thanksgiving dinner) and local delivery on pre-orders.

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