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Thanksgiving 2020

Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article

Print Date 11.13.2020

By Judy Brenna

Is anyone else freaking out Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because of what we’ve endured throughout the epic dumpster fire that was 2020. Maybe I’m finally beginning to crack. That would explain the new found obsession with true crime and serial killer podcasts ((#necronomipod rules!)). Where did the time go? I’m pretty sure the shut down lasted 3 years and now all of sudden it’s Thanksgiving?? I didn’t even have enough time to prepare my inventory spreadsheet and consumption schedule for the leftover Halloween candy. Now it’s over and I’ve lost any will to eat it. Hedging forward… thanks to COVID-19, Thanksgiving gatherings ((and maybe even the birds themselves)) may likely be a smidge smaller this year. This holiday is all about spending time at home with family, so essentially it’s a super COVID-friendly holiday. It’s also historically one of the busiest travel times of the year, the day before Thanksgiving bars typically doubling and sometimes tripling their daily revenue. Thanks to the state’s curve ball of issuing a “no seating or mingling at bars” rule, I would in theory fear bar owners will be hurting, however, considering how awful human beings are in general at following rules ((your honor, I submit into evidence Exhibit A, an image of Daytona Beach on Memorial Day Weekend)) I have a feeling bar owners’ pockets will be lined just fine. Just look at how creative we got with other holidays this year. The overall moral of the story being people won’t let anything, not even a pesky potentially lethal virus, to keep them from having a good time ((chuckling)). Silly humans.

In lieu of the pots and pans, there are a ton of restaurant and catering options to choose from this holiday. I thoroughly love the idea of supporting local businesses as much as I enjoy cocktails ((which says an abundance)). If you and your family feel comfortable braving the indoor dining world, I urge you to do so. It will help in more ways than one. Here are a few suggestions: Starting from one end of the Boardwalk with the Tropicana Casino and Resort, we have ((shameless plug)) Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum, Carmine’s Italian Restaurant, Palm Restaurant, and Chelsea Five Gastro Pub (I highly recommend their prime rib), all open for the holiday and offering specials.

At Caesars and Harrah’s, we have Morton’s The Steakhouse and McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood. Gordon Ramsey Pub and Grill is offering a special Thanksgiving Day dinner starting at $39 per person, including salad, entrée and dessert. And at Bally’s, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse is taking you to flavor town with an impressive 4 course dinner package for the same price, and I for one am extremely tempted, specifically because their green bean dish has a bunch of bacon in it and I am a well known bacon junkie and if I try to resist it my body involuntarily starts profusely sweating ((don't judge me)). Over at Resorts Casino Hotel, Landshark Bar and Grill, Margaritaville, Capriccio, and Gallagher’s Steak House will all be open for the big day and ready and raring to help you stuff you faces. If you decide to go over to Ocean Casino Resort you will not be disappointed. Amada and American Cut will be ready to serve you and your family.

The holiday season is always a special time at Borgata and Thanksgiving is known as the kick-off for it all. This year, keeping COVID-19 in mind, Borgata Eats is offering a truly great Thanksgiving dinner package, serving up to 8 guests, for only $239 (less than $30 per person), and includes a whole roasted turkey and 6 sides! They’re offering contact-free pick-up service the day before and day of the holiday. As long as you arrive in your designated time slot, all you need to do is pull up to the designated entrance, pop your trunk, and they’ll do the rest! The only thing left you’ll have to do is drive home, sneak the food into

the house, and transfer everything to your own platters so it looks like you made it.

I don’t know if any of you recall an article I wrote about a year and a half ago about the food funeral I participated in and how my friend had to roll my body out of the restaurant as I cried hysterically clawing for the dessert case. There are a few things I lose control over and one of them is Kelsey’s. The plate has to literally be taken away for me otherwise I can’t stop. Just ask my friend who witnessed me licking the butter off my steak knife ((and yes, I realize how wholly unsmart that was)). It’s rather embarrassing actually. And I don’t know if what I’m about to say is good or bad for me personally, but Kelsey’s is ((catching breath)) offering a comprehensive holiday catering menu, including roasted, smoked or fried turkey, cranberry glazed ham, a dizzying array of side dishes, and a slew of homemade desserts that will make your head spin. Is it really hot in here or is it just me? ((wiping brow))

Some other great options, one of them, of course: Johnny’s Café in Margate. Not only are

they offering a 4 course dinner with 3 seating times at 3 pm, 5 pm and 7 pm for only $33.95 per person, they’re also offering a pretty great catering package that feeds up to 6 for $150 (that’s only $25 per person!) and includes an up to 20 lbs whole roasted turkey with all the trimmings, a homemade pie, plus the option to add on other trays of food! Just make sure your order is in by November 16th. If you’re dining in and can’t imagine surviving Thanksgiving without Nonna’s meatballs, ((channeling Vinnie from My Blue Heaven)) eh fuggedaboutit, they’ll take care of it, it’ll be beautiful. You’re welcome to order a la carte items as well. Romanelli’s Garden Café in Galloway is also offering a full holiday dinner package for pick-up and delivery service the day before Thanksgiving. You can find the order form on their Facebook page. Check it out!

Please remember, these are a mere few compared to the many venues out there in Atlantic County. I think it’s a far better idea to forgo the holiday food shopping and cooking migraine and dish pan hands, and support your local business in the process. And there’s a pretty good chance you’d actually save some money. Can you just imagine spending potentially less money on the food, eliminating ALL the hassle of prepping and cooking, and having the opportunity to actually enjoy yourself over the holiday? It sounds maybe a little impossible, but more importantly it sounds magical, doesn’t it? Be the unicorn you always dreamed of becoming and place your dinner reservation or catering order today. Just remember Quarantina’s sage words of wisdom when planning your Thanksgiving 2020, “wear a mask, and always, always, always wash your hands”. Until next week…#stayjerseystrong.

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