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News / Life / Clark County Life

Gobble up turkey without cooking — with help from Clark County restaurants, eateries

Restaurants provide Thanksgiving fixings and businesses offer to-go meals for those seeking holiday feast without turning on oven

By Rachel Pinsky, Columbian freelance food writer
Published: November 10, 2023, 6:05am

We’re in the mad dash to plan one of the most extravagant feasts of the year: Thanksgiving.

Here’s a guide for people who want to dine out — or dine in but not cook.

The list of restaurants offering Thanksgiving meals has never been long in Vancouver, but it seems to shrink every year. For example, Gustav’s is serving a traditional turkey dinner with sides for $24 this month, but it won’t be open to do so on Thanksgiving Day as it has in the past, given its recent acquisition by NW Hospitality Group, which closes its restaurants for the holiday.

But newcomer 13 Coins Restaurant (511 W. Columbia Way, Vancouver; 360-360-4646) is stepping in with a Thanksgiving dinner including garlic-herb roasted turkey, apple sage stuffing and mashed potatoes ($48 per person).

Elements Restaurant (907 Main St., Vancouver; 360-258-0989) and Roots Restaurant & Bar (19215 S.E. 34th St., Unit 110, Camas; 360-260-3001) both offer first-class farm-to-table Thanksgiving feasts, but their reservations websites show them fully booked for the holiday.

Hotels are a good bet. They’re well equipped to handle large groups and keep their kitchens open every day all year round for hotel guests.

Hudson’s Bar & Grill at Heathman Lodge (7805 N.E. Greenwood Drive, Vancouver; 360-816-6100) serves a Thanksgiving buffet. Reservations are fully booked, but Hudson’s may open some spots on Monday.

Grays Restaurant & Bar at Hilton Vancouver Washington (301 W. Sixth St., Vancouver; 360-828-4343) will offer slow-roasted turkey breast ($36) and butternut squash risotto with plant-based kabob ($32) with sides and choice of pecan or pumpkin pie.

AC Hotel (333 W. Columbia Way, Vancouver; 360-993-8895) will serve a Thanksgiving dinner in its chic waterfront lounge.

Thanksgiving to-go

Procrastinators like me may lose out on reservations at these places. You can try your luck booking a last-minute reservation. If that doesn’t work, prepared to-go feasts are a nice option.

Gustav’s (1705 S.E. 164th Ave., Vancouver: 360-883-0222) may not have its dining room open on Thanksgiving, but you can order a meal for six to eight guests ($200) to serve at home that includes turkey, sides and pumpkin pie, as well as Glühwein, a hot spiced wine served at the popular winter markets in Germany.

Also offering meals to-go are 13 Coins Restaurant ($195 to serve four, $325 to serve eight) and Grays Restaurant & Bar ($159 to serve six to eight people).

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Smokin’ Oak (501 Columbia St., Vancouver; 360-433-2755) sells 20-pound smoked turkeys ($175) as well as family-style sides to go ($49). Smokin’ Oak’s super popular birds went on sale on Nov. 1, but it’s worth reaching out to see if any are left.

Several Clark County supermarkets also offer traditional Thanksgiving meals to-go, including Chuck’s Produce ($125 to serve four), Rosauers ($79.99 to serve six to eight) and New Seasons Market, where options include a turkey dinner for four ($124.99) and gluten-free and vegan meals for four ($84.99).

Sides and desserts can be found elsewhere. Students at The Tod and Maxine Culinary Institute at Clark College offer sides like garlic mashed potatoes, turkey gravy and cranberry-orange sauce scooped into containers for sale in the cafeteria near Gaiser Hall (1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver).

Bleu Door Bakery (2411 Main St., Vancouver; 360-693-2538) recently added a holiday dessert menu featuring pumpkin, apple or pecan pie with vegan and gluten-free options ($28-$34), as well as pear-ginger or apple-cranberry galettes ($35).

Potluck

For those looking for a nonfamilial gathering, Dandelion Teahouse & Apothecary (109 W. Seventh St.; 360-718-7642) is hosting a Friendsgiving Potluck on Nov. 22. This low-key gathering is free and open to all, but space is limited so RSVP by email (info@dandelionteahouse.com).

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Columbian freelance food writer