Out to eat — Thanksgiving

No home-cooked meal coming your way for Thanksgiving? Here are the best places to grab a turkey dinner in style.

by Tony Libera

Thanksgiving break can be tough on the penniless, imported collegian sitting alone, bundled in sweatpants and wool socks, watching daytime soaps in a crappy studio apartment. You undoubtedly long for the warm embrace of a home-cooked meal, while native Minnesotans indulge in turkey, football, and the drunken mirth of their kin. Sadly, flying home costs so much these days that you need to be a Rockefeller just to get on board, but there are local Thanksgiving options for those staying in the cities. Most of the open restaurants border on the pricey side, but theyâÄôre a hell of a lot cheaper than a plane ticket. You could just sit at home and eat Cheetos , but, to paraphrase the incomparable Billy Joel, sharing a drink called loneliness is better than drinking alone. GabeâÄôs Roadhouse GabeâÄôs appeals to both brunch aficionados and those on a budget (if we use the term âÄúbudgetâÄù loosely). At $19.95 for an all you can eat feast, GabeâÄôs is the most wallet-friendly of Thanksgiving choices, and potentially the most filling. Their sprawling buffet offers roast turkey, honey glazed ham and champagne chicken, with too many veggie sides to count. They also offer a bacon and cheddar soufflé, which will simultaneously overload your senses and horrify your practicing physician. But remember, just because the pilgrims didnâÄôt need reservations doesnâÄôt mean you can barge in, claim manifest destiny and help yourself to all the deviled egg canapés. Call ahead; brunch only runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood If brunch isnâÄôt your bag, there are simpler options. McCormick & SchmickâÄôs will offer their regular menu, along with an endless traditional turkey dinner that comes in at $22.95. Yes, itâÄôs more expensive than GabeâÄôs buffet, and yes, itâÄôs a chain. But, the beauty of this place is that you can dine at night and not have to deal with some punk kid screaming about gravy or God knows what. If you want to skip the family tumult but still get a traditional Thanksgiving meal, McCormick & SchmickâÄôs is your place. Dancing Ganesha Dancing Ganesha is by far the most intriguing of Thanksgiving choices; this swanky Indian restaurant will tackle the standard holiday foods and pepper in a little Eastern flair. ThereâÄôs cumin and coriander spiced Tandoori Turkey, horseradish mashed potatoes, cranberry chutney, curried yams with coconut milk and a chiffon pumpkin pie with crystallized ginger galore. Anyone who has grown sick of the basic turkey entrée will surely enjoy these Indian twists. The meal comes in at $21.99 , but the unique food and the beautiful décor make Dancing Ganesha worth the price. Cosmos This one goes out to the folk who donâÄôt mind dropping a dime or two on this most drowsying of holidays. CosmosâÄô Thanksgiving meal is priced at a whopping 45 bones, but it is by far the most seductive of options. The décor of this hot little spot in the Graves 601 Hotel is ritzy to say the least, with uber-chic furniture and dazzling installations lining the walls. Definitely lose the sweats when attending this place. The Thanksgiving menu is so big and varied that itâÄôs basically a buffet where the waiters bring you your food. First, you choose a starting dish, which includes pan seared crab cakes and butter-basted diver scallops, to name a few. Then thereâÄôs the entrée course, featuring the classic bird, pistachio stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry compote and pan gravy, but also rosemary roasted leg of lamb, confit of halibut and whole roasted beef tenderloin. After a round of artisan cheeses you can treat yourself to either pumpkin praline custard, chocolate tart or apple tarte tatin.