Top 5 chain places to pick up Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is a beloved time when loved ones gather, give thanks and share a delicious meal.  But for whomever is tasked with the shopping, prepping and cooking, it can be a ton of work.

Why not leave all of the hassle to someone else?

Several places are offering you just that.  They do the hard part.  You pick up the finished product or have it delivered, then serve it at your leisure in your home or vacation rental.

There are many local businesses around the Lowcountry offering terrific Thanksgiving dinners to go, as I covered in that last blog.  But large chain companies are also getting in on the trend.  You can enjoy these options all over the country, not just in the Lowcountry.

Here are the top five options for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner in your Isle of Palms oceanfront rental, cooked by well known national chains.

Option #1  –  Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is famous for their good ol’ fashioned home cooking.  So it comes as no surprise that they’d be cooking up Thanksgiving dinner as well.  They’re calling it their special Heat ‘n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal with all the fixins’ available in various sizes depending on how many people you need to feed.  (The biggie that serves ten people is $139.99, while dinner for four to six is $69.99.)

It will take a couple hours to heat them up fully at home till they’re ready to serve.  You know that’s going to make your house smell heavenly.

Cracker Barrel asks that you give at least 24 hours’ notice for orders, which you then pick up from November 21st through November 29th, while supplies last.  Also, if you schedule your order for pickup by November 23rd or 24th, you’ll get a free $10 Bonus Card valid at any Cracker Barrel in Jan and Feb of 2021.

Their Heat ‘n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal includes two oven-roasted turkey breasts (or ham if you’d prefer), gravy, dressing, your choice of three of their delicious Country Sides (each of which serves 10), cranberry relish, yeast rolls, pecan pie and pumpkin pie.

Option #2  –  Costco Wholesale

OK, in this option, Costco isn’t quite doing the cooking, but they’ve partnered with someone really good to do it.  They’re offering a complete eight-person Thanksgiving dinner in cooperation with the famous food company, Schwan’s.  Schwan’s has been in the frozen meal delivery business for a long time, as their food delivery trucks in neighborhoods all across the land can attest.

You get a complete Thanksgiving dinner, shipped straight to you, frozen.  There is no pickup required.  Neither do you have to do any of that pesky thawing, either.  Just cook it straight from frozen!  It comes with detailed heating instructions.

Costco’s Thanksgiving Meal for eight includes: two 2.5 lb. Ready-to-Roast turkey breast (5 pounds total, yielding approximately 20 servings), 2 pounds of roasted sweet potatoes (serves 10), 2.5 pounds of creamy mashed potatoes & gravy (approx.10 servings), twenty-ounces extra gravy (14 servings), two 12 oz. bags of MicroSteam green beans (12 servings), thirty-six ounces of super-sweet corn (11 servings), southern-style biscuit dough (makes 18 biscuits), old fashioned 10 inch apple pie (serves 12), traditional 9 inch pumpkin pie (serves 8), and classic vanilla ice cream 56 fluid ounces (serves 11).

The full meal costs just $104.99 to serve eight people, with enough for leftovers.  NOTE: if you order by midnight November 19th, you’ll get a $15 discount.  That brings the cost of the whole meal down to just $89.99.

You must have a Costco membership to order.  They only ship Mon thru Wed, for Wednesday through Friday deliveries.  If you order after 12pm on a Wed the order won’t ship till the following Monday.  Since it’s perishable, they won’t ship over the weekend.  So plan your order accordingly.

Option #3  –  Popeye’s

Popeye’s is famous for their fried chicken, hot Louisiana spices that really kick things up a notch, and a hard-to-find fried chicken sandwich that caused a recent frenzy.

Well, they’re sticking to poultry but doing a Thanksgiving treat they’ve done in the past –  their signature Cajun Style Turkey.  It’s carefully hand rubbed and infused with special hot Louisiana spices, cooked, and ready to eat.

The cost is $39.99, and it should serve about ten people.  You should definitely call your local Popeye’s soon to pre-order, to make sure you’ll have one for Thanksgiving.  They’re taking orders now for turkeys as well as for a la carte side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Option #4  – Harris-Teeter

Harris-Teeter grocery stores traditionally offer holiday meals that are likely the best deal around.  They have three different versions  –  turkey, ham, or prime rib  –  so they work for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years.  Last year when they ran this offer, it was only $49.99 per special.

These are their holiday meal choices:

Turkey Dinner: 9 to 12 lb. Fully Cooked Butterball Turkey, 2 lb. Fresh Cornbread Dressing, 2 lb. Green Bean Casserole, 2 lb. Fresh Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, 16 oz. Turkey Gravy, and 18 oz. Cranberry Relish (serves 8 – 10).

Ham Dinner – 7 to 9 lb. Fresh Harris Teeter Spiral Sliced Ham, 2 lb. Fresh Sweet Potato Casserole, 2 lb. Fresh Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, and 2 lb. Green Bean Casserole (serves 8 – 10).

Prime Rib Dinner – 4 lb. Fresh Boneless Prime Rib, 2 lb. Fresh Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, 2 lb. Fresh Sweet Potato Casserole, and 2 lb. Green Bean Casserole (serves 6 – 8).

Harris-Teeter is based in North Carolina but is located all over the South and East.  Call your local store for details and to order.

Option #5 –  Whole Foods

Last but not least, Whole Foods is also on the Thanksgiving dinner bandwagon, and a great option for vegans and healthy eaters.

Their “Festive Feast for 12” has a bunch of dishes for under $300, and you can customize it.    Included in the standard classic menu  –  Classic Roast Whole Turkey, Spiral-Sliced Ham with Maple-Bourbon Glaze, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Traditional Herb Stuffing, Green Beans with Roasted Shallots, Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Sage, Creamed Spinach and Kale, Turkey Gravy, Spiced Brown Sugar Ham Glaze, Cranberry Orange Sauce, Brioche Rolls, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie.

Variations and options include: organic, turkey breasts or whole turkeys, apple-brined smoked turkey, paleo options; an entire vegan menu by Chef Chloe Coscarelli; Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup Shooters, Butternut Squash Soup, Prime Rib, or even Szechuan-style Cornish Game Hens.  You can also opt for smaller sized feasts to serve two, four, or eight people.

Whole Foods requests 48 hours’ notice ahead of your preferred pickup time.  You can pick up any time between November 19th and November 26th.  The East Cooper Whole Foods is located at 923 Houston Northcutt Boulevard in Mount Pleasant; reach them to place your order at (843) 971-7240. This is a great option to stock up your Isle of Palms beach rental.

So check out one of these solid options to save yourself from having to do all the holiday cooking yourself.  These companies are in the business of feeding folks, and they know their stuff.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger