by erin thursby
Saving money is fabulous, but what if your time is worth more to you than saving a few dollars here and there? In this case, Jacksonville has lots of options for making your meal convenient. Plenty of your favorite restaurants offer holiday take-away meals; you need only ask and arrange for it ahead of time. Here are just six of the places where you can carry a meal away or have a meal brought to you.
michelle’s southern home cooking
Really, there are only so many stovetops in your kitchen. With all the sides you’re expected to offer at a holiday meal, you’d have to start cooking at least a day before. I know I do! Michelle’s takes some of the pressure away by offering southern-style home cooked options such as collards and black-eyed peas. They aren’t open Thanksgiving Day, but picking your side up the day before isn’t a big deal. More than 270 orders for their squash casserole were placed the day before Thanksgiving last year. They’re known for their side items and their marvelous pies. Call 353-0002 for more info.
bogetta di bella sara / catering by liz
Catering by Liz does offer full service catering, but there’s only a slim chance you’ll be able to fit into their booked calendar this holiday season. But cheer up, you can always pick up items to bring home for your holiday feast at their take-away store, Bogetta di Bella Sera. Calling in advance helps a lot, so they can set things aside for you. If you’ve got just 2 or 3 people at your holiday table, or you want a different option, try the Whole Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Au Jus and Cilantro Crème Fraiche at $15. You can serve 8-10 people with their gourmet-style dishes, like their Artichoke Parmesan Soufflé or Olive Oil Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apple Smoked Bacon and Shallots, to name a few. Each are about $15-25. A whole, boneless turkey, which feeds from 12-15 people will cost you about $100. Items are available for pickup November 24-26, 9 am – 6 pm in disposable containers. Call 387-1955 for more info or to order for pick up.
This is a commercial chain with an Italian bent, but they offer the full enchilada, so to speak. They can deliver the entire holiday feast right to your door with the means to keep it warm. For Thanksgiving Day they ask that you call about one week in advance to place your order. Cost will vary depending on what you order. They set it up and there aren’t any dishes to wash, because it’s all in disposable dishes. Everything, from turkey and ham to sweet potatoes and greens can be ordered from Maggiano’s. Call 380-4360 and ask for Chef Muller.
If you like to keep a local flavor to your meals, go with Terry’s Kitchen. Basically, they make the meal, you heat it up in your kitchen. Because many items are freshly made, then frozen, that means you can plan your meal in advance and stock your freezer. The good news? It’ll still taste fresh and homemade. If you want something specific, just call Terry herself and they can have it for you ahead of time. Calling ahead can be important during the rush of the holidays. They still have plenty in their freezers that you can pick up, such as their popular chicken veggie pie, their bow tie pasta, lasagna, classic mac and cheese and more. For an easy but classy choice, go with their fish in foil. Head on over to 4218 St. Johns Ave., or call 388-1743.
Matthew’s is more than just a gourmet restaurant, they’re also a separate gourmet market and lunch stop with everything from wines and cheeses to the finest meats. But it’s the takeaway food that has had folks doing a happy dance. This season they’ll have a holiday menu you can order from. Call 398-6676 or go by their location at 2103 San Marco Blvd. to see what they have in store.
native sun market
If you’re a vegan, vegetarian or have other specific dietary requirements that make the fat-saturated season a bit annoying, talk to the guys behind the counter at Native Sun Market. They might have something in their case you can take home, or they might be able to suggest something for you to cook. There are two Native Sun locations, but the one at Baymeadows and 9A has a larger, more extensive deli case. Call 519-2997 to see what will be in their case close to the holidays and what you can order ahead of time. See the Dish Update for more!
lazy holiday meal
by erin thursby