Staffing shortages, supply chain hiccups plague restaurants.
If you are planning to get some of your Thanksgiving entrees or side dishes from local eateries and prepared food places, this year will look a little bit different.
Restaurants have been plagued with persistent and months-long staffing shortages that are still related to the pandemic, and many are having to cut back on what they are able to produce in terms of catered and take-out holiday fare.
While holiday brunches may be harder to come by in the next month with daytime staffing shortages, the good old upcoming Thanksgiving dinner isn’t immune to the problems either.
Many restaurants will be closed on the actual Thanksgiving holiday, while others are cutting back on the full-service, pre-ordered dinner options that they were offering just last year. I heard repeatedly from local owners and managers that they just don’t have the manpower to get the catering orders out the door. Staffing continues to be a problem for many reasons, from unemployment to child care dilemmas to transportation schedule problems.
And don’t try to order the day or two beforehand. I also heard how supply chain delays for foods this year mean orders can’t really be placed last-minute, they need to be in a week or so in advance, in some cases.
All this means that if you want to grab some side dishes or a nice turkey dinner to avoid turning on your oven, this week is kind of the deadline to plan your meal.
While I heard from countless restaurants that they were either closed or weren’t doing any type of take-out this year, I searched for and found several options locally that fit the bill, from full dinners to prepared side dishes and pies. Here are some of the local options.
Jansen is offering a full Thanksgiving dinner for a family of four for $200, starting off with a lobster butternut squash soup and a mixed green salad, all the way to the roasted turkey, haricots verts, cranberry sauce, savory stuffing and a potato mousseline. You can finish off the meal with a pumpkin pie with bourbon maple whipped cream. You can add on to the dinner with a charcuterie selection, $50, a seafood medley of lobster, shrimp and oysters, $65, or grilled salmon, $15. The dinner items should be ordered in advance and can be picked up on Thanksgiving. Jansen will not be seating anyone for a la carte dinner for Thanksgiving in the restaurant. Jansen, 7402 Germantown Ave., Mount Airy. 267-335-5041.
Iron Hill Brewery is also offering a full Thanksgiving take-out meal, which should be pre-ordered by the 19th. For $65, a family of four can enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry orange sauce, sausage and sage stuffing and country-style green beans with bacon and onion. For an additional $10, you can choose either a pumpkin or apple pie to accompany the meal. You can throw in a seasonal growler for $14 or a signature growler for $12. The meals will be scheduled for a Wednesday, Nov. 24 pick-up, since the resto is closed on Thanksgiving. Iron Hill, 8400 Germantown Ave., Phila., Pa. 215-948-5600.
Weavers Way in Chestnut Hill will be taking pre-orders for fresh - as in cook-it-yourself - turkeys delivered from three local farms, and orders can be placed up to a week before Thanksgiving. This year, the prepared foods department at Weavers Way will not be offering a full pre-ordered meal for pick-up as it did last year, but will have a selection of fresh side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, homemade gravy, Brussels sprouts and green beans. These side dishes will be walk-up only, and can’t be preordered. They will be available starting about four days before Thanksgiving. Weavers Way will also not be open on Thanksgiving. Weavers Way, 8424 Germantown Ave., Phila., Pa. 215-866-9150.
Night Kitchen Bakery & Café says Nov. 18 is the final day to place orders for pick-up on Wednesday the 24th between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Apple crumble or cherry crumble pies are available, and pumpkin, pecan or chocolate pecan pies are available as well. There is also an option for sweet potato pie. All pies are $30 each. Tarts range from $27.50 to $45, featuring local favorites like blueberry almond or chocolate pecan. If cheesecake is your Thanksgiving tradition, the bakery is making chocolate ganache and vanilla versions, as well as a pumpkin swirl. Night Kitchen Bakery & Café, 7723 Germantown Ave., Phila., Pa. 215-248-9235.