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Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet: What to Eat, Where to Go, and How to Give Back

Have you ever noticed this time of year that the clock seems to speed up, then before you know it, we’re at Thanksgiving ground zero! Still don’t have plans? Need some advice in the kitchen? Concerned about holiday traffic? Want to donate to a worthy cause? No worries–we’ve gathered some great last minute ideas, tips, and hacks to help make this Thanksgiving a truly grateful occasion.


The Tam O’Shanter

2980 Los Feliz Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90039


A Los Angeles legend for over 90 years, The Tam O’Shanter is LA’s oldest restaurant, operated by the same family in the same location since 1922. Offering the traditional charm and coziness of a Highland inn, the restaurant is housed in a Tudor-style building, complete with Scottish tartans, comfy booths, and plaid-clad waitstaff. The Thanksgiving menu includes choice of Turkey or Prime Rib, with all the traditional accompaniments like Creamed Corn, Creamed Spinach, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Herbed Stuffing, Tam O’Shanter Salad, and Pumpkin Pie. Make reservations here.


Barton G

861 N. La Cienega Blvd

West Hollywood, CA 90069


For a more playful take on Turkey Day, make your way to Barton G, a dressy New American restaurant known for its luxurious ambiance and quirky menu with decadent items such as lobster Pop-Tarts. The three-course Thanksgiving dinner menu includes roasted pumpkin soup with maple crème fraîche; herb-roasted turkey breast with confit leg served with apricot-and-sage stuffing, as well as parsnip-and-potato mash, roasted Brussels sprouts with a pistachio crumble, candied yams and other side dishes; and pumpkin doughnuts with a side of cranberry compote, pumpkin butter, spiced warm chocolate and cinnamon anglaise. Reservations here.


Plant-based recipes for Thanksgiving 


For most people, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a turkey on the table. But if you trend toward vegetarianism, veganism or flexitarianism, luckily there are amazing plant-based dishes that you can prepare for a mouth-watering Thanksgiving feast, making it easier than ever to skip the turkey. Inhabitat, an online guide to green design and innovation, offers some fresh ideas for main dishes that will replace the turkey on your table, plus some side dish and dessert recipes that will keep the food at your celebration completely plant-based.


Need Thanksgiving Tips? Ask Alexa


Stressed about Thanksgiving? Time to bring the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line right into your kitchen! With the new Butterball Skill for Amazon Alexa, you can hear real Talk-Line experts guide you through every step of your meal prep. The new skill comes preloaded with answers to Butterball’s most frequently fielded questions like “How long do I need to thaw my turkey?” and “At what temperature should I roast my turkey?” You can get the skill on any Alexa-enabled device by saying “Alexa, open Butterball…” or “Alexa, ask Butterball…” If you ask, the Butterball experts will even tell you about their favorite calls or give you a pep talk! Find out more here.


Mapping Thanksgiving by Google


For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving means turkey, parades, family, and the road-trip to get there. To gain a better understanding of the places that people intend to visit throughout the holidays, Google analyzed the number of times that people requested directions to a location using Google Maps. Using data from 2017’s holiday season, Google is providing insight into the places people visit around the holidays, when to visit them, and the best times to get on (or stay off) the road in 2018. You can search by state and check popular visit times at the most-frequented destinations in your area, such as bakery, grocery store, movie theatre, or shopping center. The feature also analyzes traffic patterns so you can avoid delays during peak holiday travel. Find out more here.


How to Give Back 


Los Angeles Mission

303 E 5th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90013


The Los Angeles Mission’s annual Thanksgiving celebration serve over 3,000 pounds of turkey, 700 pounds of mashed potatoes, 800 pounds of green beans and 600 pies to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. They also give out over 1,400 blankets and over 1,200 tarps in preparation for the colder winter months. Find out how to volunteer here.


St. Vincent Meals on Wheels

St. Vincent Meals on Wheels prepares and deliver nutritious meals to homebound seniors and other vulnerable residents across Los Angeles, regardless of age, illness, disability, race, religion or ability to pay. By donating your lunch break, you can help the Meals on Wheels program in your community to reach the 1 in 6 seniors who might not know where their next meal is coming from. More information on how to volunteer here.


Business Insider has some more great tips on how to give back this Thanksgiving season.