Food and Drink

11 Houston Restaurants That Have Thanksgiving Dinner Covered

From prix-fixe feasts to turkey and fixin's to-go.

Brasserie Du Parc Houston
Brasserie Du Parc Houston
Brasserie Du Parc Houston

Sure you can settle for dry turkey, grocery store pumpkin pie, and problematic conversations with your uncle who’s already two bottles deep at 3pm this Thanksgiving. That’s totally a viable option. However, you can ALSO choose to dine at one of these Houston restaurants and bars that are doing the Turkey Day legwork for you (possibly even better than you could yourself). That means you can finally have a holiday with zero stress, guaranteed good food, and zero problematic conversations from aforementioned uncles. Here are all the best places to feast in Houston this Thanksgiving, from bougie prix fixe meals to traditional turkey dinners with all the proper fixins.

Kimberly Park
Kimberly Park
Kimberly Park

Brennan’s of Houston

Midtown
For a holiday supper with all the charm, snag a seat at this legendary Texas Creole charmer’s Thanksgiving table (or try its first-ever Thanksgiving to-go menu complete with a smoked turkey from Feges BBQ and Brennan’s sides and desserts). For those dining in, your meal begins with a lagniappe before moving on to fanciful stuff like snapping turtle soup, potlikker braised oxtails & gnudi, and entrees from Creole turkey with Holy Trinity dressing to wild game cassoulet and mesquite grilled redfish. Finish with bayou rum carrot cake, cinnamon spiced apple crisp, and Brennan’s famous tableside flamed bananas Foster. 
Cost: Dine in for $62 per person, call 713-522-9711 for reservations; or order the complete to-go package ($325, feeds 8) by Tuesday, November 17 for pickup either Tuesday, November 24 or Wednesday, November 25

Steak48
Steak48
Steak48

Steak 48

River Oaks District
Been good this year? Then treat yourself to a swanky dine-in (or take out) Thanksgiving meal complete with things like Alaskan King crab legs, truffle butter hasselback potatoes, and classic roast turkey dinner (turkey dinner available only through pre-order and to-go). Not the turkey type? There’s also 22-ounce bone-in ribeye and twin lobster tails with drawn butter. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag had lobster at the First Thanksgiving, right? 
Cost: A la carte; call 713-322-7448 for dine-in reservations or to pre-order to-go

Rainbow Lodge
Rainbow Lodge
Rainbow Lodge

Rainbow Lodge

Shady Acres
Everyone knows the beauty of an at-home Thanksgiving dinner is the late-night, leftover turkey and stuffing sandwich-at least, Rainbow Lodge knows that. That’s why the gorgeous historic lodge restaurant is offering $5 take-home Snack Packs all day, with enough turkey, gravy, and dressing to make yourself that sandwich when your pants fit again in, say, three hours. Before that, make your pants super tight by dining on three courses, from traditional turkey dinner and smoked duck gumbo to croissant bread pudding and chocolate pecan pie. Seating times run from 11:15 am to 7:30 pm. The Lodge also has Thanksgiving To-Go, with offerings from whole roasted duck and turkey with gravy to cheddar biscuits and buttery Yukon mash.
Cost: $60+ for three courses (and $5 to-go packs), dine-in, order a la carte to-go options with at least 48-hour advance notice for pickup November 24-26

Brasserie Du Parc Houston
Brasserie Du Parc Houston
Brasserie Du Parc Houston

Brasserie du Parc

Midtown
Take a stroll through the beautiful Discovery Green, then head to this Downtown brasserie for an epic Turkey Day feast from noon to 7:30 pm. The special menu runs through three courses, starting with butternut squash soup and brie crostini and ending with sweets like caramelized apple crêpe and pecan vanilla tarte. In between, there’s roast turkey with Cognac gravy, braised beef short ribs and pommes mousseline, Atlantic salmon and ratatouille, and fall vegetable truffle risotto.
Cost: Dine-in menu is $42 per adult and $20 per child; reservations should be made by calling 832-879-2802; Thanksgiving to-go orders (from $18 plates to $120 full family meals) must be placed by November 23

Felix Sanchez | B&B Butchers & Restaurant
Felix Sanchez | B&B Butchers & Restaurant
Felix Sanchez | B&B Butchers & Restaurant

B&B Butchers & Restaurant

Washington
This New York-style steakhouse is decking its halls for the holidays and serving a prix fixe Thanksgiving menu (with an amuse bouche, three courses, and family-style sides) in addition to its regular menu of steakhouse classics. You’ll also get complimentary hot apple cider and pumpkin cookies on the way in and out, and every guest receives a special take-home gift:  leftover Butcher Shop turkey sandwiches made with roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a side of gravy. Reservations are required, and will be taken throughout the day (10am-9pm). 
Cost: $75 for adults and $35 for kids ages 11 and under for the prix-fixe menu or a la carte for the entire dinner menu; reservations can be made at 713-862-1814; the individual prix-fixe menu is also available pre-order for curbside pickup on Thanksgiving Day

Eunice
Eunice
Eunice

Eunice

Greenway
This super-chic brasserie has put together a Thanksgiving Feast To-Go with its signature Cajun Creole spin. Up for grabs are family-style dishes from Cajun-stuffed turkey roll and cornbread and andouille dressing to sweet potato pecan casserole. The restaurant will also be open for dine-in reservations.
Cost: A la carte; orders can be made online by Thursday, November 19 for pickup Wednesday, November 25; dine-in reservations can be made at 832-491-1717

Carla Gomez
Carla Gomez
Carla Gomez

Feges BBQ

Greenway Plaza
Whole smoked brisket, pork rib back, and turkey breast. Sausage links by the pound. Half and full pans of braised collards and pimento mac’ and cheese. Poultry rubs and smoked beef tallow. Pints of gravy and Alabama white sauce. It’s all up for grabs with pre-ordering live now online and pickup available on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So is rum raisin bread pudding.
Cost: A la carte; the deadline to order is Friday, November 20 at noon

Hugo's
Hugo’s
Hugo’s

Hugo’s

Montrose
For a Mexican-style Turkey Day feast, Montrose institution Hugo’s is here to lend a helping mano. The Thanksgiving To-Go menu is packed with options, from the Couples and Family Feasts rocking things like pineapple & habanero spiral ham, corn pudding, charred brussels sprouts, and tamal azteca tortilla casserole to pumpkin cheesecake and tres leches for dessert.
Cost: $95 for the Couples Feast (feeds 2), $225 for the Family Feast (8-10 people), or a la carte; order by Monday, November 23 for pickup on Wednesday; email online order forms to manual@hugosrestaurant.net, or call 713-524-7744

Mastro's Restaurants
Mastro’s Restaurants
Mastro’s Restaurants

Mastro’s Steakhouse

Uptown
Want to impress the hell out of your dinner guests? Mastro’s has three fully luxurious dinner kits for you to choose from this year. Each feeds four and offers a mix of 28-day wet-aged steaks (Cyro-vac sealed and ready to cook), sides from garlic mashed to creamed spinach, and a seasonal riff on its cult favorite butter cake, this time with pumpkin spice.
Cost: Starting at $225 for the full meal, with sides menus for $56-$59, order through November 23 for pick up between noon-4 pm on November 25

Revival Market
Revival Market
Revival Market

Revival Market

Heights
Whether you want to secure a beastly turkey and brine to make at home or supplement your feast with from-scratch sides and pies that you can pretend you made, Revival Market’s got your back. You can now place orders for things like whole turkey and smoked-bone in ham, traditional stuffing and roasted cauliflower gratin, cranberry sauce and gravy by the pint, charcuterie and cheese boards, and pecan and pumpkin pie.
Cost: A la carte, order online by Friday, November 20 at 4 pm

Nuray Taylor
Nuray Taylor
Nuray Taylor

Underbelly Hospitality

Montrose
The team over at Underbelly Hospitality is here to make sure your at-home Thanksgiving is epic. How exactly do they do that? By offering you things like bacon sausage creamed greens, jalapeno cheddar cornbread dressing, smoked turkey and gravy, and your new favorite T-Day dessert, vinegar pie. Online ordering for pickup at Georgia James is now live.
Cost: A la carte; the deadline to order is Saturday, November 21 at 10 pm; orders can be picked up at Georgia James on Wednesday, November 25 between 11 am and 3 pmSign up here for our daily Houston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who is totally down for not washing dishes this Thanksgiving. Too bad she’ll probably be washing dishes this Thanksgiving. See her disappointment on IG @brookiefafa or on Twitter @brookeviggiano.

Food and Drink

What We Learned About Fish From Spending An Afternoon With Josh Niland

It’s time to stop putting your fish in water, you’re killing the flavour

fish in coolroom
Photo By Natasha Bazika

“How do you want your fish,” says a fishmonger dressed head to toe in black, to a customer ordering a kilo of Greenback Flounder from Coorong, SA. The customer is unsure of how he wants the fish but asks the fishmonger for advice after telling him what he plans to do with the fish. Immediately the fishmonger knows how to cut the flounder, wraps it in paper, and hands it off to the customer—but not before giving a tip or two on how to cook it. 

“This is how we sell trust and instil confidence,” says Josh Niland who appeared from around the counter, donning his chef whites and a crisp white apron. We’re in Fish Butchery, Niland’s fish shop in Paddington, 20-metres down the road from his two-hatted seafood restaurant, Saint Peter. It’s a humble fish shop that feels luxurious when you walk in. Perhaps, it’s the cased sausages hanging in the front window, or the glass cabinet with one of everything they’re selling that day on display. You won’t find piles of fish or large blue trays of ice with fish lying on top. Everything is in controlled cabinets, including the oysters.

The shop is long and narrow with exposed brick walls, which Niland explains had a previous life as a hair salon. “I never wanted the shop to be uptight, but I did want it to be beautiful, a place you could walk in, order fish and chips, or a piece of fish to cook at home,” says Niland. In the middle of the room, there is a slab of white-marble serving as the backbone. This is where the fish is descaled with what Niland likes to call a ‘beartrap on a stick’. Although some fishmongers wield the beartrap, flinging scales up their arms, others use a knife, slicing the scales in one long strip, resembling snakeskin. 

“The fish here will be used for sushi and sashimi,” Niland explains pointing at the fish being scaled by a knife. “What we’re trying to do here is to get between the scale and the fish, so we can control the texture of the fish and remove moisture from the fish.” 

Removing moisture from the fish is something we don’t see often, but as Niland explains, it is the most important step in preparing the fish. “You know that fishy fish smell you get a waft of walking into a fish market or other fish shop,” Niland asks. I briefly pause to remember smelling nothing when I walked into Fish Butchery, except the faint smell of fries sizzling in the fryer. “Well that’s because moisture gets into the skin, and when that happens water rapidly breaks down into ammonia, resulting in a fishy smell.” It’s another reason Niland often gets lost when a customer asks for a fish that’s not too fishy.

As he explains, fishy fish are only “fishy” because of the way it’s stored and handled. Which explains why the fish scaled with the bear claw are immediately hung, away from moisture. 

descaling fish
Photo By Natasha Bazika

“When the scaler rips up the scale, it leaves an open pocket where the scale used to be. This pocket is quite deep and what usually happens is the fish is washed down then dipped in water. The water sits in that pocket, and after some time creates a fishy smell,” explains Niland. 

This is the core of Niland’s philosophy. Removing moisture from the fish opens up a realm of opportunities that exists beyond the conventional method, according to Niland.

Our next step takes us to the cool room, where rows of gutted fish are hung up on silver hooks as butchers do to meat. They’re not swimming in buckets of ice or water, instead, they are dangling a safe distance from each other, careful not to touch one another. The coolroom is set to an optimal temperature, there is no fan blowing in the room, and only when the fish is ready to be served, then it will be unhooked and dealt with accordingly. 

“Every step from the catching, killing, and preparing is important in achieving flavour,” says Niland who points out a row of garfish in a dry tray. “If you kill a fish properly, there shouldn’t be any lactic acid, which you can tell by the flesh—it looks cooked.” 

So what’s the best way to humanely and effectively kill a fish? According to Niland, brain spike or bleeding the fish keeps the fish from flopping around, building up chemicals that can affect the flavour later on. 

Bringing the attention back to the garfish, Niland explains there are moments when fish tastes better. This tray of Garfish is ready to go, but then Niland points to a hanging coral trout which has until Friday before it’s served on someone’s plate. 

chef showing fish in coolroom
Photo By Natasha Bazika

“This fish arrived today, it’s been scaled and gutted, but it won’t be ready until the end of the week. That’s not the case for all fish though, this tuna I would serve on day 8 or 9,” says Niland. “There’s a point where a fish’s fat is more prominent, which again comes back to removing as much moisture as we can and controlling the handling and environment from day one.”

Niland sources produce from fisherman around Australia and he takes only whatever he can get. 

“I go to the airport to pick up fish once or twice a week from my sources, and I’ll visit the Sydney Fish Market daily to see what they have, but at my shop, I serve whatever I can get my hands on,” explains Niland. “Our customers ask for recommendations so we tell them, King George Whiting is excellent today, and we might offer tips on storing it at home, how to cook it, and if I have a recipe card, I’m more than happy to share.”

As Niland explains it, not everyone knows how to cook a certain fish, and he wants more people to choose an unfamiliar fish, something they haven’t had before or cooked before. The best way to do so is by helping his customers understand the product. “The bottom line is we want people to have a better experience with fish,” says Niland. 

This stays true to his sustainable approach to fishing and his pioneering nose-to-tail eating method for fish. “The global standard is that half goes in the bin, which breaks down to about a 45% fillet yield,” says Niland who remains unaffected after 10-minutes of chatting in the cool room. “For every two fish, we only need one. I use about 95% of the fish.”

We finally leave the coolroom, to approach a small fridge, where fish are being dry-aged, but in a different control to the dry ageing fish in the coolroom. “It’s just another way to experiment with the flavour and natural method of prolonging shelf life,” says Niland. 

“I’m always thinking, how can I articulate the flavour of fish differences between coral trout and snapper.”

cuts of fish
Photo By Natasha Bazika

Niland’s experimentation finds him continually exploring low-temperature storage, probing which fish works best for it, and noting when a fish reaches its sweet spot. More like a mad scientist, Niland is far from a conventional fishmonger, as he dives deep to push boundaries on how seafood is caught, shopped, and cooked whether at home or at Saint Peter. 

One look at his book, The Whole Fish Cookbook, is enough to convince you of his outrageous, funny, and loopy suggestions on what to cook, including coaxing delicious dishes from fish eyeballs. liver and even fish blood. 

If there is anything we can take away from spending an afternoon with Josh Niland, it would be his pioneering penchant for demystifying fish, his care and attention to preparing fish, and his sustainable seafood philosophy, that we hope catches on around the world. 

Niland enjoys the complexity of fish, yet breaks it down for us so that we can enjoy and achieve a perfectly cooked piece of fish at home. His humble approach to seafood is nothing short of inspiring. He wants to change the world, but it’s not going to be easy and you get the sense he knows that, but he continues, one fish at a time, to change how we cook, eat, and look at fish.

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