Wait. Are you telling us that you're actually thinking about cooking this Thanksgiving? You're going to spend hours cleaning the house and then baste a turkey or whatever and stick it in the oven, and spend all this time mashing up potatoes and defrosting the frozen pumpkin pie from Fred Meyer, and then serve it all to a bunch of ungrateful loved ones, and then spend hours cleaning the house again because all your fatass friends and family are a bunch of slobs? Really? Okay, dude. That's cool. No, no, go with it. You're all over it. Sweet. Us, we're going to be dining out at one of these places and we're not going to cook or clean or do shit. It's going to rule. (The following schedule applies only to Thanksgiving Day unless otherwise noted.)
5008 SE Hawthorne, 232-6333, 3 pm-midnight, $15
Thanksgiving doesn't have a reputation for being the most romantic of holidays, but it doesn't have to be that way. This year, grab a date and hit up the flickering ambience of the Sapphire Hotel for a holiday meal and some tasty wine. The Sapphire is featuring a Special Thanksgiving Plate Dinner that includes turkey, stuffing, baked squash, spinach salad, and pumpkin pie served buffet-style at the bar. They also offer over 30 wines to choose from year-round, so pick yourself a sexy one and enjoy your feast in the intimate candlelight.
5736 NE 33rd, 249-3983, 1-7 pm, $18.95 adults, reservations required
Come enjoy a McMenamins-style feast that doesn't involve a Boca Burger or fish and chips. This buffet serves up all your Thanksgiving favorites in your favorite serving size—all you can eat. Fill up on turkey, ham, salad, tasty bites from the relish tray, sweet potatoes with brown sugar glaze, plenty of mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh rolls with butter. Then finish it off with your choice of pumpkin, apple, or pecan pie. You can accompany your meal with a delicious ale, glass of wine, or cocktail from the bar if you're so inclined.
412 SW 4th, 226-3400, noon–5 pm
Looking for a vegan or vegetarian alternative to a turkey dinner but don't want to have a repeat of last year's ungodly "Tofurkey incident"? Look no further. Veganopolis is offering a huge meat-denying Thanksgiving buffet spread with Now and Zen Turkey, mushroom lentil loaf, cranberry celery walnut relish (wow), a squash roast with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, peas, and desserts ranging from chai apple pie to tofu pumpkin cheesecake. Can't come Thursday? Come Friday (noon-8 pm), when all the yummy leftovers get served up in sandwiches.
4811 SE Hawthorne, 238-1646, 1 pm
Ahh, Thanksgiving: A time of celebration, togetherness... and kickass neck tattoos. Hard-rock bastion Sabala's offers a "Li'l Orphan" potluck dinner in their sideshow lounge, replete with the Broncos/Cowboys game on the big screen and plenty of tasty turkey. All you need to do is bring a side dish, so throw some yams in the oven, put your ripped jeans on, and get over there. If you get overstuffed, there'll be a basketball hoop set up in the main area for some serious one-on-one action.
Thanksgiving Weekend in Wine Country
Fri-Sun Nov 25-27, places and times vary, see www.willamettewines.com for schedule and info
Okay, so it's not a meal on Thanksgiving proper, but you have to admit it sounds pretty fun to spend your ensuing three-day weekend traipsing around Oregon Wine Country, choosing from over 118 wineries for tastings and tours. Many of the wineries prep for this weekend with food specials, art shows, live music, and other interesting events. Highlights include a three-course, $39 dinner at the Painted Lady Restaurant in Newberg (538-3850), and lodging and a homegrown goat-cheese-and-pork breakfast at the Abbey Road Farm (852-6278), a working farm where the suites are literally housed in silos. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, my friends—check out the website above for a ton more fun and decadent ways to avoid burning off that Thanksgiving lard with copious amounts of wine and beautiful countryside.