Traditions are a funny thing. The things supposed to bond us to each other can sometimes be the very thing that drives us apart. Ever spent a holiday with a dysfunctional family? It’s a wonder so few casualties happen on Thanksgiving day when everyone at the table has a carving knife within easy reach. For many, abroad often entails missing out on holiday gatherings and traditions that used to be a huge part of their social life. Some try to recreate them, others ditch them in favor of new traditions, preferring instead to adopt new ones.
In our household, my wife and daughter are the ones that closely following the seasons. I tend to see each day as its own. Yeah, I’m *that* guy that doesn’t care much for birthday parties. But I do enjoy cake and pretty lights. I didn’t object when the wife decided to put up our tiny Christmas tree up, two full weeks ahead of Thanksgiving Day – excuse me, *American* Thanksgiving Day, as my Canadian friends always remind me.
But if you’re in Antigua and you *must* have Thanksgiving dinner – hey, why not have Thanksgiving dinner every month is what I say – there are restaurants in Antigua who’ll readily accommodate you, which is pretty great if you ask me.
Now, I have to warn you – some of these barely resemble a Thanksgiving meal and are more like an exercise in pretentiousness in order to justify the price. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be great meals, even sublime, but let’s keep our eye on the ball here.
For me – and I stress the “me” part – a traditional Thanksgiving dinner needs four things: Oven-baked turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. The rest, as they say, is gravy. One may not have to or want to eat all items – why??? – but they have to be on the table. And there has to be enough of it so that at the end of the meal, you have to be literally rolled from the table to the couch.
Without further ado, here are the restaurants in Antigua that have a special Thanksgiving Day menu. Just bring your appetite… and a crazy aunt/uncle if you want to make the scenario a bit more realistic.
Cost: Q139 per person | Hours: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM | Includes – Appetizer: Guicoy (Guatemalan squash) soup. Main Entree: Turkey medallions w/ cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies. Dessert: pumpkin flan, coffee. Drink: Cup of wine or other non-alcoholic beverage.
Reservations preferred if bringing in large parties(7832-9734).
Cost: Q175 per person, Q75 for children under 10 | Hours: Starts at 5:00 PM | Includes – Appetizer: Organic Mixed Green salad w/ toasted nuts and raspberry vinaigrette. Main Entree: Oven glazed turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, wine gravy. Dessert: Pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream. Drink: ???
Reservations preferred if bringing in large parties (7873-7000).
Las Velas (Inside Hotel Camino Real)
Cost: Q225 + 10% gratuity | Hours: Lunch and Dinner | Two courses!
Course #1 includes – Appetizer: Clam soup en croute (rosemary bread). Main Entree: Beef brisket in Jack Daniels sauce, grilled vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes. Dessert: Chocolate cone with cranberry mousse. Drink: Not included.
Course #2 includes – Appetizer: Grilled asparagus and portobello mushroom salad w/ warm hazelnut vinaigrette. Main Entree: Stuffed turkey roll w/ cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sauteed carrots with tarragon butter. Dessert: Pumpkin and apple pie. Drink: Not included.
Reservations preferred if bringing in large parties.
Cost: Q140 per person – small children free | Hours: Starts at 5:00PM | All You Can Eat Buffet includes: Roasted turkey or Stuffed Peppers (for vegetarians), mashed potatoes w/ homemade gravy, sweet potato casserole, steamed veggies with butter, Italian bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, plus homemade apple and pumpkin pies with real whipped cream.
Reservations strongly encouraged as space is limited. Charity pub quiz after dinner to support the El Hato School. Rides will be leaving Antigua at 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM with returns after dinner. Transportation is 15Q per person each way.
Restaurante del Arco
Address: 5a Avenida Norte #28
Cost: Q150 per person| Hours: Lunch and Dinner | Appetizer: Squash soup, stuffed mushroom. Main Entree: Roasted turkey, herb and apple stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole. Dessert: Pumpkin pie, apple pie with ice cream. Drink: ???
Reservations preferred if bringing in large parties (7832-3080).
Address: 3a Avenida norte, past 1a Calle Poniente – behind La Merced Church.
Cost: Q149 per person | Hours: From 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM | Includes – Appetizer: Waldorf salad or sweet bell pepper soup. Main Entree: Stuffed turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and green peas. Dessert: Pecan pie or pumpkin pie. Drink: ???
Reservations preferred if bringing in large parties (7832 1063 – firstname.lastname@example.org).
What if you get into an “I’d like to have a Thanksgiving dinner at home, but I don’t feel like spending a day in the kitchen” mode? No problem, got you covered.
Address: 6a Calle Poniente #21
Pappy’s BBQ has your turkey. It’s a minimum of 10lbs – cooked weight. Just looking at it makes my mouth water. Call for orders at 5979-6771 or email email@example.com.
Address: 3a Avenida Norte No. 11B
They’ll have a traditional dinner, all-day on Thursday. But they also have your other items – cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie, etc – available now for pickup at their deli counter.
Blue Butterfly Bakery
I mentioned Blue Butterfly Bakery in my last post. If you’re looking for baked goods for your feast, give them a call. You might be cutting it close if you want to order your butter rolls and pumpkin pies, though. I suggest the sooner you get in touch with Genesis, the better. She delivers – as in literally, she’ll come to your house to drop off your order – at no charge!
So there you have it. Feel free to mention any places I might have missed and I’ll do my best to add them to the list.