Guide to Thanksgiving Made Easier

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FINALLY! The holiday season has arrived, and the festivities can begin. This is what I live for. I have been so excited to host the holidays this year; we were still in Halloween costumes when the invites went out via social media.

There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to Thanksgiving:

1) Everything must be homemade with sacred, traditional family recipes

or

2) How do I simplify things and get it made for me?

Now, I will be honest with you and confess I have always leaned towards the traditional route; however, during the early days of Covid shutdowns, I felt the compelling need to blend traditional with simplified. The result was one heck of an Easter feast, mostly courtesy of a great Pensacola restaurant. Ever since, I have been hooked with blending traditional recipes with a bit of help from local “friends”…who happen to be those restaurant’s amazing chefs.

So, here I am, a reformed traditionalist telling you there is indeed a third way, a hybrid way, to ensure that everyone, including the cook, enjoys one of the best days of the year.

Whether you are looking for a full-menu catering option, going out to eat, or just blending some pieces with your own recipes, here is the PMC’s list of go-to’s for great Thanksgiving takeaways or dine-ins!

Downtown Pensacola

Restaurant Iron

22 North Palafox Street

This is pretty exciting for me as it is one of my favorite restaurants. They offer a Take and Bake menu with amazing options, including a wine-tasting box and their famous Nutella Pie. Just make sure you get your orders in by November 17th.

J’s Bakery 

2014 North 12th Avenue

This famous bakery has a whole assortment of made-from-scratch PIES (be still my heart): pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, apple, Dutch apple, cherry, and pecan. Not to mention their chocolate cream and coconut cream pies. 

If pies are not your thing (gasp), they also offer tres leche, banana pudding, southern coconut cake, German chocolate cake, red velvet cake, and carrot cake. 

If you want something unique, they are even available for custom cakes. In addition to helping with your dessert of choice, their famous rolls are also available for order.

(850-439-6546) 

Great Southern Restaurant Group

Jacksons, Angelena’s, Fish House, and Five Sisters Blues Cafe

These downtown staples will all be offering their own take on a Thanksgiving dinner as well as their menus. Reservations are recommended.

Five Sister Blues Cafe 

421 West Belmont

In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving menu available in the restaurant, this local Great Southern Restaurant Group locale is again offering a take-home option. This “grab-and-go” dinner package is based on a six-person meal and includes turkey, green bean casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and dinner rolls. 

As an added bonus, they are also offering whole pies for purchase.

The package is $85 plus tax, with orders taken up to noon on Monday, November 21st.

(850-912-4856) 

Nick’s Boathouse

This waterview location is also offering on-site dining and take-out options. If you choose to dine in, there will be live music in addition to their fantastic menu of Roasted Turkey with Brown Pan Gravy, Southern Corn Bread Dressing, Zucchini & Squash Medley, Mashed Potatoes, Candied Sweet Potato Yams, Pecan or Pumpkin Pie.

The adult price is just shy of $25, and children are $11.99.

Make your reservations or place take-out orders at (850) 912-8775.

South Market

905 E. Gregory Street

They offer a wide variety for their Thanksgiving menu, including starters, sides, and even full meal options ranging from ham, turkey, or prime rib.

Pick-up is for November 23rd between 11 AM and 9 PM. Check out their website order form or call them directly with all questions: (850) 857-9455

Central Pensacola

Craft Bakery 

5555 N. Davis Hwy. Suite H

This gourmet bakery offers options to help you with sweets and specialty breads. Their pies come in either a 7.5-inch or 9-inch with options including traditional flavors, chocolate peanut butter, and PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE y’all!

Additionally, there is an option for chocolate and almond croissant bread pudding and sugar cookies. Their options for bread include dinner rolls, baguettes, challah, and a yummy cranberry walnut loaf. 

All orders must be placed by Sunday, November 20th.

(850-332-5521)

Scenic 90 Cafe 

701 Scenic Highway

Pensacola’s beloved “shiny diner” is cooking up all the southern, feel-good Thanksgiving dishes you crave this Thanksgiving — and it’s all to go!

Pre-order everything from the main event 12-14 and 18-20 pound turkey, to sliced turkey & honey glazed ham, and fixings like collard greens, creamed corn, stuffing, candied yams, sweet potato casserole, green beans, black-eyed peas, and the list goes on, plus 13 different glorious pies/cakes.

Orders must be received by Monday, November 21st, for pick-up on Wednesday, November 23rd. To order, call (850) 433-8844.

West Pensacola

Cracker Barrel 

8050 Lavelle Way

If you order from Cracker Barrel’s Thanksgiving Heat and Serve menu this year, they offer a $10 bonus gift card as appreciation. 

They have four bundle dinner options. The first is the Thanksgiving Heat and Serve, which serves 4-6. This is their turkey breast dinner with dressing, gravy, two sides, cranberry relish, and yeast rolls. The larger version, the Thanksgiving Heat, and Serve Feast, offers an extra turkey breast, three sides, and pumpkin and pecan pies. 

If turkey is not your thing, they have you covered as well with their Holiday heat and serve, and it’s a variation of the “Feast” option that offers a sugar-cured ham.  

In addition to their bundles, they have a la carte turkey breast or ham and various sides, including three-cheese squash casserole, cranberry relish, and rolls, as well as their famous pumpkin, pecan, chocolate pecan, and apple pecan streusel PIE!!!!!

Call to place your orders today.

(850-944-2090) 

North Pensacola

Voodoo BBQ

1742 East Nine Mile Road

This Nine Mile restaurant has various options for helping or covering the whole menu. You can order a smoked turkey, a feast for 6, or a feast for 12. The Feast options come with cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry, and one of their “legendary” sides in various sizes (gris-gris greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato soufflé, or even red beans and rice, to name a few.) 

They also have a la carte sides by the pint, quart, or gallon.

Orders must be placed 72 hours in advance by calling 850-912-8111. 

Pace/Milton

Milton Quality Bakery 

6727 East Caroline Street

This award-winning bakery is famous for its sweet treats, so much so there was a band and line before sunrise when they reopened their doors post-storm damage. They have options for your sweet treats for either post-meal or the morning of. Options include pumpkin spice cake donuts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pies, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, and a coconut meringue pie.

(850-623-3676) 

The Hangar

3966 Avalon Boulevard

This Milton restaurant is offering a full banquet spread, including dessert. Adults are $35 per plate, and children under 12 are just $10!

Pensacola Beach

Cafe Nola 

400 Quietwater Road

If you need a little bit of the Big Easy for your Thanksgiving feast, this beach location has you covered with individually priced menu options ranging from crawfish and andouille dip, seafood or chicken gumbo, Gambino’s French bread, whole Cajun fried turkey, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, oyster dressing, green bean and artichoke casserole, and shrimp and crab macaroni and cheese. 

There are many other options, too, including main entrees of prime rib or beef tenderloin. All orders must be placed by November 16th, and pick-up is available either November 22nd or 23rd. 

(850-677-8532)

Finally, friends, remember, whether you cook it all or cater it all, this is a season of celebration and joy (and PIE), so it will be perfect any way you slice it. 

 Happy Thanksgiving from the Pensacola Mom Collective family to yours!

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Katie was born in Pensacola and lived there for 36 years with a brief pause in England for two. She now calls Milton home. After earning her degree in English at the University of West Florida, she spent countless sleepless nights deciding between law school or education, but followed her heart and pursued a career teaching high school English and has not looked back since. She and Dan married in 2014, where she was fortunate also to gain a son through marriage. She is now a mom to two big-hearted boys. They spend their free-time enjoying life on the water. Additionally, Katie enjoys trying new recipes and reading all genres-especially cheesy thrillers. She is a wannabe DIYer, who much to her husband’s chagrin houses a sewing machine and Cricut that collect dust while her Pinterest inspiration boards collect numerous amounts of pins for “one day.”

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