Thanksgiving brings easy meal options

Six days and counting. That great day to give thanks will be here in less than a week.

Table centerpieces need to be made, the guest towels washed and seating charts set. After all, you don't want Great Aunt Whatshername sitting anywhere near Uncle Soandso. That would be a disaster.

The inevitable Great Holiday Scurry is underfoot in households across the county.

With all this rushing and dashing to prepare for the day of gratitude, who has time to worry about the actual meal? Look to pre-made meals from area restaurants to fill your holiday needs. It's as good as homemade, without the hassle. Best of all, no one needs to know you didn't even lift a finger.

The Dinner A'Fare, with locations at The Avenue Webb Gin and the Mall of Georgia, is putting together a complete Thanksgiving package, from breakfast and snacks to a classic turkey. Designed to feed six people, the menu includes raspberry French toast, jerk turkey breast and bread pudding bars. The meal is available for immediate pick-up during November, and a complete package is $100. Pre-ordering isn't required, but is recommended. Visit www.thedinnerafare.com.

Don't bother with smoking your own turkey this year - let the experts at Holy Smokes BBQ do it for you. Smoked turkeys are, in fact, the Buford restaurant's namesake. Holy Smokes is offering a 3- to 4-pound smoked boneless turkey breast, enough to feed about a dozen people, for $29.99. Visit www.holysmokes-bbq.com.

At Alon's Bakery and Market, the prepared meal is focused more on the day after. While the Alon's meals include starters and sides dishes, festive entrees and desserts, the eatery will also offer a package of dishes to spruce up day-old turkey dishes for the morning-after feast. The Alon's order cut-off date is Monday. Call 404-872-6000 or visit www.alons.com.

Adding a twist on tradition, Murphy's is putting a unique spin on the classic Thanksgiving to-go menu. Included in its package are goodies like roasted brined turkey, molasses mashed sweet potatoes and Murphy's famous Tollhouse pie.

But what's Thanksgiving without wine? The Atlanta restaurant is including a four-pack of wines, hand-picked by its team of experts, to be paired with the Thanksgiving to-go menu. The cost for food packages is $125 for four people and $250 to feed eight, and wine four-packs are priced at $50 to $100. Orders should be submitted by 8 p.m. today. Call 404-872-0904 or visit www.murphysvh.com.

Can't boil water? Not a problem

Thanksgiving is the biggest food day of the year. And for non-chefs, it can also be a day of great embarrassment. If you can't boil water to save your life, don't fret: plenty of area restaurants are open for the Thanksgiving crowd.

For an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal, head to the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. The famed holiday buffet spreads throughout the Grand Ballroom, with goodies ranging from traditional to contemporary.

Don't get too full on the entrees, though. A well-stocked dessert bar will hold more than 40 offerings, with a hot chocolate station to boot. Plus, kids get a cookie to decorate and take home for later. (Although it may be days before they'll be hungry again.) Plates are $62 for adults and $32 for child 12 and under. Visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

Chateau Elan in Braselton will host a full Thanksgiving brunch buffet, complete with a meat carving station, chilled display and a dessert bar. Open from noon to 7:30 p.m., the buffet costs $50 for adults and $25 for children, and children under 5 years old eat for free. Visit www.chateauelanatlanta.com.

Bavarian king Kurt's will be open with a Thanksgiving lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Expect the Duluth restaurant to include an array of German favorites with a few traditional fixings thrown in. Adult plates are $37.75 and children ages 4-12 eat for half price. Visit www.kurtsrestaurant.com.

The River Room and Vinings Inn, both in Atlanta, will offer a three-course Thanksgiving menu from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. At River Room, the menu will feature roasted pumpkin soup, turkey breast with sweet potato-candied pecan puree and cinnamon apple cake. Included on Vinings Inn's menu will be beet and goat cheese salad, caramelized honey and thyme duck breast, and a pumpkin pie. At both restaurants, adult plates are $39.95, and children 12 years old and under eat for $19.95. Reservations are required. Visit www.riverroom.com and www.viningsinn.com.

If you've got news about restaurant openings, closings or special offerings, e-mail staff writer anna ferguson at anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.