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Bird is the word at Sugarfire Smoke House this Thanksgiving.
Bird is the word at Sugarfire Smoke House this Thanksgiving.
Green Olive Media

Ten Thanksgiving Pre-Order Ideas to Be Grateful For

Thanksgiving is suddenly and rapidly approaching. How, you ask? We were just planning our Halloween costumes! We're not sure, either, but it seems to happen every year. Rest easy, though: It's not too late to get the goods from restaurants and bakeries around town. Here are ten dinners and desserts your can order ahead of time to make your Turkey Day run smoothly.

That pile of wood outside AJ's isn't just for show; it'll be used to smoke your Thanksgiving Day turkey.EXPAND
That pile of wood outside AJ's isn't just for show; it'll be used to smoke your Thanksgiving Day turkey.
Mark Antonation

AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q

2180 South Delaware Street
720-815-5571
facebook.com/ajspitbbq
Best for: Barbecue fans who want the meat — but not to reheat


If you can't make it one single, solitary day without some ’cue — and you have a passel of buddies who feel the same way — hit up AJ's for smoked everything: whole turkey ($120 for 22 to 24 pounds), turkey breast ($85 for seven pounds) or honey ham ($85 for nine pounds). Sadly, the bourbon pumpkin pie ($30) doesn't appear to be smoked, but we're betting there's still a faint perfume of woodsmoke lingering on it just from its time in the smokehouse. Sides include Texas toast stuffing, bacon mashed potatoes and brisket gravy. (Can you make a seasonal cocktail from brisket gravy? Asking for a friend.) The best part of this meal? After ordering (call the restaurant or email amanda@bbqsupply.com), you can pick up your feast between 10:30 a.m. and noon on Thanksgiving Day, meaning you won't even have to go to the trouble of reheating it.

Blackbelly brings you local birds this holiday season.EXPAND
Blackbelly brings you local birds this holiday season.
Danielle Lirette

Blackbelly

1606 Conestoga Street, Boulder
720-479-8296
blackbelly.com
Best for: Anti-turkey industrial complex activists


Blackbelly is selling two types of butterballs (not Butterballs) this Turkey Day: organic, pasture-raised white turkeys from Denver's Peterson Turkey Farm for $6.99 per pound, and organic, pasture-raised bronze turkeys (a heritage breed) from Deer Tree Farm in Hotchkiss for $11.99 per pound. Are they more expensive than the blue and yellow bag you'd wrestle out of the supermarket freezer in a panic on Thanksgiving Eve? Yes, but they'll taste much, much better, resulting in a succulent dinner that will be the stuff of legends. Order by calling the butcher or dropping in; you'll be required to put down a $100 deposit, which will be credited toward your bird when you pick it up. While you're there, ask for tips on how to roast that bird right; they'll be happy to help.

Yes, we know those are chickens. Just imagine their bigger cousins in Brider's rotisserie and you'll get a good idea of its Thanksgiving fare.EXPAND
Yes, we know those are chickens. Just imagine their bigger cousins in Brider's rotisserie and you'll get a good idea of its Thanksgiving fare.
Danielle Lirette

Brider

1664 Platte Street
303-455-3084
denverbrider.com
Best for: Traditionalists with a busted oven


You won't need to worry about rocking the boat when you order from Brider: The eatery's Thanksgiving take-away menu is as traditional as it comes. But make sure you get an accurate guest count first. For $18 per person, you'll get rotisserie turkey, gravy, pumpkin pie and rolls; for $5 per person per side, you can add on mashed potatoes (not optional, in our book), candied yams, Brussels sprouts, stuffing (also a must-have), green beans and macaroni and cheese. Email chase@denverbrider.com by Wednesday, November 20, and you'll be able to pick up the goods before 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27.

Citizen Rail's kitchen is turning out an elevated Thanksgiving to-go meal.EXPAND
Citizen Rail's kitchen is turning out an elevated Thanksgiving to-go meal.
Danielle Lirette

Citizen Rail


1899 16th Street
303-323-0017
citizenrail.com
Best for: Upwardly mobile hosts who want to guests to think they've been cooking for hours


This excellent Hotel Born restaurant will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to guests and Denver diners, but if you want to set your table with Grandmother's china and sup in your own dining room and you've given the help the day off (damn those labor laws), order Citizen Rail's to-go meal. The feast feeds six for $192 (that's $32 per person) and includes squash and Haystack Mountain goat cheese salad with local greens; sweet potatoes and marshmallows (housemade, we hope); cranberry and sage stuffing; garlic mashed potatoes and gravy; Brussels sprout and cauliflower salad with crispy shallots and orange-tahini vinaigrette; Blue Slate turkey from Bennett's Ambrosia Farm; and pumpkin pie. Call 720-592-1361 or email Julie.Monroe@hotelborndenver.com to order, then pick up your elegant meal on Wednesday, November 27, between 2 and 5 p.m. or Thanksgiving morning between 10 a.m. and noon.

Gluten Escape

7255 South Havana Street, Centennial
303-694-9999
theglutenescape.com
Best for: Hosts who have (perhaps unwittingly) invited gluten-free guests to dinner


So you've invited your nearest and dearest to your Thanksgiving table, only to see the dietary restrictions start rolling in as the holiday approaches. So what's a home cook who needs — and wants! — to accommodate their friends and family to do when it comes to avoiding allergens in side dishes? This spot specializes in baked goods free of gluten, soy, dairy and peanuts; most products are also egg-free, and it offers a few corn- and yeast-free choices as well. And if you pre-order your Turkey Day treats by Thursday, November 14, you'll get 10 percent off your entire order (note that orders placed after that date cannot be guaranteed). While customers can request anything from the extensive menu to get the discount, seasonal favorites include stuffing mix; dinner rolls (pre-baked or take and bake); cinnamon rolls; pumpkin, apple and peach pies (apple and peach are vegan); and pie dough or shells in case you want to create your own luscious fillings. You'll be able to pick up your order through Wednesday, November 27.

Mile High Flea Market

7007 East 88th Avenue, Henderson
303-289-4656
milehighfleamarket.com
Best for: Bargain hunters who don't shy away from a little work for a good deal


A flea market may not be the most intuitive place to pick up your Thanksgiving meal, but on Saturday, November 23, the sprawling Mile High Flea Market is giving away ten- to sixteen-pound birds at a 1 p.m. raffle. Pre-register on Eventbrite and you'll get two raffle tickets with paid flea market admission (a mere $3); you must be present at the drawing to take home the turkey. Not a planner (in which case, why are you reading this list)? You can register in person from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the drawing, but you'll only get a single raffle ticket; details are on the event's Facebook page. Even if the luck of the draw isn't on your side, you can shop the Flea's farmers' market for all the produce you need to put together your holiday feast.

Get perfect pumpkin pies — and do some good in the community — with ease this year.EXPAND
Get perfect pumpkin pies — and do some good in the community — with ease this year.

Project Angel Heart's Pie in the Sky

projectangelheart.org
Best for: People who think baking their own Thanksgiving dessert seems like pie in the sky


Order one of four pie flavors — apple, cherry, pecan or pumpkin — from Project Angel Heart's annual lifesaver (for both harried Thanksgiving cooks and people who rely on the organization's medically tailored meals for sustenance). For $30, you'll get pie cooked by the folks at Bluepoint Bakery or future pastry pros at Johnson & Wales University, and the sweet feeling of knowing that your purchase funds three meals for Project Angel Heart clients. Order on the fundraiser's website no later than Thursday, November 21, and you can pick up your dessert at one of over twenty locations around town on Tuesday, November 26.

Stir Cooking School wants you to plan ahead for this Thanksgiving — and all future ones.EXPAND
Stir Cooking School wants you to plan ahead for this Thanksgiving — and all future ones.
Courtesy Stir Cooking School

Stir Cooking School


3215 Zuni Street
720-287-4823
stirtolearn.com
Best for: Anyone who has drunkenly bragged they could put on a better spread than Mom


If you give someone a pre-ordered Thanksgiving dinner, he eats for a day; if you get someone to pre-order a Thanksgiving dinner cooking class, they'll eat for a lifetime — or at least a lifetime of Thanksgivings. This Highland cooking school is hoping to distract you from those glossy, cooked-by-someone-else birds this year, but you'll still have to get your act together before Thanksgiving Eve. On Thursday, November 21, the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner is on the curriculum from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; for $75, you'll learn how to make herb-roasted turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, sausage stuffing, mashed sweet potato casserole, green beans with pancetta and shallots, and pumpkin pie with bourbon-maple cream. Sign up on Stir's website right now, and next year you won't be scrambling to figure out who to order your fixings from.

Sugarfire Smoke House

14375 Orchard Parkway, Westminster
720-639-4903
sugarfiresmokehouse.com
Best for: Diners who want a smoked bird but refuse to skimp on sides


For smoked turkeys with a full complement of traditional sides, Sugarfire is your joint. In addition to whole bird ($7.99 per pound and smoked over cherry) and breast ($16.99 per pound), you can get a turkey dinner with all the trimmings — cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry chutney and a slice of pie — for $29.99 per person. You can also get whole pies for $28.99; choose from the ubiquitous pumpkin, pecan and apple, as well as Mississippi mud and key lime. Call the restaurant or stop in to place your order.

Watercourse Foods' vegan mac has been satisfying plant-based eaters for years. This Tofurkey Day, it's offering a white cheddar and truffle version.
Watercourse Foods' vegan mac has been satisfying plant-based eaters for years. This Tofurkey Day, it's offering a white cheddar and truffle version.
Courtesy Watercourse Foods

Watercourse Foods

837 East 17th Avenue
303-832-7313
watercoursefoods.com
Best for: Vegetarians and vegans who want to save water (aka skip doing dishes)


Still going strong after two decades, Denver's OG VG restaurant is once again offering vegan holiday feasts for pre-order. Through Monday, November 25, you can purchase a holiday meal for two for just $40: Get either a holiday roast or pot pies with your choice of three sides (truffle mac and cheese, garlic and parmesan mashed potatoes, root veggie stuffing, candied yams, gravy or cranberry sauce). Looking to mix and match? Both entrees and sides are for sale à la carte at $3 to $18, and baked goods — dinner and cinnamon rolls and pumpkin, apple and bourbon pecan pies — range from $8 to $22. Place your order online only by Monday, November 25; pickup runs from Sunday, November 24, through Wednesday, November 27.

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