Turkey isn't really a big deal most of the time, but as golden leaves crinkle underfoot and baking pies add wafts of cinnamon, apple and pumpkin to the air, images of a magnificent Thanksgiving feast enter our minds. Deli-style turkey can only substitute for so long before full-on Thanksgiving cravings set in, but thankfully, a few restaurants around town are offering turkey tastes with at least a few of the trimmings.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 1747 Wynkoop Street, stays true to its Texas reputation with something big and bold: the Turducken Burger, available through November 22. The patty itself is made with equal parts ground turkey, duck and chicken, topped with a dollop of cranberry sauce. Battered and fried green beans and onions give a taste of everyone's favorite holiday casserole (which for some reason disappears during the rest of the year), and a side of gravy comes along for your dipping pleasure. So where's the stuffing, you ask? Great question! No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without it, so Hopdoddy made a stuffing bun to carry the meaty stack. Order it with some sweet-potato fries and you won't even need to make it to Grandma's house this year.
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Vert Kitchen, 704 South Pearl Street, leans a little more sophisticated with its Harvest Turkey sandwich, available until Thanksgiving. A crusty baguette embraces warm roast turkey, a light layer of cranberry sauce and slices of creamy Brie (there's never enough cheese on the Thanksgiving table). A tangle of dressed arugula adds peppery brightness. Vert is also mixing up a couple of fall-themed salads for sides. Try the quinoa, broccoli and cranberry salad for a crunchy, nutty accompaniment.
Bremen's Wine & Tap, 2005 West 32nd Avenue, is going all out with an upscale — and early — Thanksgiving platter. Chef Isabel Ranney has put together the kind of meal we probably never had as kids, unless your parents were gourmet cooks. The star is red-wine-braised turkey, and of course there's stuffing (sourdough, in this case). Whiskey cranberry sauce takes the place of the standard canned jelly, and the plate is finished with thyme potato purée and red-wine gravy. You can get it nightly next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (the restaurant is closed on Thursday) for $23.