If you’re yearning for a gobbler on Thanksgiving Day but not up to the challenge of cooking one (and cleaning up afterwards), don’t worry, there’s hope. The Tico Times tracked down a half-dozen restaurants around the country that promise a traditional Thanksgiving experience, and a few that guarantee something more.
The Capitol Grill Restaurant and Bar at the White House hotel, atop the hill in the western San José suburb of San Antonio de Escazú, offers incredible views – not of a snow-covered field and prancing deer in your backyard, but of the Central Valley and the sparkling lights of San José.
It’s not quite New England, but manager Brian Frazee guarantees the turkey will be as good as you’ll find anywhere.
“It’s one of our biggest celebrations of the year. It’ll be like having Thanksgiving at home, except we take care of everything,” he says. Frazee promises a meal that will leave you looking like a turkey if you’re not careful, with a perfectly roasted gobbler with brown giblet gravy and cranberry sauce, walnut and mushroom stuffing, mashed potatoes sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and green bean casserole.
“Pumpkin pie, of course,” Frazee says.
For parties of more than six, Frazee says the chef will personally deliver the turkey to your table and carve it for you.
“It’s the complete service,” he says. Reservations are required (288-6362, ext. 404). Dinner is served from noon to 11 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. The cost is $29.95 per person, which includes comfortable chairs in the dining room or a seat at the bar for watching the football game afterwards.
At Del Mar restaurant opposite downtown San José’s Hotel Del Rey, manager Hartley Maclane says he’ll be offering “40 years of American experience cooking Thanksgiving dinners.” Hartley has been stuffing turkeys for at least that long, and guarantees a “juicy, properly cooked turkey, not dry.” He promises all the fixings, with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and other goodies. The cost will be about $20, he says. Reservations are required (257-7800, ext. 235).
Also in downtown San José, Magnolia restaurant at Casino Club Colonial will be offering a buffet, including Buffalo wings, pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing and everything else “the North American taste desires,” according to manager Marcia Lobo. Football games will be airing on the casino’s many TVs, she adds, and beer will flow freely.
“All the entertainment you could ask for in just one place,” Lobo says.
For more information, call 258-2807.
Big Mike’s in Escazú’s Urbanización Los Anonos will be offering turkey dinner with all the trimmings for ¢9,000 (about $18) per person, and here again, football is part of the deal. He’s also offering the dinner to go (see separate story), and asks that people call 289-6087, reserve and pay for their meal by Nov. 15, one week in advance.
For surfers or beachgoers looking for a Thanksgiving fix, Lazy Wave Restaurant in Tamarindo, on the northern Pacific coast, will offer a French twist on Thanksgiving. Chef and owner Marion Ceccareni promises a unique meal, but isn’t about to give up her secrets.
“It’s Thanksgiving the French way,” she says. “This won’t be the same as you’ll find everywhere else – something different.”
To find out just exactly what that means, you’ll have to call (653-0737) and reserve your place.
For a more conventional turkey, prepared by a purebred Gringo with plenty of experience cooking gobblers, Patricia Tomlinson of Tamarindo’s Dragonfly Restaurant (653-1506) promises the real deal: turkey, stuffing and all the fixings.
Says Tomlinson, who hails from the U.S. city of San Francisco: “It’s my favorite holiday of the year. It resolves around food.”
Reservations are required.