Thinly veiled as a means to "give Mom a break" or to avoid doing dishes from now until 12-12-12, going out for Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect way to
minimize optimize the quality family time for which you are so thankful. Like planning a destination wedding, dining out for Thanksgiving is an excellent way to ensure that certain family members won't attend and further exacerbate an already painful occasion. On the other hand, going out to eat can be a fun way to get together with family without anyone risking his or her life and/or property to demonstrate great turkey-frying prowess.
If you've made the decision to go out to eat this Thanksgiving, congratulations, grasshopper -- you've made a wise choice. Now only one question remains -- where to eat?
Here are five unusual places to dine for Turkey Day:
5. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Fill your belly, then empty your pockets this holiday season by celebrating Thanksgiving at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Several restaurants at the casino -- including Renegade Barbeque Company, Council Oaks Steak and Seafood, and Blue Point Ocean Grill -- are offering Turkey Day dinner at prices starting at $26. In addition to traditional turkey with all of the trimmings, other dinner options include grilled Atlantic swordfish with pumpkin risotto, pork spare ribs, and grilled maple marinated squab breast.
After dinner, beat the Black Friday rush by popping into one of the casino's many shops, where you can stock up on Ed Hardy Snuggies for the whole family. No night at the Hard Rock would be complete without dropping a Hamilton or two (you big spender) in the slot machines. Remember, the family that plays together stays together.
4. Delray Yacht Cruise
Reach beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone by spending some quality family time on the high seas this holiday season. Delray Beach Yacht Cruises offers a Thanksgiving Turkey Feast cruise.
Eating turkey with all the trimmings aboard a sleek, white yacht -- $40. Memories of holding back the hair of your annoying, seasick sister-in-law as she prays to the porcelain god -- priceless.
3. Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show
Let's face it, Mai-Kai isn't known for its haute cuisine. If you're going to Mai-Kai, it's probably for one of two reasons:
1. It's happy hour and you know that the Mai-Kai makes a mean cocktail.
2. You have family in town and you need keep them occupied while you down a few
(dozen) Barrels o' Rum.
This year, let Thanksgiving be your third reason to pop into your favorite Polynesian dinner show. A cool $35 gets you a traditional turkey dinner, gyrating bronzed bodies, and the perfect diversion as you steal away to the restaurant's bar, the Molokai Lounge, where you can pound Planter's Punch like it's your job. Huli pau! (Cheers)
2. Aruba Beach Cafe
Break out the baby oil and the banana hammock -- it's Thanksgiving Florida style. Enjoy tanning your cheeks while noshing on freshly buttered buns at Aruba Beach Cafe in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. This Parrothead-packed beach spot is offering a turkey dinner at a budget-friendly $17.99 per person. Bringing a shaker of salt is optional; leaving your shoes and shirt at home is not.
Warning: Bad golf joke coming up...
This year, you can get teed off before dinner even begins at Galuppi's in Pompano Beach. Located on the green of the Pompano Beach Golf Course, Galuppi's restaurant and banquet hall invites golf lovers to stop by for its three-course turkey dinner. Prices range from $23 to $33 depending on the entrée -- roasted turkey, snapper Francaise, New York strip steak, or honey-baked ham.
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Whether you choose to dine with your loved ones on the high seas or at a high-end restaurant, remember the reason that brought you together in the first place -- guilt.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.