Eat This: Thanksgiving Faves During the Year

By Olga Boikess  |  November 8, 2013

As far as we’re concerned, Thanksgiving dinner is one of those "don’t mess with tradition" meals. Although what’s on the table can vary in the details, depending on family roots and idiosyncrasies, we want those same comforting turkey and trimmings each year. But why be restricted to Turkey Day to enjoy them? Here’s where you can get some of your favorite bird and sides when the craving hits.

  • Green Bean Casserole

    Every so often, someone in the family decides to update this classic '50s-era concoction of creamy string beans and a crunchy topping. It never works. Basic is best, and Clyde’s (pictured) doesn’t mess around with formula, making the dish available now through Thanksgiving, at least. If you're willing to stray a bit, Penn Quarter's Hill Country gives it a Texas twist, and serves it year-round (Clyde’s Columbia: 410-730-2829; Hill Country: 202-556-2050).

  • Sweet Potatoes

    Virtually synonymous with Thanksgiving dinner, this root vegetable - often dressed up in a casserole - adds color (and calories) to the feast. Down-home Carolina Kitchen in Maryland keeps this Southern tradition on its menu year-round (pictured). Eatonville, in the U St. Corridor, whips these orange tubers all winter, while Ardeo roasts them with onions, apples and sage, and also serves them in a soup (Carolina Kitchen: 301-927-2929; Hill Country: 202-556-2050; Eatonville: 202-332-9672; Ardeo: 202-244-6750).

  • The Bird

    Roasted, smoked or deep fat-fried, any way you slice it, there’s got to be some turkey on the plate. It may disappear under piles of dressing and sides, but it’s the centerpiece of the meal. Hill Country slices up pit-smoked turkey all year, and a whole bird can be ordered as well.  Society Fair in Old Town is a source of uncooked birds (Hill Country: 202-556-2050; Society Fair: 703-683-3247).

  • Brussels Sprouts

    Once maligned, this petite green cabbage is now ubiquitous on fall and winter menus, as well as Thanksgiving tables. West End farm-to-table Blue Duck Tavern has a version with bacon and dried cranberries that sizzles with seasonal flavors (pictured). Teddy & The Bully Bar’s version uses cranberry, apple and orange, Range fries them and Michel Richard adds his je ne sais quoi to the side dish at Central (Blue Duck Tavern: 202-419-6755; Teddy: 202-872-8700; Range: 202-803-8020; Central: 202-626-0015).

  • Rolls

    Hot breads are a must on Thanksgiving tables. Pearl Dive Oyster Palace bakes old-fashioned yeast rolls and muffins made from owner Jeff Black’s grandmother’s recipe (pictured). Ask for them when you dine there, or order ahead to take some home. If you're craving cornbread or flaky biscuits, head to Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood, where chef-owner David Guas does them Southern-style (Pearl Dive:202-319-1612; Bayou Bakery: 703-243-2410).

  • The Full Monty

    While pretty much every diner offers a turkey dinner, if you want a chefly version, head to Wildfire in Tysons Corner. Every Sunday, it dishes up a traditional turkey plate with all the fixin's for the nightly special (703-442-9110).

  • The Next Day (or Midnight) Sandwich

    Some people like the leftover turkey sandwich better than the actual meal. Indeed, the Jettie’s sandwich shops have built their business on their year-round signature, the Nobadeer (roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo on sourdough, pictured). Bread Line has a popular version on its roster, too, and the Clyde’s restaurants keep their creation (made with sausage stuffing) on the menu for several weeks after T-Day (Jettie’s Foxhall Rd.: 202-965-3663; Bread Line: 202-822-8900; Clyde’s Georgetown: 202-333-9180).