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Updated: 11/25/2013 10:50:18AM

Seeking alternatives to cooking on Thanksgiving?

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For those of you who are contemplating or have decided not to cook for Thanksgiving, or will not be going to someone’s home, the question then becomes where to go for the holiday meal.

In Bartow, which has a paucity of dining establishments other than fast food, the pickings are slim and include Mike’s Grill Steak and Seafood and Ruby Tuesdays, located on U.S. 98 just north of the State Road 60 intersection, as well as Denny’s. Perkins Restaurant and Bakery fronts East Van Fleet Drive.

A Thanksgiving meal will be offered at Mike’s Grill Steak and Seafood. It will keep its regular hours of operation, 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. As of press time the cost will be $10.99 per person. That will include turkey, stuffing, a side and slice of pumpkin pie. Seating for five or fewer people will be on a first come, first serve basis; reservations are recommended for six or more. If you want to dine there, call 863-533-2060

Ruby Tuesday will have its regular hours, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., but there will be no changes in its standard menu. To dine there, call 863-519-9622.

Denny’s, next to the Stay Inn and Suites motel, will be open as always, 24/7. However it will not be offering anything Thanksgiving-specific from its standard menu. In contrast, Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, will be offering a Thanksgiving meal. For $11.99, it will include turkey, dressing, two sides, dinner roll and slice of pumpkin pie. No reservations will be taken, as seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. The only exception is if a party will be more than eight to please call at least 15 minutes in advance. The restaurant will do its best to accommodate larger parties.

Want to stay home but don’t want to do the prep work?

Consider either Publix and Winn-Dixie, with the latter in Lakeland or Winter Haven. Both will be offering Thanksgiving packages.

Publix will be selling turkeys in two sizes, either 10-12 or 16-18 pounds. The turkeys will be pre-cooked but cold when purchased. The smaller sized turkey package will include gravy, two sides and cranberry relish, all for $39.99 plus tax. The larger package offers four sides instead of two, for $79.99. It is recommended orders be placed no later than the week before Thanksgiving. Because Publix will be closed Thanksgiving, it will be necessary to pick up orders on Wednesday. The store will be open its normal hours Wednesday. In Bartow, call 863-534-1560.

Winn-Dixie also offers a pre-cooked turkey, also cold when purchased, in addition to pre-cooked sides. However, it is only offering a 10-12 pound turkey. Price will vary depending upon the package. For $49.99 (plus tax) it will include two pounds of corn bread dressing, one pound of giblet gravy; an 8-inch pie (either apple or pumpkin), and 12 dinner rolls. A 2-pound broccoli, rice and cheese casserole is available for an additional $5. Orders placed can be placed as late as the day before Thanksgiving. The number to call in Lakeland for the store on South Florida Avenue is 863-644-2214. The number for the Winter Haven store on Recker Highway is 863-291-3218.

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