Singed the turkey? Over-salted the stuffing? Portland’s chefs are working hard over the holiday to cover your T-Day incompetence. Ideally, you would have booked your Thanksgiving away from home weeks ago. But who has that kind of foresight? Check out our list of restaurants that accept stragglers, with a recipe for Imperial’s sausage and oyster stuffing, should the inspiration strike.
121 SW Third Ave, Thanksgiving walk-in hours: 7:30–10 p.m., $50 for adults $25 for children
Yearning for the quintessential Thanksgiving meal? Mother’s Bistro is good ol’ fashioned comfort, with cranberry-orange turkey, fresh bean casserole, and bread stuffing. The secret ingredient? “It’s all about the love,” says head chef Lisa Schroeder.
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside St, Thanksgiving walk-in hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (or until food runs out), $26 for adults, $14 for children
Sip on Wild Turkey by the Doug Fir’s cozy fireplace while you wait for the real bird to be brined, braised, and fried. Vegans can opt for a fried cauliflower plate, complete with cornbread dressing, veggies, mashed yukons, gravy, and cranberry sauce.
320 SW Harvey Milk St, Thanksgiving dishes served 1–11 p.m.
Hi-Lo Hotel’s home-grown restaurant, Craft, is offering up a few casual Thanksgiving-inspired dishes, including Cajun-style turkey soup, roasted pesto turkey sandwiches, and an eccentric turkey mousse with pickled onions, cucumber, and dried cranberries. Craft will also be offering its happy hour menu (asparagus, corn nuts, seasonal margaritas, and more) from 1 to 11 p.m. on Thursday.
100 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Thanksgiving dinner hours: 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Scandinavia meets America on Kex’s open-faced turkey smorrebrod with cranberry mustard, fried onions, stuffing, and gravy. Portland’s newest Icelandic transplant will also screen movies and football games (Bills vs. Cowboys at 1:30 p.m. and Saints vs. Falcons at 5:30 p.m.) as it debuts its new winter cocktails, like the Jólaglögg, an Icelandic mulled wine with winter spices, raisins, and almonds.
Any Salt & Straw connoisseur knows that the ice cream moguls go big for Thanksgiving, with five flavors including Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans, Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey, Roasted Peach and Sage Cornbread Stuffing, Blood Orange Cranberry Sauce, and Spiced Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Pie. Yes, we’re talking about ice cream. Thanksgiving will be the last day to order these November specials online, although the recipes can be found in Salt and Straw’s cookbook. Note: Salt & Straw is closed on Thanksgiving Day, so grab your pints ($65 for the set of five) beforehand!
410 SW Broadway, Thanksgiving walk-in hours: 11 a.m.–9 p.m., $42 per person
Vitaly Paley’s first hotel restaurant (the man has a veritable hotel restaurant empire at this point) is going all out this year, with pinot noir barrel-smoked turkey, elk tartare, duck meatballs with poached prunes, and Dungeness crab stuffed trout. Feeling capable? Try your hand at Imperial’s surf ’n’ turf stuffing recipe below.
Imperial’s Pork Sausage and Oyster Stuffing
Serves 12 people
TOAST THE BREAD AND BAKE THE OYSTERS
For the bread cubes: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Toss 2 cups of ½-inch diced rustic bread with 4 tbsp butter, melted, 1 tbsp sage, salt and pepper, and toast until crispy, approximately 40 minutes. Shuck ¼ lb of oysters, place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Allow to cool then chop finely with a knife.
COOK THE SAUSAGE
Mix together ¾ lbs ground pork, ¼ cup chopped onion, 1 tbsp chopped sage, 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tbsp ground fennel, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp smoked paprika, a pinch of chile flake. Cook sausage over medium-high heat in large sauté pan, breaking it up into pieces with a spatula as it browns. Reserve cooked sausage and keep the pan for the vegetables.
COOK THE VEGETABLES
Over medium heat, sauté 1 onion, diced, 1 carrot, diced, and 2 stalks celery, diced in sausage fat for 5 minutes. Add ¼ lb mushrooms, roughly chopped and 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped and cook for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup diced canned tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes longer.
Raise oven to 350 degrees. Combine sausage, bread, vegetables, oysters and ½ cup chicken stock in a large bowl, mixing well. Scrape mix into a pan and bake until golden brown and bubbling, roughly 45 minutes.