Many taking Thanksgiving traditions to restaurants in Myrtle Beach area

bdickerson@thesunnews.comNovember 21, 2012 

  • Talking turkey 2012 cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 10 people: •  Sixteen-pound turkey | $22.23 •  Misc. ingredients | $3.18 •  Twelve rolls | $2.33 •  One pound relish tray | $0.76 •  Half-pint whipping cream | $1.83 •  Fourteen ounces of cubed stuffing | $2.77 •  Three pounds of sweet potatoes | $3.15 •  Gallon of whole milk | $3.59 •  Twelve ounces of fresh cranberries | $2.45 •  One pound of green peas | $1.66 • Thirty ounces of pumpkin pie mix | $3.02 •  Two pie shells | $2.51 •  Total | $49.48 Source: American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Giving thanks The Sun News asked its Facebook followers what they were most thankful for this holiday. Here are some of the answers: • What am I thankful for? A beautiful family, true friends, opportunities given, prayers not answered, the unconditional love of a child, a strong man by my side, and hot coffee on a cold Monday morning – Carla Baker • I am thankful that Jesus Loves me and I have the freedom to worship Him !!!! – David Hicks • I'm alive! So grateful to God. – Sola Ajayi Sokunbi • I am thankful for living by the ocean, being able to be with my family for Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the family and friends near and far.... you are always in my heart. I am thankful for the warm place to sleep and food in the table. I am thankful for the job I have and the opportunity to go back to school. – Jodi-Lynn Mjaatvedt • I am thankful for: My beautiful daughter, my husband, my family, our health, and our happiness – Mandy Harrell • Thankful that I can give back to North Myrtle Beach through the Christmas Regatta and YACHTS FOR TOTS. Thankful for the Regatta Committee and Boaters that make it possible. DREAMS COME TRUE IF YOU BELIEVE! GOTTA REGATTA!! – Susie Watson

— The Thanksgiving of yesteryear was a large family affair, where relatives gathered around a big dining table to enjoy a traditional feast.

That tradition holds true today, but increasingly, that large table could be inside a dining establishment on Restaurant Row.

There’s at least 20 restaurants along the Grand Strand offering turkey, dressing and all the sides for the holiday feast. It’s a trend that appears to be on the rise as a way to give everyone in the family a Thanksgiving break.

“The people that cook are enjoying Thanksgiving a lot more,” said Bridgitte Wilson, general manager of Giant Crab in Myrtle Beach. “It is a lot to cook a big meal.”

Employees of the Giant Crab have offered the Thanksgiving buffet for 10 years. Wilson wouldn’t give the number of holiday reservations on the books, but she said the restaurant is always busy.

They’ll have the turkey and stuffing, as well as crab and other seafood.

Greg Spatholt, general manager of Clark’s Seafood and Chop House in Little River, is sticking with the Thanksgiving classics for its first holiday buffet.

The restaurant, which is associated with Calabash’s Boundary House, has 200 reservations for its sit-down dinner.

Spatholt has worked Thanksgiving before, and said there tends to be large parties turning out.

“We tend to see ... a lot of elderly people,” he said.

Although the option is proving popular, the question is whether it’s economical.

Spatholt said their Thanksgiving dinner prices are $23.95 for adults and $15.95 for children. For a family of four, once the tip is factored in, the bill comes to around $90 or more.

Other restaurants are advertising their holiday prices anywhere from $21.95 to $24.95 for adults, and as low as $7.95 for children.

Those looking to keep up with tradition and make the food themselves will pay slightly more this year for all the fixings.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 27th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving table indicates the average cost to feed 10 people is $49.48, a 28-cent price increase from 2011’s average of $49.20, according to the AFBF.

“At just under $5 per person, the cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

The survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and milk.

It probably comes as no surprise that the 16-pound turkey is the most expensive item. The AFBF’s 2012 average is $22.23 for the holiday bird.

“Anyone with the patience to wait until the last minute to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving could be rewarded with an exceptional bargain,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist.

Contact reporter BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.

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