Never Done Thanksgiving Take-Out Before? We Give Ouisie's Turkey and Sides a Lunch Tryout
My family has never celebrated Thanksgiving in a huge way. We all love to eat, and my mother and I are pretty great cooks (if I do say so myself). But we're a family of three, so it never seems worth it to spend our day off slaving over a hot stove while my dad watches football in the other room, instead of taking the time away from work to just hang out with each other.
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg When you get it all on the plate, it looks like a homemade meal.
And that's why take-out Thanksgiving is so cool.
I don't recall being aware of Thanksgiving meals to-go when I was younger, but these days, it seems like half of the restaurants in Houston are offering take-out options. To see what it's all about, I asked Ouisie's Table to prepare their take-out Thanksgiving feast a little early this year. I arranged to pick it up and bring it to the office last week so I could fill you in on every step of the process before you decide if that's the route you want to go.
Before I start, though, I will say this: We had a lot of happy employees here at the Houston Press once Ouisie's arrived. And all the food was gone by the next day.
Ouisie's offers several options for your Thanksgiving feast. The largest, most expensive meal is the $350 herb-crusted beef tenderloin with brandied sauce and crostini, which serves 15 to 20 people. There's also smoked salmon with "the works" for $175 (feeds 15 to 20). I opted to go the more traditional route with roasted turkey with gravy, two sides and a dessert for $175. The menu says it should feed 10 to 15 people, but I'm pretty sure we fed normal-sized meals (as in, not Thanksgiving-style-stuff-your-face-meals) to about 20 people.
The turkey may not look like something Martha Stewart made, but damn it was tasty!
I picked up the order around noon, and there were three people waiting to help me carry it to my car. Because we wanted to taste a few extra things, we ended up with three sides and two desserts, which means we had a large aluminum roasting pan full of turkey, three smaller aluminum pans with the sides, two boxes with pies and three plastic containers of gravy.
Every package survived the 12-minute drive from Ouisie's Table to our office in Midtown, though the juice from the green beans had leaked all over the inside of the bag and, consequently, me when I picked it up. It's okay though. I like smelling of garlic and tomatoes. Makes me feel like I've been working in an Italian kitchen.
The sides and turkey also stayed very hot in their aluminum pans, even after I had them sitting out for several minutes to photograph before I allowed people to dig in. We did discover that we had no proper utensils for carving a turkey, so if you're bringing take-out to your office rather than your home, do be prepared.