$19.99 Thanksgiving Meal at Marie Callender's - Fountain Valley
If you didn't go to go to someone's house for Thanksgiving dinner, it's likely that you headed for Marie Callender's.
Marie Callender's is already a producer of pre-ordered holiday feasts and pies, which they sell and distribute en masse on Turkey day for those who want to host Thanksgiving but don't want to bother with all the cooking.
But for some of us who also don't want to clean up dirty dishes (or wish to limit the family togetherness to business hours), there's the restaurant itself, which is open until about 7 to 8 p.m. to serve a Thanksgiving prix-fixe with all the bells and whistles.
Though not all Marie Callender's restaurants are actually open for dinner service, this year, those that did priced it for $19.99 per person.
It starts with a humongous hunk of warm cornbread with clouds of whipped honey butter. After that comes a cup of soup or salad.
The soup can be either a potato cheese soup that tastes like a potato gratin put through a blender, or a vegetable soup akin to minestrone with peas, beans, and corn.
The salad is a standard green house salad, but Thanksgiving is no time for salads.
For the main attraction, Marie Callender's offers baseline stuff: either ham or turkey breast which are thick-sliced and covered in a salty gravy. If you get the turkey, every plate gets enough meat for about two servings--all of it white meat that's uniformly tender and unnaturally moist.
The herb stuffing hidden beneath the slabs tastes a lot like Stove Top (as it should), and the mashed potatoes gave me flashbacks to my high school cafeteria (which isn't a bad thing).
The steamed carrots and green beans are just that: steamed. The carrots to a tender crisp and the green beans, limp but still squeaky. There's also heaps of candied yams topped with streusel, and a thimble of cranberry sauce that's equal parts jelly and actual berry.
And of course, a slice of pie comes as dessert: either the pumpkin, which is always dependable, or the apple, which needs ice cream.
As far as consistently predictable turkey dinners go, Marie Callender's offers the kind you can set your watch to. For the one in Fountain Valley, it's up to 7 p.m.
Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one!
18889 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
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