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Smoke Signals: Thanksgiving takeout

By Jim Shahin

Ever want to try something different for Thanksgiving? Like, say, relaxing?

I know, sounds crazy. It is a holiday tradition, after all, to stress over the expectations and demands of a tyrannical meal. The turkey, the gravy, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the green beans (in cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions), the cranberry sauce, the Jello molds, the fruit salad, the green salad, the appetizers, the pies, the meticulous timing, the inevitable kitchen foul-up that throws the meticulous timing down the celery-clogged drain, the nerve-wracking negotiations with family members over who makes what, and, finally, the clenched-smile “Hiiiiiii” when the guests finally arrive at the door – bearing a truly insipid side dish.

Who would want to buck all that tradition?

But if somehow you are seized by a fit of – what’s the word? – sanity, then you might try letting someone else do the cooking. You might push things further and try something yet more different: Thanksgiving barbecue.

Before you go thinking ribs or pulled pork (which, in my book, is just fine for a Thanksgiving table, as I wrote recently when I suggested mail-order sources), I mean turkey and ham. Yes, the traditional meats.

Area barbecue restaurants provide special holiday catering menus this time of year. Some of them even custom-smoke a raw bird you bring to them.

Following is a list of a few barbecue restaurants with holiday menus. If you have a barbecue restaurant nearer your house or one that you especially like, call to see if they, too, offer a special menu. All that relaxation will be weird at first. But after your second Scotch, you’ll get not only get used to it, you might enjoy it.

Contact restaurants for ordering and pick-up deadlines.

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, 2418 Wisconsin Ave., NW, 202-333-2550; 3471 Washington Blvd, Arlington, 703-528-9663; 25 S. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, 703-778-9663; Wintergreen Shopping Center, 891A Rockville Pike, Rockville, 240-268-1120. Three appetizers, including Crab & Artichoke Dip. Six entrees, including Grilled Rack of Lamb with Thai Sweet Chili and Garlic Sauce, $39.99; Grilled Tenderloin of Beef with Horseradish Cream, $28.99 lb; Smoked Turkey with gravy (price depends on size). Seven sides, including Cornbread Stuffing with Roasted Root Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Chives, and Southern-Style Green Beans. For dessert, choose between apple pie, pumpkin pie, double-fudge cheesecake brownies, pecan squares, or lemon bars. They will custom-smoke your raw turkey, goose, other meats, for $2.99 per pound.

Capital Q, 707 H Street NW; 202-347-8396/409-974-4585, Smoked or fried turkeys (10-12 pound average), $47.95; with cornbread stuffing, gravy, and jalapeno cranberry sauce, $59.95; add green beans, smoked mashed sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie for $99.95 (serves 6-8). Capital Q’s holiday specials also include Dr Pepper Glazed Ham, Honey-Chipotle Rack of Pork, and – get this – Smoked Turkey Enchiladas with Spanish rice and pinto beans. They will custom-smoke your raw meat for $2 per pound.

Dixie Bones BBQ, 13440 Occoquan Rd, Woodbridge, VA, 703-492-2205,, Choose from a complete holiday meal or select a la carte from Smoked Turkey, $4.95 lb, or Smoked Honey-Glazed Ham, $8.95 lb. Sides are the classics: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, and a selection of six different pies, including lemon chess and sweet potato. They do not smoke raw meat brought in from customers.

KBQ Real Barbeque, 12500-B1 Fairwood Parkway, Bowie, MD; 301-352-8111, Whole smoked turkeys (14-16 lbs), $51.99, and Smoked Ham, $52.99. Sides include candied yams. For dessert, break away from the pie and buy some Jumbo Red Velvet Cupcakes instead. They do not smoke raw meat brought in from customers.

-- Jim Shahin

By Jim Shahin  | November 16, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Holiday, Smoke Signals  | Tags:  Jim Shahin, Smoke Signals, barbecue, holiday  
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