Thanksgiving is special for West Columbia restaurants

Thanksgiving 2020 is on Nov. 26.
On this traditional holiday, 46 million turkeys are eaten, according to the Southern Farm Network. The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.

As the holiday nears, some West Columbia restaurant owners and chefs take advantage of the opportunity to bond with family, and avail themselves to their special food.

“Throughout our family heritage, we’ve always asked our family members and friends to prepare their favorite dish,” said Milton Zanders, who owns True Barbeque at 1237 D Ave., West Columbia.

Milton Zanders of True BBQ

Ernest Zanders, Milton’s brother, is responsible for the smoked turkey. He also bakes a ham as a part of a traditional Thanksgiving. Milton said his Mom makes  a superb cornbread dressing with giblet gravy to compliment it.

Not to be outdone, Milton’s wife Harriet “prepares  an impeccable dish of chitterlings. “Wow,” said Milton, “It’s the best in the galaxy.”
The Zanders Family celebrates with friends, too.  

Milton said Mrs. Patrice, “a friend of the family, bakes a mean mac-n-cheese that will demand your taste buds to keep asking for more.
The Zanders also include a special yellow rice with French style green beans. And that’s not all.
“To cap it off with a delightful dessert,” Milton said, “my sister, Ann, bakes the best red velvet cake with a twist of top shelf brandy to have your mouth watering for more and feeling good after digesting a delightful thanksgiving dinner.” He described the Zanders Thanksgiving as “priceless and worth its weight in gold.”  

Bob Close of Bricks and Stone Pizza with his popular cannoli.

Bob and Terry Close own Bricks and Stone Pizza on Augusta Road, West Columbia. Like the Zanders, their family has a traditional Thanksgiving, with turkey and dressing. Bob said he does most of the cooking on Thanksgiving day.

“I make my mom’s dressing,” said Bob. “She taught me. I’m the only one in the family who  can make it.”
Bob’s dressing is made with crumbled cornbread, onions, cut up boiled eggs, giblets, sage, celery, salt and pepper, with chicken broth to make it moist. Bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. And it’s very good.

“My mom said I spoiled her,” said Bob. “She says I make it better than hers. “I’m known as The Dressing Guy.”
Since his dressing is so good, Bob said he makes an extra pan for family members to take home with them.
Bob said he makes the turkey, too. He marinades it, rubs it with cajun seasoning, then deep fries it.
The Close family also has mashed potatoes, string beans and dips and veggies for an appetizer.
“We get together and share,” said Bob. “It’s a day of leisure and we may take a nap and get up and eat again.”

Jed Ford is the chef at Cafe Strudel, one of West Columbia State Street restaurants. “I make a Gouda mac and cheese on Thanksgiving,” he said. He then gave the cooking instructions for his special dish.

To make a Gouda mac and cheese you need: One  pound of smoked Gouda (shredded or sliced thin): Eight ounces of white Velveeta; One pint of heavy whipping cream; Two teaspoons of  Montreal Steak Seasoning; One pound of dry pasta elbows (or your choice); four-to six quarts of water; One tablespoon of sea salt.

Optional additions:  one cup panko bread crumbs; four pieces of chopped bacon; and one-half cup of shredded parmesan.

A Pete Holland painting of Cafe Strudel at 300 State Street

Cooking instructions:
Bring four to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add one tablespoon of sea salt to water and stir. Add pasta to water and stir continuously for one minute. Allow the water to return to a boil and continue cooking pasta for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain water from pasta and set to the side.
Now in a large saucepan bring the pint of cream to a hard simmer. Then add the White Velveeta and stir until melted into the cream. Next add the smoked gouda. Once gouda is mostly melted add your pasta and Montreal seasoning stirring to combine.
For an extra nice touch transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish and layer the top with a mixture of parmesan and bread crumbs, then finish with chopped bacon.
Bake in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes.  “It’s delicious, said Jed.
Be it True Barbeque, Bricks and Stones Pizza or Cafe Strudel, Thanksgiving is special for these West Columbia restaurants.

There are several West Columbia restaurants that you can pre-order dishes to serve for your Thanksgiving gathering:

Grecian Gardens Restaurant – 2312 Sunset Blvd – 803-794-7552
Cafe Strudel – 300 State St. – 803 – 926-5255
Compton’s Kitchen – 1118 B Ave – 803 791-0750
Parkland Cakes – 1220 C Ave. – (803) 791-4682
Buttercream Dreams – 1230 C Ave. – (803) 708-4485
Primal Gourmet – 725 Meeting St. – (803) 509-0604
Hite’s BBQ – 240 Dreher Rd. – (803) 794-4120
The Original Brunches – 2245 Leaphart Rd – (803) 791-7477
Jimmy’s Mini Mart/Citgo – 812 Meeting St. – (803) 794-0090
Maurice’s Piggie Park – 1600 Charleston Highway – 803-796-0220J
Nick’s House of Pizza Restaurant- 1082 A Sunset Blvd – 803-794-9240
Bricks and Stones Pizza 3234 – Augusta Road – (803) 988-9898
DeLuccas 1720 Sunset Blvd. – 803- 926-5255
Ariana’s Greek Restaurant – 1720 Sunset Blvd. – (803) 796-4430
Lizard’s Thicket – 2234 Sunset Blvd. 803 – 794-0923
True BBQ – 1237 D Ave – (803) 791-9950
Jin Jin Chinese Restaurant – 469 Sunset Blvd. (803) 739-8888
Chick-fil-A -2299 Augusta Rd. – (803) 939-1600
Rush’s 2332 Sunset Blvd. – (803) 796-5034