Petit Jean Meats produces, mails and provides in-store 100,000 bone-in hams and 80,000 boneless hams for the dinner table. Grocery stores throughout Arkansas carry those hams, but if you’d prefer the convenience of having
Burge's Smoked Turkeys are very popular for Thanksgiving, and it's not too late to get yours. Jeff Voyles, the owner, says they'll have plenty, but suggests coming in today or Tuesday to get your bird, since there's always a big rush on Wednesday. The store on R Street in the Heights will be busy, but you'll be able to get your whole turkey, smoked turkey breast and more -- even some side dishes -- there. Burge's sells around 12,000 whole smoked turkeys a year, but the spiral sliced half-ham is the company’s biggest seller.
Hillcrest Artisan Meats has already run out of turkeys but has locally raised chickens and ducks available.
If you're wanting to get your own turkey, Sim's Barbecue will smoke it for you, but you need to call first and make sure they have room. You drop off your bird in the morning and go fetch it in the afternoon.
Cross Eyed Pig BBQ Company -- which does excellent smoked turkeys and hams.
If you're searching for a deep fried turkey, Popeye's has them. Of course, you can also lose your mind and get something awesome like a whole turducken (a hen stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey) from Floyd's Meat And Seafood (this is also where you get oysters if you want to make oyster stuffing).
Butcher and Public has already run out of smoked turkeys, but there is turkey gravy to pick up. Travis can also hook you up with sorghum breakfast sausage -- which you're going to want, because no one remembers breakfast on Thanksgiving. Be a star, especially if you have relatives sleeping over!
3. Dressing. You cannot beat the chicken dressing from Dan's I-30 Diner in Benton. It's absolutely marvelous and moist, and even if you're having turkey, the chicken in the dressing will be quite excellent.
4. Eggplant Casserole. Franke's Cafeteria offers many of its popular menu items in family portions for the holidays, including its famed eggplant casserole and whole pies, such as egg custard, pumpkin and cinnamon.
5. Potatoes au Gratin. Diane's Gourmet in Little Rock offers a variety of amazing side dishes and desserts, including one of the best renditions of potatoes au gratin around. You'll also find broccoli cheese casserole, mac and cheese, cheese crackers and baked pies available there.
6. Cranberries. Honestly, I can't stand most cranberries (too many slurping solid chunks from cans as a kid, I suppose) but I can eat the tar out of the cranberry orange relish at E's Bistro in North Little Rock. Elizabeth's also carrying green bean bundles, dressing and pies.
7. Green Beans. I cannot stand green bean casserole. Fortunately, my brother usually eats ALL of it over the course of the afternoon, so no worries there. Plain green beans are all right, but if you're looking for something to pick up that will be light, delicious and particularly wonderful, check with the folks at Catering To You for some of their marvelous Green Bean Almondine.
8. Sweet Potato Casserole. Okay, most everyone should know how to make sweet potatoes by now, but if you're really in a pinch, go get a pan. Terry's Finer Foods does an excellent rendition.
9. Bread. Okay, cornbread is always something my mom makes for Thanksgiving, usually from War Eagle Mill Cornmeal Mix. But butterflake rolls from Ed's Custom Bakery are also usually on the table. Other choices that would achieve the epic rating for your dinner table: Boulevard Bread Company's Pagnotta (GREAT for sopping up a little giblet gravy), Community Bakery's Pocketbook Rolls, Silvek's European Bakery's Hallah Bread.
Liz and Linda's Pepper Jelly, but anyone who makes a good one is AOK in my book.
11. Pies. I cannot fathom Thanksgiving without pie. This year Bourbon Pecan Pie at Local Lime and Big Orange; French Apple Pie from Terry's Finer Foods; and whatever's left on the rack at Chip's Barbecue. I bet if you asked really, really nice, there may be a pie or two at Sweet Love... but orders are already over.
There are of course many chain operations offering made-and-done turkeys and Thanksgiving dinners at places such as Cracker Barrel and Copeland's -- and of course you can still pick up a Thanksgiving dinner from Kroger or Edward's Food Giant. These will run you anywhere from fifty to eighty dollars.