Restaurants in the Inland Northwest are expecting a last-minute flurry of Thanksgiving Day reservations as families living without power give up their dreams of a home-cooked feast.
The few remaining tables in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene should be snatched up today, restaurant managers say.
“It’s amazing we’re not filled,” said Sharon Dixon of Hobart’s at Cavanaugh’s Fourth Avenue in Spokane.
“Everyone is holding out and praying that their power is coming back on,” she said Tuesday. “I really expected to come back in today and find tons of reservations.” A candlelight dinner at home with turkey and the trimmings may be traditional, but these days candelight is synonymous with cold. And a useless oven.
That’s why Dan Barbieri of Marie Callender’s expects a larger crowd than usual to gobble the Spokane Valley restaurant’s all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving dinner.
“A lot of people without power are coming here,” he said.
For storm refugees, the elderly and the poor, plenty of free hot meals will be available Thursday.
Meals on Wheels volunteers in the Spokane area will be delivering turkey dinners to more than 300 seniors, 60 and older, director Cheri Mataya said. The number to call is (509) 624-3231.
“The cutoff date for ordering Thanksgiving dinner was last Thursday,” she said Tuesday morning, “but I’ve been taking orders up until 20 minutes ago.”
While the number of requests for the food is about the same as last year, Mataya said that’s because the Red Cross shelters housing storm victims will be serving up Thanksgiving meals.
There are plenty of other places offering free sit-down dinners Thursday. At most, walk-ins are welcome.
“As long as they keep coming, we’ll keep feeding,” said the Rev. Clifton E. Hamp of Spokane’s Full Gospel Mission, 1912 E. First. The first meals will be served at 1 p.m.
“You don’t need to call; you just need to come.”
Also in Spokane:
St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, 5021 N. Nelson. Dinner served from noon to 3 p.m. Limited transportation available. 487-1325.
Central United Methodist Church, 518 W. Third. Dinner service starts at 1 p.m. 838-1431.
City Gate Fellowship, 114 S. Madison. Dinner served from 1-5 p.m. 455-9670.
North Idaho: St. George’s Catholic Church, 2010 N. Williams, in Post Falls. Dinner served from 4-6 p.m. (208) 773-4715.
American Legion Post 143, 640 N. Highway 41, in Post Falls. Dinner served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (208) 773-9054.
Three Mile Cafe, three miles north of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, near where U.S. Highway 2 meets state Highway 95. Dinner served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Burger Heaven, on state Highway 53 in Rathdrum. Dinner served from 2-5 p.m. (208) 687-2484.
For more information about free Thanksgiving meals, call the Spokane Food Bank, 534-6678, or the Coeur d’Alene Community Action Food Bank, (208) 664-3663.
Families who can afford to pay for a Thanksgiving meal have options ranging from formal dining to take-out.
Hobart’s is offering a buffet from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $13.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors, $7.95 for children 7 to 12. Children under 6 eat free.
Mallards restaurant at Templin’s Resort in Post Falls, Idaho, is dishing out its buffet from noon to 7 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
For $7.99 a head, Village Inn in Coeur d’Alene offers a turkey dinner from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. No reservations needed.
Granny’s Buffet in north Spokane is serving an all-you-can-eat buffet from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Reservations not required.
Boston Market, 13920 E. Sprague, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A complete turkey dinner is available for $5.49. The restaurant also prepares take-out orders for up to 24 people, but to pick up one of their larger feasts, order ahead.
For those with more exotic tastes, The Taste of India, 3110 N. Division, is serving a buffet dinner for $9.99 from 4-9:30 p.m. Indian-style turkey, chicken, vegetables, rice pudding and crepes are on the menu. Call ahead.