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Takeaway dinners for the holidays

There's a weird contradiction sometimes when it comes to the holiday season, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Obviously, the importance of the holidays is to connect or reconnect with friends and family, and tradition says it usually involves some sort of massive home-cooked meal. Simultaneously, 2021 was a hell of a nasty year, maybe a little bit better than 2020, but not by much, so it would also be nice to have a lovely home cooked meal that didn't require tons of stress and sweat from your loved ones.

Enter the take-home holiday meal. It still has the vibe of a home-cooked meal, but it not only allows your relatives (in my case, my mom) to relax and relieve some pressure over the holidays, but it means eating meals cooked and curated by local chefs.

Drooling in some cases is OK: Zydeco Christmas Dinner is served. - PHOTO COURTESY JENNIFER STEPHENS
  • Photo Courtesy Jennifer Stephens
  • Drooling in some cases is OK: Zydeco Christmas Dinner is served.

Here are just a few of the local spots doing holiday takeaways. If you're curious if your personal favorite spot is doing something like this, don't hesitate to reach out to them to find out!

Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails:

Having a giant table full of Zydeco for the holidays is a present in and of itself, with owners Steve and Cheri Helt fully aware of how nice it is to have some of that pressure relieved.

"We have people pick up their takeaway meals the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas; this way we can close the restaurant for the actual holiday. We believe it is important for our staff to celebrate with their friends and family and not work on Christmas or Thanksgiving," the owners said.

On the menu is a four-course dinner for six with pick-up on Dec. 24 from 11-3. It's $425 or $71 per person, and includes house-smoked trout dip with Lavosh crackers, a farm salad, NW Reserve slow roasted Prime Rib, homemade au jus, mashed or au gratin potatoes and more. Check zydecokitchen.com for the full menu.

Curb B Q:

My personal favorite West Coast barbecue spot on the planet is launching a takeaway dinner and, once again, they've curated a menu that's unpretentious and mouth-watering. Chefs and owners Bryan and Jennifer Illingworth have already built Bend's best burger (the Jalepeño Burger is flawless) and my favorite food truck because you can legit taste the love in everything they do.

"That is where our meals come from," says Jennifer Illingworth. "Straight from our hearts and an extension from what we serve on those special days with our own families."

The meal, $22 per person, is ready to pick up Christmas Eve and includes slowly smoked ham with a brown sugar maple glaze, thinly sliced potatoes in a reduced leek cream sauce with hints of nutmeg and garlic layered with Asiago and parmigiana cheese. There's also a winter salad tossed with pomegranate seeds, beets, candied pecans and drizzled with a pomegranate and red pepper dressing, and artisan rolls baked locally with a side of softened cinnamon and honey butter.

The Sandwich Factory:

The Sandwich Factory in Prineville has been crushing it for over five years, with its Time Clock sandwich (corned beef and pastrami on dark rye) one of my absolute favorites anywhere. Chef Woody Stevens and his wife/partner Celena Pentrack are also aware of how important it is to relieve some of that pressure during the holidays.

"Providing the meals allows our Chef to 'feed' his own passion of preparing great traditional comfort food for people to enjoy," said Celena Pentrack. "At the same time, our goal is to facilitate more time, more sanity and less stress and cleanup for families in our community. In turn, the meals also provide the community with a great way to support local small businesses, so overall it's a win-win!

The meal is $120 and feeds 4 to 6 people. Pickup is Christmas Eve or morning between 9-10am. The meal includes all the staples: sliced turkey breast roast and sliced backed ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole and more. Check sandwichfactoryprineville.com for more information.

Chef Bethlyn:

As anyone who has lived in Central Oregon for any amount of time knows, Chef Bethlyn Rider doesn't mess around. She has long been one of the region's most innovative and daring chefs, never content to just do what's easy, instead always creating fusion cuisine that excites. She's been doing the holiday meal for years and 2021 is no exception.

Prices vary depending on how many guests you're feeding and whether you would like the dinner to be vegan. The main course on the non-vegan menu is a dark rum and honey-glazed brisket with balsamic onion gravy, while the main vegan course is a nut roast with candied carrots and mushroom gravy. Either way, we're the winners. Check out Chef Bethlyn's Global Fusion Personal Chef and Catering on Facebook to see the menu in full.

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