Thanksgiving Meal at a Dining Table

The best Thanksgiving packages for your buck

Skip the long hours in the kitchen and enjoy a delicious meal that takes the standard Thanksgiving fare up several notches.

The holiday season is nearly upon us, and it’s that time to start making plans for everyone’s favorite part: the meals. If the thought of spending your Thanksgiving break prepping and cooking an elaborate meal fills you with dread, never fear. Atlanta has plenty of Thanksgiving packages to remove holiday stress and add some panache to your gathering, whether your tastes run traditional or outside-the-box. Keep reading to find the perfect meal for friends, family or your special someone.  

Tio Lucho’s

Peruvian restaurant Tio Lucho’s, helmed by chef Arnaldo Castillo, will serve up its Dia de Gracias Turkey Feast. The package feeds up to eight guests for $250 ($30/person!) for zero effort and all the flavors. The 16-pound pan-roasted Thanksgiving turkey comes with an aji panca marinade, a mild red pepper common in Peruvian cuisine. The tamales verdes, frijoles de casa, jasmine rice and pumpkin bread pudding will make your Thanksgiving different—but might be your new go-to for holidays to come. 

Pre-order on their website, pick up on Wednesday, Nov. 22, between 11 am-4 pm.

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Kinship Butcher & Sundry

This choice covers any size crowd with multiple meat options and your favorite “fixins.” Kinship’s Thanksgiving pre-order allows you to choose from a half-turkey, turkey wings or a 10-14-pound turkey from Joyce Farms. If you’re not feeling like turkey this year, you can also put down a deposit on a ham, prime rib roast or tenderloin. Chef Stella Dillard of Dandelion Food & Goods is cooking up all the sides, and you can select the ones you’d like, including her old family recipe for mac and cheese. 

Pre-order on their website, order before Nov. 10 and pick up from Nov. 18, Nov. 19 or Nov. 22. 

Sweet Auburn Barbecue

Sweet Auburn Barbecue’s Thanksgiving package lets you skip the prep with its Sliced Turkey Package. For $140, you can get 2.25 pounds of sliced smoked turkey with two sides, cornbread dressing, biscuits, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Add their southern creamed corn to your lineup for about $20 bucks per quart (which feeds up to six people). You will not regret this meal kit delivery. 

Pre-order on their website, pick up on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22. 

JenChan’s

Cabbagetown favorite JenChan’s offers many options—but all of them are executed impeccably. While the restaurant will offer a classic Thanksgiving dinner with a large turkey and sides, stop by if you’re flying solo and pick up one of their individual turkey dinners for $28. Plus, it’s available with turkey or a plant-based, vegan option. 

If you’re looking for something different, JenChan’s also offers its Very Dim Sum Thanksgiving meal. You can build your perfect dim sum feast and choose from a three-day Hoisin duck, sesame-roasted Brussels sprouts, glass noodles, pork and shrimp dumplings, and more. 

Pre-order on their site for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 22. 

Little Rey

If you’re not feeling like turkey, head to Little Rey and pick their whole pollo al carbon—part of their regular menu but also an excellent pick for a special holiday feast. It’s truly a deal that cannot be missed. For $36, you can feed three to four people with a whole bird, salsa and chips, and pints of rice and beans. Don’t forget to grab extra tortillas! If you have a few friends coming over, pick up the $64 meal that feeds six to eight people. 

Order ahead of time the week of Thanksgiving for easy window pick up. 

Casa Nuova 

If you’re in the suburbs, Alpharetta’s Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant scraps the turkey altogether and offers to-go take-and-bake specials. With two tray size options, choose from lasagna, chicken Francese, eggplant parmigiana or meatballs for your bake. It all comes with a house salad and garlic bread—just grab a bottle of wine and you’ll be all set. The half tray special feeds four to six people for $75, and the full tray feeds eight to 12 people for $150.

Pick up hot or cold on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Call them at 770-475-9100 to place your order.

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Guide dog

5 amazing jobs that dogs can do if yours needs to start pulling its weight

Share this article with your dog

Dogs are not considered the smartest domesticated animals (aw), but they are considered the most pro-social. Studies have found that dogs pick up human cues almost instantaneously, such as pointing at things. Technically smarter animals — like chimpanzees — may be trained to care about human gestures, but don’t do so intuitively. (And cats probably just don’t care.)

In fact, dogs have been helping us for a long time thanks to their ability to read and respond to human needs. Trained service animals provide vital functions for hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. who have mental and physical disabilities. Law enforcement and the military use dogs for a wide variety of purposes — some bomb sniffing dogs even have baseball cards. 

Still, canines continuously expand their resumes. Here are five amazing jobs that you can look into if your pet isn’t contributing to your household coffers. 

Bed bug detection

Bed bugs are a pernicious problem because these tiny pests are hard to spot until there are symptoms – like itchy bites. Dogs’ gold-level sense of smell allows them to detect bed bugs at the earliest stages of development and will alert humans to places where bed bugs hide that you might miss with sight alone — like behind wallpaper, for instance. Trained K9s sniff out areas with bed bugs and alert their pest control technician, a team which is more effective than humans inspectors alone.   

Baseball card featuring explosive detection dog

Search and rescue

Search and rescue (SAR) dogs represent the top 1% of all service animals, making them an elite force. When a person or piece of evidence goes missing, SAR dogs can smell a human scent for around two to three hours after it has last been touched, and sometimes even longer than that. Amazingly, dogs can also tell when an item smells like it doesn’t belong. While looking for items left behind by a lost hiker, for instance, dogs may be able to tell if an item is an out-of-place scent in nature. 

Senior assistance

As people age, it’s common to develop issues with seeing, hearing, mobility and numerous unique conditions that require care. Dogs are already stepping in to play an important role in caregiving for seniors — who will soon become the largest demographic in the U.S. For people who use wheelchairs, dogs can help open doors or lower cabinets. Service animals can get help if a person has experienced a fall or a seizure. These amazing companions can even help people who have memory loss issues to dress and eat.

Service dog patiently lying down next to its owner in a park

Livestock protection

These special security guards help protect livestock from a variety of natural predators. Unlike herding dogs, Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) essentially live with their herds, imprinting as an honorary member of the pack. Though these dogs are typically large and independent — making them less popular in city settings — some people use them to guard residential chicken coops. Though LGDs are fierce toward outside threats, they are often gentle with children and other pets.  

Allergy detection

About 1 in 50 Americans experience life-threatening allergies that include severe reactions that can prove fatal without timely, proper care. What makes allergy detecting dogs so special is that they must sort through an enormous number of smells to zero in on an allergen like peanuts, shellfish, soy or gluten. Allergen Service Dogs will alert to the smell of a dangerous ingredient with some sign like pawing. Or, they can be used to clear entire areas, searching high and low for the presence of a life-threatening allergen.  

Researchers are continuously studying dog cognition to better understand how they can be helpful to our everyday lives, but one thing is certain: They really are our best friends. 

If you want to learn more about your pet and how they can enrich your everyday life in your home or apartment, subscribe to Localite emails.


Aerial view of eight pickleball courts, arranged four by two

What’s behind the fiercely raging pickleball controversy

A briefer on both sides of the mega-trend

Pickleball has once again claimed the title of the fastest-growing sport in America. If you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the game, pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. The rules are simple and the dimensions of a standard pickleball court are compact, creating a low-impact, high-reward activity that is accessible to most people. In fact, the sport has been hugely popular with the 55+ crowd for years, with senior living communities promoting it as a draw for residents who want to stay active. (The Villages in Florida boast hundreds of pickleball courts.)

In the past few years, though, pickleball’s popularity has surged among people of all ages and activity levels in cities across the country, contributing to a 171% increase in participation. Not everyone is thrilled. The NY Post claims the sport is “wreaking havoc” in cities across the U.S., with lawsuits, scuffles and noise complaints owing to its controversial status. Despite this, the game continues to draw enthusiasts (and fanatics) to new and existing courts in the country. Here is the lowdown on both sides of the pickleball debate.

Pickleball paddle and ball resting on the edge of a court

In this corner: pickleball haters

If you have played a game of pickleball, you likely know that it can be a bit noisy. The sport uses solid paddles to hit a plastic ball with holes, creating a pop-pop back-and-forth that produces a decibel level that’s roughly twice as loud as tennis and a bit louder than city noise. In fact, the pitch simulates the sound of a garbage truck.

It isn’t just the mechanics. Pickleball lends well to social activity, able to be played in twos or fours and, because it is active without being overly toilsome, can be played with groups of friends – maybe even alongside a few brews. The joviality isn’t always welcome when played late at night or in otherwise serene neighborhoods. 

The courts themselves are another contentious component. Tennis courts, where picklers often play, generally have spoken and unspoken rules of etiquette. For instance, it’s not unusual for tennis players to stay on the court for roughly an hour before yielding it to waiting players in the stands. Not all picklers are aware of – or abide by – the rules. And, most pickleball courts are converted from tennis courts, meaning that tennis players have fewer places to practice and play. 

Girl playing pickleball on an outdoor court

And in this corner: pickleball advocates

Ask a pickler why they like the sport, and they may exuberantly rattle off a list of reasons. For some, it’s a way to stay active, meet new people and become a part of a movement that has a low bar for entry. But it isn’t just fun. 

Experts extol the many benefits of pickleball, like improved hand-eye coordination and improved physical health when played consistently. Even the noise-inducing rackets and holed balls make swinging a pickleball racket easier on arm joints, which can help people who may be prone to tendonitis or other overuse injuries. And, for players who use a wheelchair or other adaptive devices, governing organizations like USA Pickleball have ensured greater accessibility for more players through official recommendations and rules for play. 

Additionally, as the sport gains in popularity, independent pickleball courts are being erected so that players aren’t commandeering tennis courts. Concepts like Chicken N Pickle, which has locations in Texas, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma – with new locations on the way –  offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy a good meal, reserve a court and watch the picklers in action. Places like Pickle and Social offer locations in Georgia and Arizona to enjoy a club-like experience, offering a full-service bar, specialty drinks and more to enjoy after a lively match.

There’s also a matter of supply and demand in the increasingly heated wars between tennis players and picklers. Tennis has only grown in popularity by about 4% over the past few years, and picklers argue that many courts were underused and are now being fully utilized thanks to pickleball. 

So, what’s the verdict? 

Whether you love, hate or remain undecided on the sport of pickleball, it’s best to read up on pickleball and tennis court etiquette before playing. If you want to participate, make sure that your destination is properly zoned and accommodating of picklers to ensure that everyone – players, spectators and bystanders alike – can enjoy their lives (and their game).

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