The best Thanksgiving to-go meals for your buck

Holiday-ready meals for every taste and budget

It’s that time of year when the leaves are changing into their fall colors and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. This holiday, let the pros take care of the cooking. From homestyle feasts and deli-inspired dinners to Tex-Mex meals, these are the best Thanksgiving packages for your buck. 

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Doughbird

Closed Thanksgiving Day

Packages starting at $21.00 per person; order through Nov. 30

It’s the season of giving, Phoenix. Fox Restaurant Concepts’ Doughbird is giving back to the community this Thanksgiving with its Grateful Plateful initiative. Now through Nov. 30, Doughbird will be donating a portion of the proceeds from each Grateful Plateful sale to St. Vincent de Paul. The individual-sized Grateful Plateful entree includes a half rotisserie chicken, winter squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, seasoned stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Families, don’t fret. Doughbird has a family-sized Grateful Plateful option that serves up to four. 

Click here to order on the website. 

Beckett’s Table 

Closed Thanksgiving Day

Pricing options per side; must order by Nov. 19

Beckett’s Table is a Phoenix favorite for its homey atmosphere and elevated takes on classic comfort foods. The award-winning restaurant is offering traditional holiday fixings to accompany your turkey, which you’ll have to prepare at home in this case. The sides-only package feeds six people per side, starting at $40 (about $6 per side, per person) and includes classic options like buttery whipped mashed potatoes or a fig and pecan pie that’s big enough for your entire guestlist. 

See the sides and pies menu here

Miracle Mile Deli 

Closed Thanksgiving Day

Packages starting at $23.00 per person; served on a first-come, first-serve basis until Nov. 22

If you’re searching for a holiday season miracle this Thanksgiving, look to Miracle Mile Deli. While the Phoenix deli is best known for its tasty pastrami sandwiches, Miracle Mile is working its magic this holiday season to bring you an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal. First up is Miracle Mile’s individual-sized Oven Roasted Turkey Dinner, a plateful of white or dark turkey meat served alongside homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and rye bread with butter. 

Families and Friendsgivingers can indulge in Miracle Mile’s Family Feast, a much larger version of their personal plate that can serve up to six people, which features all of the same eats plus baked macaroni and cheese and a whole pie. Can’t get enough mashed potatoes? Miracle Mile is offering quart-sized containers of all of their sides in portions that are big enough to serve up to four people. Don’t skip the pies. There’s an apple pie with your name on it, dessert fans. 

Head over to their website to get more details

Eat Up Drive-In

Closed Thanksgiving Day 

2023 pricing to come (family-sized meal was $55 in 2022); Order by Nov. 22

This Arcadia eatery is popular for its convenient drive-through, noshable burgers and secret menu. But this holiday season, take advantage of Eat Up’s family meals. Opt for a nontraditional (but delicious) Thanksgiving feast with a Whole Chicken meal, a spread that includes an entire rotisserie from Red Bird Farms and your choice of two family-sized sides, like roasted broccoli, potato gratin, bamboo rice, cauliflower potato-less salad, house slaw, plain or loaded baked potatoes, Caesar salad or a medley of tomatoes and cucumber. The restaurant will also be serving up a Turkey Dinner option with traditional sides, with specifics coming soon on its social media and website.

Check out all of your choices on their website.

Chompie’s 

Open Thanksgiving Day

Packages starting at $29.99 per person; Order whole turkey and large dinners by Nov. 20

Chompie’s has been a Valley staple since the late 1970s. And it’s really no wonder why — the New York-style deli knows a thing or two about really, really good food. Chompie’s Thanksgiving menu is no exception. Available for dine-in or takeout, Chompie’s holiday package includes a helping of white meat turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes dressed in pan gravy, homestyle string beans, candied yams, cranberry relish and fresh-baked knot rolls with butter. Of course, you can’t forget the pie. Chompie’s has two options to choose from: apple or pumpkin. Need to feed a big group? Chompie’s also offers large packages and à la carte options, all of which are cooked from-scratch the same day of your scheduled pick up. 

See your options on the Chompie’s website

Z’Tejas 

Open Thanksgiving Day 

Packages starting at $125.00; Pick up Nov. 21 or Nov. 22 

Add a little spice to your Thanksgiving dinner this year. No, we’re not talking pumpkin spice either. Z’Tejas is adding its signature Tex-Mex touch to the traditional Thanksgiving meal with a holiday takeout package big enough to feed six. The package includes white and dark meat turkey slices, poblano mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, seasonal vegetables, cranberries and a chorizo gravy. Plus, you can add on to-go margaritas or an ancho fudge pie for dessert. 

Explore the package options on their site

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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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