There were at least a half-dozen pies on the counter of my aunt's kitchen. Pumpkin, pumpkin streusel, pecan, apple, cherry – and a few others I'm forgetting.
But it was the one my uncle forgot that was causing the problem. Steve had not ordered a chocolate pie for our Thanksgiving spread, and chaos was erupting among the cousins. Could we have a Thanksgiving without chocolate pie?
Obviously, the answer was no. And the next year, there were at least four varieties of chocolate pie.
Thanksgiving is four weeks away and whether you want a chocolate pie or a traditional pumpkin, it's time to start making plans. Many bakeries are beginning to release their holiday menus and accepting pre-orders.
While this year's festivities might be different for some families, the team at Courtney's Bakery is expecting holiday orders to be strong.
The holidays are what most of us look forward to all year, owner Courtney Hamm says, and more people are likely to stay – and eat – at home.
This year, Courtney's Bakery, 7773 Coldwater Road, will also offer breakfast trays. Many people do not have time to make breakfast while preparing a full holiday meal.
For information or to order online, go to CourtneysBakery.com.
Chad Seewald, owner of Sweets So Geek, is trying to shift with the changing times but understands the challenges when business is based on large gatherings.
“We're hoping that the holidays will bring a resurgence in local spending and support to local businesses,” Seewald says, “and that families and friends are willing to support local bakeries and dessert shops like ours with purchases for their Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, and holiday parties, whether it's just a small group or their larger bubbles.”
Sweets So Geek, 6722 E. State Blvd., will offer piecakens, like the Hoosier Heart Attack (spice cake with a sugar cream pie inside) or the Southern Gentleman (caramel buttermilk cake with a pecan pie inside). There will also be some “boozy” pies for pre-order, Seewald says, as well as varieties such as Blueberry Sugar Cream and Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie.
Other items on the holiday menu will include cheesecake, decorated cookies, hot cocoa bombs, chocolate barks and a couple new chocolates. Sweets So Geek also accepts custom orders. For information, call 312-5758.
The Proper Pastry at 139 N. Main St. in downtown Roanoke will be accepting holiday orders through Nov. 24.
The bakery will offer brioche rolls, quiche and pies. There will be two quiches available: cheddar, prosciutto and cheddar, and spinach with red pepper and feta. As for pie, pastry chef Anna Roudebush will have pumpkin, apple, cherry, sugar cream and pecan.
To order, contact the bakery at 260-413-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other restaurants and bakeries with holiday specials can email me as soon as possible at email@example.com for inclusion in The Dish.
Alto Grado on Landing
Alto Grado Landing Pizzeria, 111 W. Columbia St., will celebrate its grand opening Nov. 11.
The restaurant will be a brick-and-mortar extension of the food truck that first hit the streets in 2018. The truck is known for its flavorful pizzas made in a 900-degree oven.
The restaurant will open with a menu similar to the food truck, with wood-fired pizzas and breadsticks. Chef and owner Rick Doering says he plans to expand the menu with hoagies, oven-baked grinders and salads. There will also be filled-to-order cannolis and gelato. Alto Grado will have beer on tap, as well.
“We plan to keep it simple, make it the best and give everyone exciting new things to enjoy regularly,” Doering says.
The space at the Landing is sleek, with red pendant lights, dark tables and wood accents. Doering says the building was not yet under construction when he was first approached about the opportunity.
“(The Landing) is the place to be, and we love that we are a part of it,” Doering says. “We have been involved with the project for a couple of years now. It has been so exciting to see it all come together.”
The restaurant will open at 11:11 a.m. Nov. 11. Initially, hours will be 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Doering plans to extend the closing hours on the weekends depending on business volume and has plans to add brunch service on the weekends.
Hold the phone! Literally, hold your phone or grab your computer. Don Hall's The Factory has added an online ordering option.
The restaurant at 5811 Coldwater Road is open for dine-in customers. But online ordering, along with curbside delivery, is available for those who want a minimal-contact option.
Customers will order and pay directly from the website, and there are designated parking spots for pickup.
To order, go to www.donhalls.com/the-factory.
• DeBrand Fine Chocolates announced that its popular Giant Caramel Apples will be available – sporadically – until Thanksgiving. Apples can be ordered before Thanksgiving; the deadline is Nov. 19. Guests can also call individual DeBrand stores to check on availability.
• In honor of Veterans Day, Golden Corral is handing out cards to active duty and veterans through Nov. 30. The cards are valid for a free meal and beverage at lunch or dinner weekdays through May 31.
For more information, go to GoldenCorral.com.
The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.