A few years back, my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving at our place. My husband and his mother helped cook the turkey. His mother worked on making wild rice stuffing. My mother-in-law and husband worked on making pumpkin pies together. My husband and I worked on making mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes together. And after hours of preparing and cooking, we had Thanksgiving. Myself, my husband, an aunt, my parents, and his parents. And when the meal was all done, we cleaned up, packed up all of the leftovers and that was the end of that Thanksgiving celebration. My husband and I decided that we wouldn’t be hosting Thanksgiving, or cooking a Thanksgiving meal again for a long time. Besides, his family lives out-of-state, and mine doesn’t really celebrate Thanksgiving. And my husband doesn’t really love turkey, so we definitely weren’t going to be cooking a large meal just for the two of us. Last year, when it was time to figure out what to do for Thanksgiving, my husband and I decided to go out to eat. Leave the cooking, and the cleaning to someone else. My parents were out-of-town, his parents out-of-state, so it was just the two of us eating out. We enjoyed ourselves so much, and the food, that we decided this year that we’d go back to the same place for our Thanksgiving meal. In fact, I blogged about our Thanksgiving meal last year at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.
This year, my parents were actually in town, so reservations were made, and the four of us headed to Lucille’s for Thanksgiving. You may not think of a BBQ joint being a popular place to spend Thanksgiving, but it was actually packed this year with patrons. We were glad we had made reservations as there was quite a wait for a table, and even with resrevations, we waited a good 15-20 minutes before being seated at our table. We ended up being seated nearby the restaurant’s smoker, which was fantastic. You could smell the meat being smoked low and slow. It was mouth-wateringly tantalizing! Who said Thanksgiving and BBQ didn’t go hand in hand?
I started off by ordering what I always get when I come to Lucille’s, their fresh strawberry lemonade. I admit their lemonade is delicious, and fresh and both tart and sweet, but what I love about their lemonade more than anything is the fact that they serve it in a mason jar. It’s something about serving a drink in something so simple as a mason jar, the same mason jar we can all get from our local grocery stores to can fruits and vegetables with, is just so quaint and comfortable. I get such a kick out of it!
We kicked off our Thanksgiving meal by ordering a tri-tip quesadilla. The quesadilla is stuffed, and I do mean stuffed with slow smoked tri-tip, roasted pasilla peppers, jack cheese and caramelized onions. Fresh pico de gallo tops the quesadilla and it’s served alongside a sweet corn salsa. A full order of the quesadillas is a whole quesadilla sliced into 4 pieces. While that may not sound like a lot, with the amount of ingredients they stuff inside the quesadilla, 4 pieces is more than enough for 4 people. 1 piece per person. I love the sweet corn salsa that comes with the quesadilla as it’s a perfect compliment to the hearty quesadilla. It’s crisp and fresh and refreshing. The quesadilla itself is loaded with smoked tri-tip and the flavor really comes through. My husband was surprised, but the roasted pasilla peppers inside didn’t bother me, and that is surprising because I pretty much dislike any type of pepper. But in this case, the peppers weren’t hot and the roasting of them made them soft and slightly sweet, reminiscent of a green chili but with a smokier flavor. We all loved the appetizer.
Since it was Thanksgiving, and time to celebrate and be thankful for the things we have in our lives, we decided to celebrate by indulging in a lot of food. At least, that’s the excuse we offered for the amount of food we ordered. My parents ordered a full rack of baby back ribs to share. Their entrees come with 2 sides of your choosing, of which they chose the sweet potato fries and a baked potato. The full rack of ribs was enormous. And the ribs were so well cooked; tasty and fall-off-the bone. Amazingly, between the two of them, they couldn’t finish the whole rack of ribs.
My husband chose Lucille’s two meat combo. For his two meats, he chose his absolutely favorite beef brisket as well as the spicy hot links. His two sides were garlic mashed potatoes and mac & cheese. To my husband, BBQ isn’t BBQ without beef brisket. He doesn’t like ribs, doesn’t like tri tip or pulled pork, only beef brisket. And he loves Lucille’s beef brisket. It’s so tender you can cut it with a fork, and it’s so full of flavor nd moist and juicy. My mom was skeptical as to how spicy the spicy hot links could be, but when my husband cut his hot link up, he knew it would be spicy. When you saw the inside of the sausage, you could see the red-orange color and you knew there were spices in it. After taking a bite, my husband first thought that the hot link was mild in flavor, but I guess it actually as a spice that was slow developing in heat because it wasn’t until the end of the first bite that the heat really hit him. And then he definitely thought it was spicy. My mom was still skeptical until she took a bite of the hot link and discovered the same thing; the initial bite is mild in flavor but then the spice starts to build up. And of course the mac & cheese is always good hear with a great cheese sauce that they finish in the salamander to get it nice and crispy and golden on top.
I also decided to go with the two meat combo. My sides were the same as my husband’s, mac & cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. I loved the garlic mashed potatoes, they were creamy and smooth and filled with good garlic flavor. For my two meats, I ordered the beef ribs and the beef brisket. Little did I realize that the beef ribs order comes with 4 huge beef ribs. I essentially had an entire cow on my plate. It was enormous. After one meaty, ginormous beef rib I was stuffed! But it had such wonderful flavor, it was smoky and caramelized and everything you want out of a good BBQ joint. And of course, I loved the beef brisket!
Amazingly, we were all so stuffed from our Thanksgiving BBQ meal that we didn’t even have enough room for dessert! That’s got to be a first. If the spirit of Thanksgiving means spending time with family and loved ones, and enjoying each others company over a great meal, then what’s wrong with BBQ for Thanksgiving? Great food, no fuss, no mess, and no slaving away in the kitchen! Let someone else do it all for you and you can just enjoy the fruits of their labor!