Still don’t know what you’re eating Thanksgiving Day? Here are some dinner options

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If you’re family isn’t around and you don’t know how to cook, or just don’t want to, there are a number of restaurants that are either open for a Thanksgiving meal or provide some take-home options. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Meddlesome Moth. The Design District gastropub, pictured, will be open 10 a.m.–3 p.m. for a Thanksgiving brunch from chef Richard Graff. It’s a traditional plate, with turkey, chestnut stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce; plus pumpkin break, gravlax on a bagel with crème fraiche; frittata; steak frites; and lump crab salad.

Oak. The Moth’s neighbor, Oak, will also offer a selection on Thursday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., including an entrée of turkey, ham or prime rib, and family-style selections of appetizers, sides and desserts. $75/adult.

The Second Floor. Chef Scott Gottlich, who just opened his latest restaurant in Oak Lawn, is doing a full service Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at his Galleria eatery. Offering more than 10 pies, a carving station, entrees from pumpkin pasta to braised short ribs and even sushi. $68/adult. Reservations required.

Y.O. Steakhouse. For the first time ever, chef Tony Street will offer a full Thanksgiving Day, three-course dinner from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. The same menu will also be offered Wednesday and Thursday. Appetizers include venison tamale, quail or lobster bisque; entrées are traditional turkey or filet mignon or venison chops; and dessert.

Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. For something more casual, GAPCo. has a turkey calzone available now through Dec. 20. (It’s not open Thursday, so come any other time.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

6 ways to lessen the gut-busting effects of your Thanksgiving binge

ThinkstockPhotos-76730742Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude and family, indulgence and indigestion. Embrace the former while ditching the latter with these actionable ways to limit your belly-bulging binge at this month’s high-calorie celebration of appreciation and appetite.

1. Stop training yourself to overeat at holiday meals. Yes, Thanksgiving food is awesome. Especially if you have a mom or grandma (or whoever the cooking guru is in your family) who blows out that spread like fireworks at a Katy Perry concert. But remember that it’s not the last meal you’ll ever have, and it shouldn’t be the first one of the day, either. Start the holiday by having a sensible, healthy and filling breakfast — like an egg white-and-spinach omelette with turkey sausage and mixed berries — so you’re not apt to snack all afternoon then dive into a piled-high plate of smorgasbord staples like you just got out of prison. Little piggies belong in a pen, not face-first in the pumpkin pie.

M2. Drink water to trick yourself into feeling full. Just like you do (or at least should do) at restaurants when you’re in danger of overeating, drink water before taking your seat for the main event. Baltimore-based certified strength and conditioning specialist Roy Pumphrey recommends “downing a giant glass of H2O about 30 minutes before the meal begins to help quell the hunger pangs for a fuller feeling.”

3. Choose protein and freens over heavy carbs. Unless you’re running a post-Thanksgiving marathon (or partaking in Dallas’ Turkey Trot), there’s no reason to stuff your face like Wilson Kipsang gunning for another medal. Fill your plate with the healthy proteins and greens available at your family’s fete and limit the space on your plate for waist-widening comfort foods like mac-and-cheese and creamy mashed potatoes.

“Many of a food binge’s adverse effects come from carbohydrate overloading and the subsequent ‘carb crash’ that occurs due to spikes in our insulin levels,” says Dr. Linda Anegawa, founder and medical director of OSR Weight Management. “I always advise my patients on Thanksgiving to go for lean white-meat turkey, green beans and salad, and avoid marshmallow-laden sweet potatoes, simple-carb dinner rolls and sweets.”

Adds Pumphrey, “The protein will fill you more and be more satiating than stuffing or bread. Plus you’ll feel less bloated and awful later.”

ThinkstockPhotos-865251894. Stay active. You exercise on ordinary days when your food intake is normal, so it only makes sense that you should fit in a workout before you settle in for this cornucopius supper.

“It is a busy time, but schedule into your calendar one hour of some type of physical activity daily,” Anegawa advises. “This won’t offset a giant food binge but it will help keep metabolism and appetite somewhat in check, and chances are you may not be as tempted to binge if you know you’ve put in the effort to exercise.”

5. Mind your alcohol and choose drinks wisely. For some, alcohol at holiday time is a special treat; for others, it’s a necessary coping mechanism to prevent a brutal bloodbath at the family manse. For whatever reason you partake in libations, choose your drinks smartly and set a limit on how much you’ll consume.

“If you must drink alcohol, enjoy a low-sugar, low-carb concoction,” says Anegawa. “Steer clear of cocktails with loads of simple syrup, such as premade mixes, and instead enjoy a vodka tonic made with Stevia-sweetened tonic or a glass of dry chardonnay.”

Red wine also is low(er) in calories compared to other types of booze, and packed with beneficial antioxidants when enjoyed in moderation. Two glasses is the sweet spot; any more than that and you’re entering iffy territory. As a general life rule, drink one glass of water — flat or carbonated — between alcoholic drinks to prevent from getting sloppy and waking up with a killer hangover.

6. Plan a post-binge fast to burn fat. After you’ve had your fill and finished the meal, it’s time to do damage control. As an alternative to exercise — because who wants to do that on a gluttonous gut? — prepare to fast for at least half a day.

“When you’ve just downed a big meal, making sure you fast for 16 hours right afterward is a good way to kick your body into fat-burning mode,” according to certified personal trainer Rui Li. “The simplest way is to skip breakfast so that half of your time fasting is during sleep.”

In other words, your body will start eating itself, which — let’s be honest, ye of expanding pants size — is a welcomed change of pace.

— Mikey Rox

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: With the help of advertising, gays are (finally) the new normal

Screen shot 2015-11-18 at 10.19.48 AMI had an ex-mother-in-law with whom I often sowed family discord by challenging on her ideas about relationships. She claimed to be gay-friendly and supportive of her son (my ex), but I knew it wasn’t in her heart. One time, when the ex and I met her and her husband for lunch in Orlando, Fla., she noted that they had been at Disney World earlier, on what happened to be Gay Day. (That was the reason my ex and I were there; you’d think she’d have known that.) She clucked her tongue that, while “I have no problem with gay people,” she thought it was “inappropriate” how gays at the park “throw their sexuality in your face. I don’t like public displays of affection in any context!” she whined.

“Oh?” I said. “You’re holding your husband’s hand as we speak. And when we saw you in the parking lot, you gave your son a big hug and kiss. Clearly, you don’t mind public displays of affection; you just don’t like seeing the kinds that offend you. That makes you a hypocrite.”

It was a pretty quiet lunch after that.

What infuriates me about that kind of casual bigotry is how it presumes gay people should stay in the closet; that heterosexuality can be public, but not homosexuality; that it is something to be embarrassed by. “Do you believe his son brought his boyfriend to the funeral and they held hands during the service!?” I heard a woman say once after a funeral. It never occurred to this bigot that the son needed his boyfriend’s support, that he had lost his father and needed comfort; it also never occurred to the person that the entire family might actually be supportive of the gay son and like the boyfriend. The speaker was offended on behalf of the family, never thinking that — perhaps — not everyone was as virulent a homophobe as she was.

This is what the right is really contending with now: Not that openness will lead to recruitment, but that it will make it more difficult to demonize people who are different. If your kids know gay people who are cool, and seem well adjusted, it makes teaching them bigotry all that more difficult.

And finally the mainstream media is catching on.

Of course, locally, our own Todd and Cooper Smith-Koch became celebs when their print ad with their children for JCPenney went viral, causing claims of “pandering” to gays. There have been many ads in recent years that include gays, though sometimes comically.

But a new TV spot from Kohl’s department store — it’s below — does exactly what my ex-mother-in-law, and the woman at the funeral, couldn’t do: Imagine gay people (of different races, even!) as part of a happy, comfortable family dynamic.

The imagery is subtle. A matriarch is beginning to prepare Thanksgiving dinner as the family members start to arrive — daughter and son-in-law with the grandkids; maybe a divorced daughter; then a strapping young man in the company of an African-America man; eventually, an older black couple shows up. Everyone’s helping out — cooking, cleaning, setting the table. There’s laughter and hugs … including an apparently affectionate toast with the gay couple, both sets of parents looking on, smiling.

Just a typical American family.

And that’s what the right, and bigots, can’t stand. The idea that real America families are diverse is anathema to them. They operate in a universe where everyone conforms to a fake ideal. And that fake ideal was largely spread to them through the osmosis of advertising, which seeks to recreate a world that consumers can see themselves as a part of. That used to be a segregated world; I remember how McDonald’s commercials would often have black people, or white people … but almost always in separate spots. The black ads even had a more “urban” version of the jingle. Everyone likes McDonald’s!” the message was … just so long as they stick to their own. Now, though, advertisers want more eyes, more dollars, more inclusiveness. Hence the Kohl’s ad.

This is becoming the new normal. It’s especially heartening that it arrives around the holidays, when family, togetherness and love are at the top of people’s minds. (The spot is even called “Celebrate Togetherness.”) Of course, it’s something the gay media has tried (successfully, I think) to illustrate for decades. We appreciate everyone catching up. Now go out and buy shit.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Federal cuts to food stamps and upcoming holidays put more pressure on food pantry

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FedEx delivered 65 bags of groceries to the Resource Center

FedEx came to the aid of the Resource Center Food Pantry this week with 65 bags of groceries collected at a company food drive.

Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said more canned goods are coming from the North Texas Food Bank now that the government is reopened.

But despite continued support from the community, Resource Center is bracing for upcoming cuts in food stamp programs while preparing for the holidays.

Thanksgiving is approaching and with it come holiday comes special needs.

Daniel Sanchez, who runs the hot meals program and the food pantry, said he needs 14 turkeys for holiday meals. He wants to make sure clients can take food home for the long weekend. He said there’s plenty of room in the freezers to store the turkeys. He said he hoped a few groups, companies or individuals would each buy a couple of birds for the holiday meal.

In addition, he needs extra volunteers to prepare, set up, cook and serve on Nov. 25–27. anyone interested should call him at 972-786-5685.

McDonnell suggested another way to support the pantry was for a group, company or individual to sponsor a shelf. They’d make sure the pantry was constantly stocked with a particular item by either purchasing it themselves or with a steady cash donation.

Sanchez suggested groups could sponsor a lunch for the meals program anytime. He said a chicken fried steak lunch for about 50 people would cost $200, a taco bar for $150 or a ham casserole for $50. He also suggested sponsoring an ice cream bar for dessert, which he said he can do for $30.

McDonnell said he’s bracing for two upcoming cuts to food funding from the federal government. The 2009 Recovery Act ends Friday, meaning cuts to the Food Stamp program. The average decrease in benefits is $11 per person. The proposed farm bill that’s been stalled in Congress will also cut money for food stamps farther.

He pointed out that each cut puts further pressure on the food pantry. Most food pantry clients receive food stamps.

—  David Taffet

Something to be thankful for

Now that we’ve all gorged ourselves on turkey and shopping, I think we can all agree: This is what Thanksgiving should be all about.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Youth First Texas’ most popular event of the year, Thanksgiving dinner, is tonight

Thanksgiving dinner at Youth First Texas is usually the busiest day of the year at the agency serving LGBT youth.

The 13-year tradition takes place this year on Thursday, Nov. 15 — which is this evening — at the YFT center at 3918 Harry Hines Boulevard.

“Alumni, youth and volunteers come out the of the woodwork for it,” said YFT board President Chris-James Cognetta.

Doors open at 4 p.m. for food preparation. Dinner begins at about 6:30 p.m. and runs until close at 9:30 p.m. The dinner is free and is donated and cooked by volunteers.

“This may be the only Thanksgiving they have,” Cognetta said of the youth who attend.

He said a number of youth have aged out of the foster system and have no other family.

YFT is also looking for a volunteer to open the center on Thanksgiving night — Thursday, Nov. 22. (If you’re at least 25 and interested in volunteering call 214-879-0400 ext. 203.)

Cognetta said he also plans to have the center open at least part of the day on Christmas.

“Some of our youth get very depressed that day,” he said.

—  David Taffet

Spend Thanksgiving with Lady Gaga

Ga ga gobble gobble

After the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie have been gobbled up, the next tradition is to plop in front of the TV for the rest of the day. For music fans and little monsters, ABC will air A Very Gaga Thanksgiving which the network describes as “an intimate look inside the life of Lady Gaga as she performs, in front of a small audience, eight songs including a duet with guest Tony Bennett.” As seen in the clip, she performs “Bad Romance” with what looks like a mutant sweet potato microphone.

DEETS: WFAA-TV Channel 8. 8:30 p.m. ABC.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Thanksgiving weekend at Cedar Creek Lake

I know there are a lot of LGBT folks in the Metroplex who have weekend/vacation homes down south on Cedar Creek Lake, and I am sure there are others who plan on spending their long holiday weekend in that area with friends and family. And that’s not even counting all the LGBTs who live on the lake full time.

So if you will be spending Thanksgiving and the weekend on the lake and are looking for something fun to do once all the turkey is gone, checkout Friends, one of two LGBT bars in Gun Barrel City.

Friends, 410 S. Gun Barrel Lane, opens early on Thanksgiving Day, with football playing on the big screens and a big Thanksgiving Dinner served at 6 p.m. Leo and the gang will supply the turkey and all the trimmings, but those coming to share the meal are welcome to bring their own side dishes, too.

Friends also continues its food drive through the holiday weekend, in support the American Legion Post 310’s annual Christmas basket program for families in need. So if you have some extra canned goods or dry goods in your pantry, or if you want to pick up some extra when you go shopping, be sure to take them over and drop them off at the bar.

Then you can wind up the weekend Saturday night with Friends’ annual Mr./Ms./Miss Cedar Creek Lake Pageant starting at 9 p.m.

The other LGBT club in town is called Garlow’s, so you might want to check them out, too, while you’re in town. Garlow’s is located at 309 E. Main St. in Gun Barrel City.

—  admin

LISTEN: Soundclips from Lady Gaga’s holiday EP

If you haven’t decided yet on purchasing Lady Gaga’s A Very Gaga Holiday EP, why not take a quick preview here. She released four tracks yesterday which perfectly coincides with Thursday’s airing of A Very Gaga Thanksgiving on ABC. For Gaga, it was a rather quiet release.

These here are just snippets of the tracks but she’s sounding pretty good on the Christmas tunes “White Christmas” and “Orange Colored Sky.” The release also includes live versions of “You and I” and “The Edge of Glory.”

Lady Gaga – A Very Gaga Holiday by Interscope Records

—  Rich Lopez

Thanksgiving Dinner at JR’s Bar and Grill

JR's Bar and GrillThanksgiving can be a rough time for a lot of people. So many of us in the LGBT community have a less than stellar relationship with our families and for many people it’s just not economically feasible to travel for the holidays this year. (Or maybe you’re like me and the friend who invited you to Thanksgiving Dinner at his place canceled at the last minute.)

For all those without plans, or for those who need to escape their plans, there is the annual holiday meal at JR’s Bar and Grill. From 1:30 – 4:40 pm a full Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings will be served by the fine people at Caven Enterprises. After 4:30 guests are still encouraged to stop by for complimentary coffee and desert.

JR’s Bar and Grill is located at 804 & 808 Pacific.

—  admin