In addition to being one of the few times of year that you are encouraged to overeat, Thanksgiving is traditionally viewed as a “family gathering.” It’s all about getting together with the extensions of your kin and catching up on the latest life events before gorging yourselves on pumpkin pie and the like.
Of course, in the modern age of hustle and bustle, not everyone is able to “go home” for the holidays, and have created the tradition of gathering with your “family away from family” for the always fun FRIENDSgiving—which is basically the same as Thanksgiving with your relatives, except there’s usually a lengthier cocktail hour.
But wait: If your mom isn’t there to baste the turkey and your Aunt Wilomina isn’t bringing her famous stuffing casserole surprise, where’s all the food going to come from?!
Fear not, readers. We know exactly what Castro locales will help you put food on the FRIENDSgiving table, whether you are hosting or in charge of bringing the booze.
Pre-meal munchies: Oh come on, people who say that they fast before Thanksgiving dinner are total liars. Everyone needs something to nibble on while gabbing the early afternoon away with football plays on the TV in the background. (At least, that’s how my friends do it.) If you’d rather skip the hum-drum of Chex Mix, we suggest making a stop at Bi-Rite Market to pick up a variety of different snacks to keep everyone’s tummies satisfied leading up to the big meal.
Turkey: The obvious choice for picking up your FRIENDSgiving bird is Whole Foods on Market Street, because everything there is delicious and you know you can trust them to get it right. But you have other options. A.G. Ferrari on Castro is all over the smoked turkey business this time of year. Plus, this is a holiday where leftovers are hailed as godly—and who wouldn’t want A.G. Ferrari leftovers?
Green beans & Salads: Skip the canned stuff and go for fresh stuff instead. Courtney Produce II in the Duboce Triangle is small, but carries some top produce for putting together the perfect side salad or a plate of greens so your meal isn’t completely loaded down with carbs and starch. (Hey, some of us like to have something healthy on the FRIENDSgiving table.
Cranberry Sauce: Okay, we’ll give you a break on this one. We aren’t expecting you to mash your own cranberries—but kudos to you if that floats your boat! We recommend getting your jams and jellies from Jake’s Castro Kitchen and grab their Gobble Gobble Sauce. Warning, their arsenal might send you on a bit of a shopping spree outside of your Thanksgiving shopping. Bacon balsamic bourbon jam? Sign us up!
Pumpkin Pie: The Castro is flush with delightful bakeries, you really don’t need us to tell you where to buy your FRIENDSgiving dessert. But since we’re putting a list together for you, we are going with the old faithful Thorough Bread & Pastry. Because there is really no better place to get a pie in the neighborhood.
Spirits: Now that you’ve gone out of your way to get the best ingredients to contribute to your FRIENDSgiving feast, it’s time to give your wallet a break and stock up on wine at the Church Street Safeway! 7x7 recommends that we grab a Riesling to pair with your greens, a pinot noir to pair with your turkey, and a port for an after meal digestif. And a couple bottles for in between—hey, this is FRIENDSgiving after all!