There comes a point in life, whether it's because the family can't make it, kids have gone out of state for college and can't make it home, or have moved away and won't be home for the holiday--that you no longer have to cook the big spread for Thanksgiving. Or maybe they're ALL coming and you just don't feel like spending all your time over the stove. Lucky for you (and for my wife and I)-there are a few places open this week that understand. And not only will they be serving Thanksgiving dinner with the main course and all the fixins on the side--they're also going to be serving their own usual menu too. So this way-if turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes aren't your thing-you have something to really be excited about because you can get what you love.

I was excited to hear that ALL these places would be open--even though I'm already used to one of them always being open on Thanksgiving. And that is Cracker Barrel. I've spent quite a few Thanksgiving holidays eating in front of that huge wood-burning fireplace at Cracker Barrel. So that's why this year we wanted to try something different and we have reservations elsewhere--at one of my favorite places in Midland. Saltgrass Steakhouse off Loop 250. No matter what sounds appealing--you'd better call and make your reservations asap if you haven't done so already as I'm sure space is limited throughout the day. Here's the list:

*Photos courtesy of Google Street View

CRACKER BARREL

Loop 250 Midland location: 432-689-3137

SALTGRASS STEAKHOUSE

Loop 250 Midland Location: 432-699-0476

Highway 191 Odessa: 432-563-1951

JOHNNY CARINO'S

Off Loop 250 in Midland. Call for reservations: 432-520-7600

Be sure to call ahead for reservations... And Happy Thanksgiving!

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