Not everyone wants a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. Oh, it has its advantages — late-night leftovers and a sated snooze on the couch. But the pleasure of being waited on, not having dishes to do and not running to and from the kitchen leads many to, instead, make their reservations right about now.
And Punta Gorda’s La Fiorentina is catering even more to the lazy in all of us. They will NOT be open, but you can have their Thanksgiving dinner anyway. Order Thanksgiving in a Box — $80 for four people, $150 for eight to 10 — no later than Nov. 21. Pick it up by 4 p.m. Nov. 27, heat in an hour and put away half a pound of turkey each. Zzzzzz, naptime! FREE FOR ALL
Joanne Anders grew up in a big Catholic family in Salem, Massachusetts.
“My mom had all us kids serve Thanksgiving dinners to those in need at the church, before we came home for our own dinner,” she said.
Joanne and her late husband, Owen, continued the tradition at Englewood’s End Zone Sports Grille, where Joanne is now in her seventh year of giving back.
For the last dozen years, beginning under previous owner Greg Lyons, The End Zone has put on a free turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, for anyone who needs it, for whomever doesn’t want to be alone, for the homeless or for anyone who just doesn’t feel like cooking — basically, anyone who wants to come.
The End Zone, 2440 S. McCall Road, will serve free Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Among others participating in the spirit of giving are all five locations of New Hope Community Church, smoking up 275 turkeys and serving 2,500 free Thanksgiving meals from 1 to 4 p.m. Contact email@example.com to help with either a donation (food or monetary) or to volunteer your time. All except Arcadia provide free delivery, unless Arcadia finds someone to drive.
Christ Lutheran Church, 701 N. Indiana Ave., Englewood, 941-474-1989.
Coastal Community Church, 1000 Innovation Ave. (Imagine Elementary), North Port, 941-221-9577. New Hope Arcadia, 1401 SW MLK Jr. St., Arcadia, 573-415-7830.
New Hope Community Church, 5600 S. Biscayne Drive, North Port, 941-276-5770.
Trinity United Methodist Church, 23084 Seneca Ave., Port Charlotte, 941-625-3372. RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED
As usual, if you don’t see your favorite listed, give them a call. And remember, you can always count on Perkins, Cracker Barrel and Bob Evans. ENGLEWOOD
Boca Royale Golf and Country Club, 1601 Englewood Road, 941-475-6464.
The End Zone, 2440 S. McCall Road, 941-473-9663.
Englewood Moose Lodge 1933, 55 W. Dearborn St., 941-473-2670.
The Hills Restaurant at Rotonda Golf & Country Club, 100 Rotonda Circle, 941-697-2414.
Howards Restaurant, 70 N. Indiana Ave., 941-473-0171.
Landy’s on the Water, 1400 Aqua View Lane, 941-474-4292.
La Stanza Ristorante, 285 W. Dearborn St., 941-475-1355.
Leverock’s Restaurant, 7092 Placida Road, 941-698-6900.
Lock ‘N Key Restaurant, 2045 N. Beach Road, 941-474-1517.
Rum Bay Restaurant at Palm Island Resort, 7092 Placida Road, 941-697-0566. Snook’s Bayside Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 779 W. Wentworth St., 941-475-3712.
Stefano’s Family Restaurant, 401 S. Indiana Ave., 941-475-0868.
The Waverly, 2095 N. Beach Road, 941-475-3500. NORTH PORT
Family Table Restaurant, 14132 Tamiami Trail, 941-423-0473.
Olde World Restaurant, 14415 Tamiami Trail, 941-426-1155. PORT CHARLOTTE
All-Star Sports Grill, 2360 Tamiami Trail, 941-743-4140.
Chubbyz, 4109 Tamiami Trail, 941-613-0002.
Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 941-625-4175 for tickets.
Golden Krust, 1825 Tamiami Trail, 941-235-5579.
Little Good Times Diner, 1932 Kings Highway, 941-625-1115.
Los Mariachis, 3575 Tamiami Trail, 941-627-8030.
Metro Diner, 1720 Tamiami Trail, 941-220-6291.
Olympia Restaurant, 3245 Tamiami Trail, 941-255-3440.
Over The Bridge, 4300 Kings Highway, 941-391-5792. PUNTA GORDA
88 Keys at the Wyvern, 101 E. Retta Esplanade, 941-639-7700.
Artur’s Phil’s 41, 1975 Tamiami Trail, 941-575-7575.
The Blue Turtle, 139 W. Marion Ave., 941-637-9477.
Captain’s Table, Fishermen’s Village, 941-637-1177.
Cass Cay Restaurant and Bar, 3200 Matecumbe Key Road, 347-7148.
The Celtic Ray Public House, 145 E. Marion Ave., 941-916-9115. No reservations, no turkey and a different kind of Thanksgiving.
Dockside Grill at Four Points by Sheraton, 33 Tamiami Trail, 941-637-6770.
Mint Asian Cuisine, 615 Cross St., 941-621-8259.
Penny’s Restaurant, 1133 Bal Harbor Boulevard, 941-347-8106.
The Perfect Caper, 121 E. Marion Ave., 941-505-9009.
River City Grill, 131 W. Marion Ave., 941-639-9080. Chef-owner
Doug Amaral promises all-you-can-eat turkey, at least until that much tryptophan puts you to sleep. VENICE AREA
Café Longet, 239 W. Miami Ave., Venice, 941-244-2643.
Café Venice Restaurant & Wine Bar, 116 W. Venice Ave., Venice, 941-484-1855.
Chaz 51 Bistro, 103 Triple Diamond Blvd., Nokomis, 941-484-6200.
Da Vinci German Restaurant, 1080 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, 941-966-6347, with a special menu.
Hotel Venezia, 425 U.S. 41 Bypass North, Venice, 941-308-7700.
Metro Diner, 2053 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, 941-451-2832.
Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club, 499 Derbyshire Drive, Venice, 941-496-4653.
Rosebuds Steak & Seafood House, 2215 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, 941-918-8771.
T.J. Carney’s, 231 W. Venice Ave., Venice, 941-480-9244.