Thanksgiving Dinner at Habitat

With the death of my grandmother last week, I was no longer able to go “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house” for Thanksgiving. Add to that the fact Min is still in Hong Kong, and I didn’t feel like making much of anything this year for Thanksgiving.

So I did something I never did before– had Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant with my mother. I looked online for some places last week. I saw a few places for around $20. Then I spotted one place, Habitat, for $75 a person. Now that intrigued me. What do you get for $75? I had to try it just this once.

I had never heard of Habitat before. But from what I saw from their website, it looked just like my kind of place. The experience began with indoor parking downtown which was great on a rainy night like it was on Thanksgiving. Then I noticed something: the restaurant is in the Fairmont. I think I am going to like this place!

I don’t know how to describe the food other than for a foodie like myself it was sheer heaven. There was almost anything you could imagine on the buffet. From to huge shrimp, to smoked salmon, to potato salad, to cheese, to pickled beets, to Asian noodles. It was all there. And that’s just the side dishes. One thing our server also told us was if there was something we wanted which wasn’t on the buffet, just to ask them for it. They would make it for you. I really don’t know what that means. You mean I can ask for pizza and they would whip it out?  Anyway, of course there was turkey. But there was also ham and what I kept going back for more–prime rib with horseradish sauce.

Not only was the food excellent, but the service was beyond belief. I was standing in line waiting on the meats and our waiter came up to me and told me that I didn’t have to wait. He would bring whatever I wanted back to the table. About five minutes later, he came with a piece of steak with horseradish sauce and a slice of turkey with gravy. It was like he read my mind. The steak was just the doneness I liked and with horseradish sauce. And the turkey was perfect too with just enough gravy. Then every time you went up to the buffet, your used plates were whisked away. AND, you came back to a neatly folded napkin and NEW silverware. Incredible!

Mom getting ready to eat.

I  should also throw in something about the two glasses of champagne I had. Well ok, one was a sparkling wine for $17 a glass. And the other was actually a true Champagne for $22 a glass. Hey, it’s the holidays and I get to splurge!

 Of course there were the traditional hot side dishes of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and sweet potatoes. But there were also miniature roasted vegetables which I couldn’t stop eating the little carrots. There was mahi-mahi which both my mother and I thought was wonderful. There was also fried rice, and bacon and sausage.
Ok. Time for dessert. And this was a buffet in itself. Rows and rows of miniature cakes, puddings, and pies.  There was even a chocolate cake with gold shavings on top.
By this time, I was beyond stuffed. I don’t think not eating all day was a very good idea after all. Maybe my stomach started to shrink with not having any food all day. I really didn’t eat that much (or maybe I did) and I wanted to go lay down for an hour.

Dinner was over, but this Thanksgiving memories will last for ever.

Thinking back on my first glimpse at the buffet, I thought to myself “I can do this every Thanksgiving. I don’t need to go out to someone else’s house or to cook myself.” I guess the only downside was there were no leftovers to take home. But then again, you don’t have to worry about what you are going to do with those 5 pounds of turkey that your aunt gave you. I guess the only other thing that was missing was the wonderful turkey smell when you first walk in to the house. But maybe you can buy a candle for that or something.

Happy Thanksgiving. Now I am off to deal with the Black Friday crowds.

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