Forget cooking that green-bean casserole — Brooklyn eateries are serving up a cornucopia of unique Thanksgiving eats this year. Here are four local takes on Turkey Day classics, so you can do all of the gobbling with none of the clean-up.
Momofuku Milk Bar’s Thanksgiving Croissant was an overnight success — literally.
The seasonal special takes roasted turkey with all the trimmings — including tart cranberry sauce and house-made gravy — and tucks it inside stuffing-flavored croissant dough. The pastry developed an immediate cult following when it hit the bakery’s shelves three years ago, according to Christina Tosi, Milk Bar’s head pastry chef.
“We were days away from Thanksgiving and brainstorming fun things to deconstruct creatively and roll up into croissant dough,” she said.
Tosi and her team quietly released a few of the croissants into stores, but didn’t realize how quickly the hype would grow.
“By the time we came into work the next morning, the Thanksgiving Croissant was all abuzz on Twitter, Eater, etc.,” said Tosi. “Think cronut craze pre-cronut!”
Thanksgiving Croissant at Milk Bar Williamsburg (382 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg) and Milk Bar Carroll Gardens (360 Smith St., at Second Place in Carroll Gardens, www.milkbarstore.com). Available through Nov. 27. $4.50.
How do you spice up a pumpkin pie? Add even more butter and sugar.
That’s what has made Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ decadent take on the fall classic such a hit, according to co-owner Emily Elsen.
“Brown-butter butterscotch is poured into the filling,” said Elsen. “It’s got very nutty and earthy butterscotch undertones.”
The brown-butter pumpkin pie is one of four seasonal pies that fly out of the Gowanus bakery’s ovens in the lead-up to Thanksgiving each year, alongside bittersweet chocolate pecan, salted caramel apple, and salty honey. In fact, though the shop is already fully-booked for its Thanksgiving pie pre-orders, fans have been known to line-up as early 6 am to get their mitts on one of the limited numbers of whole pies made available in the days before the holiday.
Thanksgiving pies at Four & Twenty Blackbirds [439 Third Ave. at Eighth Street in Gowanus, (718) 499 2917, www.birdsblack.com]. Nov. 26–28. $38–$40.
All rolled up
These are not your mama’s turkey meatballs.
The Meatball Shop’s signature spin on a Thanksgiving dinner rolls ground turkey, garlic croutons, sage, cranberries, and cinnamon into one compact meal.
Dubbed “Gobble Gobble Balls,” the dish was created by Meatball Shop co-owner Daniel Holzman, who said putting a distinctive twist on turkey runs in his family.
“[My father] used to baste the turkey in ginger ale,” he said.
Available at the company’s stores for only a few days in the lead-up to Thanksgiving each year, Gobble Gobble Balls have developed a devout following.
“I poured my passion for those flavors into the Thanksgiving turkey balls at the Meatball Shop and I’m so glad that other people share my excitement for them each year!” said Holzman.
Gobble Gobble Balls at the Meatball Shop [170 Bedford Ave. between Seventh and Eight streets in Williamsburg, (718) 551-0520, www.themeatballshop.com], From Nov. 25. $7.
Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same date this year, so Boerum Hill Jewish deli Mile End is offering a catering menu with a mash-up of holiday favorites from both traditions.
“Our menu really reflects the best elements of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving,” said chef Eli Sussman. “If you are celebrating one holiday or both, we’re the perfect one-stop shop for catering, because everything on the menu makes perfect sense.”
In addition to Hanukkah-Thanksgiving hybrids — such as challah and pumpernickel stuffing, and sweet potato and butternut squash latkes — more traditional items for both holidays are also on the menu.
“Who doesn’t like turkey on Hanukkah or sufganiot [jelly doughnuts] on Thanksgiving?” said Sussman. “If you find someone at your Thanksgiving table who isn’t psyched about eating jelly-filled doughnuts, that person probably deserves to be kicked off your table.”
Hanukkah catering menu at Mile End Delicatessen [97A Hoyt St. between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street in Boerum Hill, (718) 852-7510, mileenddeli.com]. Order by Nov. 24.