Clutch Saves for Turkey Day

Third-degree turkey-fryer emergency. Unprecedented early onset of holiday fatigue. Your mother-in-law canceled the family dinner at her house for reasons unknown. (That is just so like her.) Scoring some turkey might be a little tricky if, for whatever reason, you find yourself without Thanksgiving plans at this late date. The obvious solution is to go out, but many restaurants are closed. And though Kansas City is home to some pretty fancy spreads — Benton’s Prime Steakhouse and Figlio, to name but two — they’re probably all booked up by now. Don’t resign yourself to a Swanson Hungry-Man quite yet, though. You still have a few options.

Many of the casinos offer Thanksgiving buffets, so you could get lucky. Load up with turkey and other entrees, plus sides and desserts, at Horizons Buffet at Ameristar ($19.99 for adults; 3200 North Ameristar Drive, 816-414-7000),
Terrace Buffet at Argosy ($25.99 for adults; 777 Northwest Argosy Casino Parkway,
816-746-3100) or the Buffet at Harrah’s ($22.99 for adults; 1 Riverboat Drive,
816-472-7777). The upside to spending Thanksgiving at a casino: You can kill time until a table opens up by playing blackjack. The downside: If you hit a losing streak, you may end up with a TV dinner after all.

If you don’t feel like making a trip to the boats, call ahead to these restaurants serving Thanksgiving meals to see if they can accommodate you: J. Gilbert’s (8901 Metcalf in Overland Park, 913-642-8070) and the three locations of Mimi’s Café (8501 Northwest Prairie View Drive, 816-587-5877; 11885 West 95th Street, Overland Park, 913-599-5848; 8301 West 135th Street, Overland Park,
913-897-5669). And when an awkward pause in table conversation inevitably happens, maybe that’s a good time to start talking about what you’re going to do for dinner on Christmas.— Robert Bishop

Thu., Nov. 25, 11 a.m., 2010