Thanksgiving is most definitely a time for friends and family to gather together and break bread — but with our lives being so darned busy, who has time to bake that bread?

My family will do our usual divvying up when it comes to cooking. I’m in charge of cornbread dressing. Daughter Lindsay will provide the macaroni-and-cheese. My brother, who doesn’t cook, will supply the store-bought ham and turkey, while various nephews and nieces bring on the sweet potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs and cranberry sauce.

We will make a mountain of it, too — enough to provide plenty of leftovers to see us through the Iron Bowl on Saturday. The best part is that we will be doing all this while vacationing in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. It’s our Thanksgiving-week tradition.

But if we were to spend the holiday here at home in Anniston (with no beach to be seen for miles around), I would be strongly tempted to let someone else do the cooking and go out to eat. That is, of course, if I could find a place offering traditional Thanksgiving fare.

If you share the same sentiment, you’re in luck. In addition to chain restaurants like Cracker Barrel and Waffle House, many of our locally owned dining spots will be open for your business on Thanksgiving Day. For that down-home touch, they’ll be serving up everyone’s holiday favorites.

Hubbards Off Main in Oxford will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A buffet will feature turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, collard greens, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, fruit salad and bread pudding. The cost is $20 per person; $10 for children. Reservations are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

Classic on Noble in downtown Anniston will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Along with many of their popular brunch buffet items, patrons will find turkey and dressing, lamb, ham and sweet potato casserole. The cost is $32 per person and reservations are required, but be warned — they’re almost booked up.

Garfrerick’s Café in Oxford will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost of their buffet is $27 per person and includes turkey, ham, lamb, short ribs and two kinds of dressing. Sides include such things as green beans, sweet potato casserole, mac-and-cheese, collard greens, squash casserole, creamed corn, garlic smashed potatoes and a variety of salads as well as butternut squash bisque. Reservations are required.

Chef T’s Restaurant in Saks will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. They’ll be serving breakfast all day, but will also be offering turkey and dressing as well as catfish (fried, grilled or blackened). A large variety of sides includes homemade mashed potatoes, fresh creamed corn and fried okra. The plate lunch is $8.85 and comes with bread and beverage.

M&J’s Home Cooking in Oxford will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A traditional Thanksgiving meal buffet featuring ham, turkey and dressing and all the fixings, plus dessert and tea, costs $9 per person.

If you feel like taking a drive, the dining room at Cheaha Mountain Restaurant at Cheaha State Park will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Thanksgiving buffet will offer a variety of vegetable casseroles as well as ham, turkey, roast beef and chicken. Cost is $15.95 per person. Kids ages 6 and younger eat free; kids 7-12 are half price. The view is free. They do not take reservations. All seating is first come, first served.

The Peerless Grille in downtown Anniston will be closed during the day on Thanksgiving, but will open for dinner at 6 p.m. They’ll be serving their regular menu plus a few Thanksgiving-inspired specials such as turkey, dressing and cranberry relish sandwiches.

For all of these wonderful folks in our community and for so much more that we have to treasure in our lives, let us always give thanks.

Donna Barton’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at