Tallahassee offers Thanksgiving alternatives for students

On Thanksgiving Day, Abbey Shapiro, 21, will open the doors at the North Monroe Street Starbucks at seven o’clock in the morning.

While most businesses will be closed on Thanksgiving, she will pour coffee wearing her green apron for customers until 3 p.m. After work, she will return to her Jefferson Commons apartment and finish cooking a turkey and mashed potatoes for her Starbucks co-workers.

“Some of the employees are going to bring a bunch of potluck foods,” said Shapiro, who will graduate in December with a degree in nutrition.

“Just because I can’t go home to Miami for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate.”

Some students who work or have classes in the days surrounding Thanksgiving find it difficult to leave Tallahassee for the weekend.

While some have family and friends in town, others might find themselves at home watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade alone, unable to cook.

Fortunately, there are alternative ways to celebrate Thanksgiving for college students. Many restaurants will be open on Nov. 25. Cracker Barrel on North Monroe Street will serve lunch and dinner and offer moderately priced meals from $10 to $20.

For those who want to get a fancy gourmet meal, Chez Pierre, a French restaurant with prices ranging from $20 to $50 dinners at 1215 Thomasville Rd., is accepting reservations.

However, some have a hard time finding one meal on any given day, let alone a Thanksgiving dinner.

For this reason, many churches are offering ways to celebrate the holidays by offering free meals.

The Unitarian Universal Church of Tallahassee, located at 2810 Meridian Rd., a church, which has members from different races and religions, will serve a free turkey and ham dinner at 1 p.m.

“Elenor Moore, a 90-year-old local woman, started this great tradition over 30 years ago,” said the church’s minister, the Rev. Amy McKenzie.

“We are looking for anyone who is interested in donating turkeys, setting up tables or serving food.”

Those interested in volunteering for the Unitarian Church’s Thanksgiving Pot Luck can contact Will Adkins at 385-5071 or visit the church’s Web site at http://www.nettally.com/uuct.

With so many alternatives, there will be some way for students to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without traveling home.

“Just because you can’t spend Thanksgiving back home doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate,” Shapiro said.

“There are a lot of ways to have a good meal and give thanks, even if you can’t be with your family.”

Contact David Dresner at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com