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Oct. 17, 2021 | Sunday
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Grateful platefuls: NOTL restaurants sell out of turkey dinners
Shelley Baldwin says Thanksgiving dinner at the Farmhouse Cafe is the best you can get next to cooking yourself. Nine members of the Baldwin family gathered Monday afternoon at the cafe at Caroline Cellars. (Evan Saunders)

NOTL restaurants were practically running out of turkey by the time Monday rolled around on Thanksgiving weekend.

At Treadwell Cuisine, that’s exactly what happened.

Manager April Kilpatrick said the restaurant served nearly 200 boxes of prepackaged turkey dinners between Sunday and Monday and were completely sold out.

More people were calling in to order but, unfortunately, there was just no turkey left, Kilpatrick said.

“So we promised people we would have some boxes ready for them for Christmas,” she said.

“They’re crazy popular, which has been awesome,” server Kirsten Clark said.

NOTL resident Susan MacDonald was one of the lucky 200 who ordered before the restaurant's turkey supply was gobbled up.

“It’s just two of us so I figured this is the best way for us to have a nice turkey dinner,” she said.

MacDonald said she would probably make way too much food for her and her husband if she decided to cook the feast herself.

Treadwell offered packaged dinners for two or five people.

The dinners weren’t just reserved for paying customers. Some of its hardworking staff members were able to order them to take home as well.

“I got the order for five people and I had 10 people over last night and we still have leftovers,” Clark said.

Kilpatrick had a box set side for herself to enjoy later that evening.

“Who wants to cook, right?” she said.

The situation was the same for other restaurants around NOTL.

The Farmhouse Cafe at Caroline Cellars in Virgil also ran out of turkey by Monday afternoon.

They served their last available bird around 2 p.m. Luckily, the Baldwin family arrived just in time to receive the last batch.

“This is our Thanksgiving,” Shelley Baldwin said as she was seated with eight of her family members on the Farmhouse patio.

The restaurant was serving turkey replete with beet salad, a hot bun, stuffing, potatoes and gravy. 

The Baldwins were marking year number two of Thanksgiving dinners at the Farmhouse.

“We came down here last year and it was awesome,” Ayla Baldwin said.

She said Farmhouse is as close to a home-cooked turkey you can get and not have to slave away in the kitchen yourself.

“Fresh food to table and you get a little bit of everything in one place,” Shelley said.

The family travelled from Wainfleet to enjoy NOTL together on the holiday, Ayla said.

And they were far from the only people who weren’t too interested in spending their holiday Monday in the kitchen.

After a weekend of entertaining friends and family, Roger Campeau and Caroline Lidstone drove down from Niagara Falls.

The couple try to come to NOTL every two months or so, Campeau said.

They took advantage of the holiday to spend time with each other and grab some beer and food at the Irish Harp.

The Harp was packed on Monday afternoon, so Campeau and Lidstone opted to sit on the patio to avoid the busy interior.

Campeau is a retired technician from General Motors and Lidstone works in administration at Brock University.

“We had a turkey dinner last night. It was amazing,” Lidstone said.

In spite of that, Campeau was ready for another serving of turkey at the Harp.

Being busy is nothing but a good thing for NOTL’s restaurants, said Firehall Flame chef J.P. Konik.

“It’s been pretty steady today. This whole weekend was actually really, really good for us, so, I can’t complain about that,” he said.

Konik was busy serving a myriad of dishes over the weekend, including the Flame's turkey dinner with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy.

The Flame does a turkey dinner every year but this year’s was a little different.

“This is the first year that we’ve done smoked turkey. We smoke a lot of our meat at the Firehall here so we decided to do the turkey this year as well.”

But the chef couldn’t be serving turkey dinners all day long. The restaurant closed early Monday and Konik was heading over to his daughter's house for a Thanksgiving dinner with his own family.

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