By Keith Wagstaff
Americans love Thanksgiving. The turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce -- it’s all so good, why don’t people just serve it all the time? Well, one Canton, Ohio, restaurant is doing just that. It’s called TGD, an acronym for “Thanksgiving Dinner,” and that’s exactly what it will be serving 365 days a year.
The fast-casual restaurant is meant for quick lunches instead of drawn-out family dinners, but you’ll still see plenty of familiar dishes. Slow-roasted turkey is on the menu, of course, as are other meats, including roast beef, honey-glazed ham and turkey nuggets. Turkey is great, but everyone knows that the real stars of Thanksgiving dinner are the sides. The cranberry sauce here is made fresh daily out of cranberries, orange and pineapple, while the mashed potatoes feature hand-cut potatoes that are boiled and mashed every day in the kitchen. Other sides include such Thanksgiving staples as sweet potatoes, green beans and stuffing.
How did this all come about? Owner Ryan Napier took a gamble one night after playing blackjack in a Las Vegas casino with his longtime childhood friend Nino Natale. Famished, he asked her if she wanted to get a burger, to which she replied “As good as a burger sounds, how great would it be if you could get Thanksgiving dinner?” Four months later, TGD was born. Napier says the reaction in Canton has been stellar, and that he has had several inquiries about franchising opportunities. This summer, a second location will be opening in Oxford, Ohio.
The most authentic thing about TGD? That would be the leftovers. Diners can order a Leftover Sandwich, a cold sandwich filled with turkey, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Passed-out uncle not included.
That brings us to the eternal debate -- which is better, the turkey or the sides? And which food would you love to eat year-round?
TODAY's Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry serve as taste-testers in a battle for which tastes better, the Thanksgiving turkey or the side dishes.