November will bring us hope. There will soon be an end to the torture of the heinous confrontations between the rabid and the slime, with the fully acknowledged championing of the lesser disliked of the two available candidates. Johnson and Stein will have small effect as a pacifier for those lacking nose-plugs. But the real winners will be the voters who can stop listening to the two-year drumbeat of political hammering.
We will be able to focus on a more important issue in Newton as we face the fourth Thursday and begin planning the menus for our only national holiday completely centered on food. Every other holiday has some significance that extends beyond the meals and gifts that we share. On Thanksgiving we say prayers of gratitude for our full pantries and our overflowing accomplishments. We assume visceral hope for more to come next year. This singular holiday conjures up steaming bowls of surfeit bounty and shared nourishment.
And quintessential turkey. Not roast beef. Not salmon. Not chicken. Not shrimp. Not duck. Turkey. Always turkey. And stuffing. Gravy. Cranberry sauce. Mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole. Green beans or Brussels sprouts. And pumpkin or pecan pie.
Good intentions give sway to overindulgence. And football.
Although I am not immune to the Thanksgiving gestalt, I have found a remedy to reduce my annual inordinate craving for the primordial Thanksgiving Dinner. There are at least two sources in Newton to find comfort in turkey gastronomy throughout the year. In Newton Center, the Deluxe Station Diner serves a Blue Plate Special Roast Turkey Dinner, complete with oven roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and choice of vegetable. Every night of the week. Thanksgiving dinner 365 days a year. (Although I don’t know their holiday closing schedule.) The portions are respectable, but not of festival significance. Although you won’t go home thinking you just had Thanksgiving dinner, you will reduce your craving for the big bird a bit. Kind of like Nicorette desensitizing you to cigarettes.
If you are looking to replicate the physical Thanksgiving excess, there is another place to look. But only on Tuesdays. On Elliot Street in Newton Upper Falls there is an Irish pub known as Dunn Gaherins. This local watering spot serves up comfort seven days a week with its remarkable meatloaf, but Thanksgiving only happens on Tuesdays when they trot out their regular Tuesday Specials Menu. Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and extra cranberry sauce for the asking. No pie. Maybe they have pie, but the turkey platter is so overflowing that no one could eat pie after. (Co-owner, Shauna Gaherin knows about feeding multitudes. She is the instigating force behind the Feast of the Falls, the white tablecloth dining in Hemlock Gorge that is a second Thanksgiving for Upper Falls inhabitants and a few Wabanites with chutzpah!)
Do you know of any other Newton eating places that offer a pleasant year round turkey indulgence? After all, we certainly will need all the comfort we can get after November 8th.