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Dining Planner: Non-turkey Thanksgiving options and meals for the needy

TURNING ON TURKEY: OTHER OPTIONS

The houseguests were wonderful, thrilling, an utter joy around the holiday table. By Saturday you're feeling a little antsy, and by Sunday it's essential that you find someplace to hide out. Rooster & the Till saves the day, offering a one-day-only popup brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. They are accepting reservations and seating is limited. What are chef Ferrell Alvarez and co-owner Ty Rodriguez cooking up? A small menu of stuff you actually want to eat, they said, mimosas, wine, cocktails and pastries and bread from Jamison B. Breadhouse. In keeping with their local-whenever-possible credo, Breadhouse is an all-local artisan bakery with gorgeous loaves. Could this maiden brunch voyage be the first of many to come? We'll see. For reservations, call (813) 374-8940. 6500 N Florida Ave., Tampa.

On the other hand, you may be a traditionalist who's feeling a little lean this holiday season. There are places you can celebrate Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday with turkey and all the fixings, for free. The Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (6315 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, (727) 347-1226) hosts a free, open house-style event starting at noon. There is no reservation required and there are no eligibility requirements. Same goes for the Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission (1763 Ninth Ave. N, St. Petersburg, (727) 545-8282). They are looking for hungry people to eat a free Thanksgiving meal and volunteers to serve and visit with the needy. The meal commences at 1 p.m.

For those who eschew animal products, there's another annual gathering that begins the festivities at 1:30 p.m. The ThanksVegan feast takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa (11400 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa, (813) 758-7419). Bring a vegan potluck dish to feed eight people (include ingredient list), or pay additional cost if not bringing food, to this 10th annual celebration sponsored by Florida Voices for Animals. $7 adult with vegan potluck dish, $19 without dish; seniors, students and children, by donation. Cash or check only, plates and utensils provided. Volunteers are needed for setup or food prep. thanksvegan.com.

For more poultry-free fun this weekend, head for the annual outdoor waterside Seaboard Seafood Festival at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, which showcases seafood dishes by area restaurants, including shrimp boil and stone crabs, with live entertainment, cash bars, games and a University of Florida vs. Florida State football game viewing area. Upgrade to the Captains' Club for reserved seating, open bar and a seafood buffet. $15 per day, $85 per day Captain's Club, 11 and younger free. The festival takes place Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (813) 251-0500.

GREAT TOGETHER: BEER AND ART

For the first time, Coppertail Brewing is rolling out a free art bazaar Dec. 4 and 5. The work of 15 local artists in all media (photographers, ceramic artists, jewelrymakers, etc.) will be for sale while food trucks offer comestibles and the brewery will be open for sampling of Coppertail's signature and newly released brews. It's from 4 to 10 p.m. Dec. 4 and noon to 10 p.m. Dec. 5 in the private Coppertail Brewing Company Loft above the brewery, 2601 E Second Ave. (across from Ikea), Tampa. (813) 247-1500. coppertailbrewing.com.

Dining Planner: Non-turkey Thanksgiving options and meals for the needy 11/25/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 11:23am]
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