Every eatery wants to stand out, and there's no better opportunity than to make your mark on the one day of the year when 60 percent of North America eats like it's a competitive sport.
So yes, we understand the impulse to be innovative, but lately restaurateurs seem to be treating Thanksgiving like some sort of science fair of the damned. And just like The Re-Animator or The Fly, the results are all too often something you'd much rather kill with a flamethrower than put in your mouth ...
#4. Turkey Doughnuts
It's pretty hard to fuck up a doughnut, and yet the eldritch pastry magicians over at Zucker Bakery in New York City have done just that by combining the pastry delights of Hanukkah with the jagged meat helpings of Thanksgiving.
"And so they gave thanks that the one bottle of Pepto-Bismol was able to last for the eight days of diarrhea."
We know what you're thinking. "Hey, it's a jelly doughnut. Big whoop." Nope. That's not jelly at all -- it's turkey and cranberry sauce crammed inside a spiced pumpkin doughnut like some sort of organic pinata that hates you. And if that sounds slightly too appealing, they also offer it with fucking gravy instead of the cranberry. To recap: That's the sweet festive spiced pumpkin flavor that once wafted from your grandmother's house combined with the salty meat cream and the flesh of a bird. Your tongue's destined for a stroke.
And as if to somehow torment you, their third seasonal choice is a sweet potato doughnut with toasted marshmallow inside -- marshmallow being something that would totally go great in, say, a spiced pumpkin outer shell. But where would one find that?
#3. Thanksgiving on a Pizza
The Onion once joked that Domino's would concoct something as outlandish as a Thanksgiving pizza. Little did they estimate the ingenuity of American obesity, because that's totally a thing now:
Pictured: The saddest bachelor Thanksgiving imaginable.
When Providence's own Fellini Pizzeria decided to introduce a more festive option for a Thanksgiving-style pizza, they opted not to translate the dinner to fit the genre, but instead went with the process of dumping everything on a pizza like a drunken teenager at 1:00 a.m.
That beige fucker has turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy on it, along with a side of cranberry sauce that you're somehow expected to use as dip. Roll it into a burrito and you have a sleek, futuristic way to slide an entire day's worth of khaki calories directly into you like a sword swallower. The cranberry? It's a tarty lube for the ride down.
#2. Thanksgiving Sandwiches That Are Way Too Literal
There's no better way to eat your Thanksgiving leftovers than putting it into a sandwich. It's the easiest thing to do, as long as you don't go crazy with it like a child making a potion.
"Indigestion and the possibility of meeting the Turtle from Entourage? SOLD!"
That's from Los Angeles' Fat Sal's sandwich shop, fittingly called a Fat Pilgrim. It's made up of turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing inexplicably coupled with french fries and mayo like it was put together by a 3-year-old. The worst part? It's only the second most horrifying sandwich we're going to show you ...
This was the best photo they could take of it.
Meet the "Danksgiving Day" sandwich from American Euros in Milwaukee, a layering of deep-fried turkey, sweet potato fries, french-fried onions, mushroom sauce, green beans, and cherry-jalapeno-cranberry sauce, all between two "stuffing-flavored" buns. It's less of a "Thanksgiving leftover" and more of an "everything you found in your fridge the day after Thanksgiving, save baking soda" kind of sandwich.
#1. Turkey-Flavored Ice Cream Exists
We're about to show you a picture of ice cream, and you're going to want it.
Did it work? Now go back and read the labels.
You might be wondering why the words "mincemeat" and "salted caramel turkey" are now happening in your brain -- that's because you just tried to forget that those are ice cream flavors that now exist.
It's from a place called Salt & Straw in Portland, and yes -- that's not only ice cream that tastes like turkey, but according to their webpage, it's both turkey fat and the caramelized onions that go with such a treat. Yup, onions, something they might have included on that label above, were Salt & Straw not secretly run by sentient god turkeys determined to traumatize American children so as to change the fate of their species.