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TMCNet:  Pressed for time? Try takeout for holiday meals

[December 16, 2011]

Pressed for time? Try takeout for holiday meals

Dec 15, 2011 (The Fresno Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- If cooking a holiday meal on top of all that shopping, wrapping and decorating seems like too much work, there's help available.

Restaurants and grocery stores are offering tamales and holiday takeout meals featuring prime rib, ham or turkey.

Many require pre-ordering or a few hours heating time, so plan accordingly.

-- Tamales are big sellers during the holidays at Sal's Mexican Restaurant at Fresno Street and Alluvial Avenue. Customers can pre-order or buy them at the restaurant.

Sal's carries pork and chicken tamales for $21.99 per dozen or $14.99 for six.

Details: (559) 438-3030.

-- Casa de Tamales, at 3747 W. Shaw Ave. in the Kohl's shopping center, sells 23 kinds of tamales. They include traditional ones, along with gourmet, vegetarian and dessert tamales.

Casa de Tamales' menu is available online at casadetamales.com. Prices vary. Pre-orders are recommended.

Details: (559) 275-9300.

-- El Toro Cafe is back in business and selling tamales at Cedar and Shields avenues.

Pork tamales sell for $27 per dozen.

El Toro Cafe also sells appetizer trays for the holidays. They include taquitos, chimichangas, quesadilla and chicken wings and come in small, medium and large trays.

Both can be pre-ordered by calling (559) 225-7724.

-- Campagnia is taking orders until Monday for holiday meals that serve six to eight people.

Customers choose from a bone-in prime rib dinner for $190 or an herb-marinated turkey dinner for $130, and cook the meat at home. Sides come in ready-to-heat containers.

Details: (559) 433-3300.

-- Vons sells turkey, ham and prime rib dinners ranging from $39.99 to $69.99. They include sides such as cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and pies.

The meals can be purchased in stores or customers can order them in advance by calling their local store or the company's call center, (888) 358-7328.

The call center will stop taking orders on Dec. 23, resuming Dec. 26 through Dec. 30.

-- Save Mart has turkey and ham dinners for $49.99 each. The dinners include pie and sides such as mashed potatoes, stuffing and baked yams with marshmallows.

The dinners are in limited supply, so Save Mart recommends shoppers order them via phone or in store soon.

-- In Visalia, Elaine's Table at Tres Bien, a catering company with its own dining room, has a menu of items available for takeout on Christmas Eve.

The appetizers, sides, main dishes and desserts are sold individually.

Main dishes include prime rib, rack of lamb, individual beef Wellingtons and a whole roasted filet tenderloin with Jack Daniels wild mushroom sauce.

The menu is available online at elainestresbien.com. Details: (559) 734-2436.

-- Whole Foods offers its holiday meal menu through New Years Day. Shoppers can order dinner packages, including traditional meals, vegan meals and a "Latin feast." The menu is online at wholefoodsmarket.com/shop. Shoppers can buy online, in store or via phone at (559) 241-0300.

The deadline for ordering Christmas meals is Thursday.

-- The HoneyBaked Ham store on West Shaw Avenue near Palm Avenue sells the traditional honey-baked ham, along with sides. Workers recommend customers figure out what they want and then get a reservation number in the store or via phone.

Employees also recommend customers pick up their meals between Monday and Wednesday to avoid lines, though they're open until Dec. 24.

-- Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery sells complete turkey and ham meals with entrees, sides and pies starting at $99. The meals must be ordered 24 hours before pickup.

Menu items can also be purchased individually. Shoppers can order online at mcpies.com or at their local Marie Callender's.

-- Boston Market sells individual dishes and full meals. Menus are available online.

Their "heat & serve" meals serve up to 12 people. Main dishes include spiral sliced ham, boneless turkey breast or a whole turkey, along with pies and sides ranging from sweet potato casserole to spinach artichoke dip.

The reporter can be reached at bclough@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6431.

___ (c)2011 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.) Visit The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.) at www.fresnobee.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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