Upcoming Events: Lend a Helping Hand on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is what? It's next week? Wait, are you serious?

If you, like me, are terrible at planning (or knowing what week of the month it currently is), turn to Lauren Marmaduke's excellent guide to dining out on Thanksgiving Day or ordering a full Turkey Day meal from one of Houston's best restaurants. B4-U-Eat also has a comprehensive list of all the restaurants in town that will be open on Thanksgiving. Either way, you'll have far fewer dishes to wash, which means more time to veg out in front of Antenna TV's Three's Company marathon. Yes, you're the Janet; don't ask.

Writing for About Houston, our own Shea Serrano has a list of things to do on Thanksgiving that don't involve Jack and Chrissy: volunteer work. The Waste Management Superfeast will feed approximately 15,000 to 20,000 hungry Houstonians this year, while the Thanksgiving Big Feast at the George R. Brown Convention Center will feed 30,000. Both events still need volunteers to help prep and serve food. If you're mobile, you can also lend a hand to Meals On Wheels as they bring Thanksgiving dinner to elderly residents across the city.

The day after Thanksgiving, forget about Black Friday (the real deals are on Cyber Monday these days anyway). Head to an all-day happy hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at both RA Sushi locations, where more than 35 sushi, appetizer and tapas selections along with a wide variety of beer, wine and signature cocktails will be on deep discount, between $2 and $7. Freebird's will also be offering an all-day happy hour at all locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with $2 mimosas, margaritas and beer in addition to its full menu -- and even brunch at its Shepherd location.

Perry's Steakhouse has a Black Friday deal of its own from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., where hungry diners can chow down on its signature pork chop -- along with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce -- for only $11.95 at all Perry's locations. Have you seen the size of that thing? Seriously: Black Friday shopping is bush league stuff; Black Friday dining deals is where it's at.

But during this time of great bounty -- a meal with family or friends is always something for which we should be thankful, after all -- remember that nearly one million people in our greater southeast region of Texas will go hungry this year, a plight that's even more pressing during the holidays. You can help by volunteering with the Houston Food Bank, or donating money or food to their operations. Volunteers are especially needed at the Portwall Warehouse and Keegan Kitchen. The Food Bank feeds nearly 137,000 people each week, a truly worthy mission in a time at which 25 percent of Houstonians report struggling to purchase food on a regular basis.

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