The eternal Thanksgiving dilemma: Cook and eat in, or go out and give up turkey leftovers?   While traveling, it’s a no-brainer, unless you’ve happened to be invited for a homecooked meal.  But while sticking close to mi casa in Rancho Mirage, I’ve found plenty of great places to indulge in the highest caloric meal of the year where I don’t have to cook, and even better, don’t have to clean up!

Although a number of my favorite haunts—including Shame on the Moon and Roy’s—give their staff Thanksgiving day off, there is a long list of restaurants and resorts that will cater to your gastronomic whims on this autumn holiday devoted to gratitude.

Turkey is obviously the meat of the day, although all venues offer a full range of choices.  Looking to try it deep-fried?  Check out the Diestel Farms’ turkey on the three-course menu at The Steakhouse at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, served from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., in addition to their regular menu.

Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa’s bluEmber will be going all out from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a lavish buffet dining option that begins with iced seafood, an array of salads, charcuterie, and soups, and offers hand-carved ham and turkey, in addition to other main courses.  Desserts are a given.

And for another triple-courser, visit Wally’s Desert Turtle, where you can get not only tasty turkey but duck, roast pork, or tenderloin among other choices from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Rancho Mirage’s Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa adds the smooth jazz sounds of Norm Douglas to their Thanksgiving Feast buffet from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.  In addition to their herb-brined, slow-roasted Sonoma turkey, offerings include Virginia ham, short ribs (now doesn’t that sound yummy on Thanksgiving?!), and a wide selection of risottos.  Pumpkin pie for dessert?  Yes, please.

As usual, I’m up for anything.  Eat in, go out.  Hmm, what to do?!