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Frank Tunzi uncovers a cooked turkey at the Buttersburg Inn in Union Bridge Tuesday, Nov. 25. Staff at the Buttersburg Inn will be preparing 35 turkeys this week for over 300 expected Thanksgiving guests.
Frank Tunzi uncovers a cooked turkey at the Buttersburg Inn in Union Bridge Tuesday, Nov. 25. Staff at the Buttersburg Inn will be preparing 35 turkeys this week for over 300 expected Thanksgiving guests. (DAVE MUNCHSTAFF PHOTO, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

While some families sweat over a hot stove today, hundreds of Carroll residents and their families will place a cloth napkin in their laps, order food from a menu and sample Thanksgiving fare from the professionals this Turkey Day.

The Buttersburg Inn in Union Bridge has served Thanksgiving dinners for the last three years, and will do the same this year.

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Open from noon to 5:30 p.m., Buttersburg owner Jim Rowe said he is expecting a full house, with more than 300 reservations already made by the beginning of the week.

"By the eighth of November we were already full," Rowe said. "We even had people make reservations last year for this year."

Those choosing to dine there will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal featuring turkey or ham, sweet potato casserole, coleslaw, stuffing, mashed potatoes, oysters, green beans and sauerkraut. Dessert options include pumpkin pie, apple pie and bread pudding.

"It's a lot of work to cook for a large family. I can understand why some people don't do it," Rowe said. "A lot of it is because people don't want to deal with the mess."

About 450 people have made reservations to dine at Baldwin's Station in Sykesville on Thanksgiving between 11 a.m and 6 p.m. The restaurant has been open for Thanksgiving for the last 18 years. Diners started placing reservations a couple months ago.

Owner Stewart Dearie said he's seen families small and large each year the restaurant has served its turkey specials.

"You've got the two to four people that don't want to cook a turkey dinner for themselves and you've got large groups of people that just want to come out and have a good time," he said. "Leave the dirty dishes for us to deal with."

Groups as large as 18 people will delve into the Thanksgiving offerings that include pumpkin bisque, slow-roasted hand-carved turkey, corn bread stuffing and special selections from the fall/winter menu. Dessert choices include pumpkin cheesecake and apple cranberry crumble.

Salerno's Restaurant and Catering will prepare Thanksgiving to-go packages and expects to have about 140 reservations by Thursday in addition to serving walk-in customers. They've prepared Thanksgiving meals for the last 10 years.

"There are people who are going away for Christmas and aren't from around here so it's easier to dine out," Salerno's owner Bruce Reamer said.

While people starting calling to order dinners to-go and make reservations around Labor Day, Reamer said the calls really ramp up the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

"People plan to cook but it doesn't always work out," he said.

Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the full menu available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The buffet-style feast at Salerno's includes roasted turkey, baked ham, corn bread dressing, oyster and sausage dressing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, baked crab dip, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, crab and shrimp marsala with fettuccine and assorted desserts.

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"Each person gets a small ... carry-out container because you always want that turkey sandwich the next day," Reamer said.

Those who prefer to pick up Thanksgiving packages and take them home had the option to place orders by Sunday for mini packages that serve 12-15 or full packages that serve 16-25.

Reamer said for four years, one family even brought in their own stoneware to have the food packaged in and on the stove in time to fool visiting family members.

Aside from regular patrons, shelters and people in need also benefit from the packaged meals.

"We always cook a couple extras and if we don't need them, we donate them," Reamer said.

Not in the mood for Thanksgiving food?

Some chain restaurants, including Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee's and Denny's, will be open on Thursday as well.

Reach Sarah Hainesworth at 410-857-7873 or email sahainesworth@tribune.com.

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