by Jim Ridley
• At the other end of the dining spectrum — our end — Cracker Barrel serves up Thanksgiving dinner for $9.99 per person ($4.99 for kids) starting at 11 a.m. Or serve up to six with Thanksgiving takeout for $54.99 — just make sure you give 24 hours' notice.
• Ellendale's (2739 Old Elm Hill Pike, 884-0171) will have its Thanksgiving buffet available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; cost is $31.95 plus beverage.
• The downtown Hilton (121 Fourth Ave. S., 620-2178) provides a buffet of roasted turkey, steamship ham, prime rib, a seafood station with smoked salmon and jumbo shrimp, and a "special children's buffet." Adults $46, children 7-12 $14; children under 6 eat free. Reservations recommended.
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• Sick to death of seasonal fare? Kiss turkey goodbye at the Indian buffets at Bombay Palace (2912 West End, 321-6140), Sitar (116 21st Ave. N., 321-8889), the recently opened Taj (3943 Nolensville Road, 750-3490) or their vegetarian counterpart Woodlands (3415 West End, 463-3005).
• Or opt for a hearty Italian meal at Buca di Beppo (1722 Galleria Blvd., 778-1321) or Maggiano's Little Italy (3106 West End, 514-0270) — which will both have turkey as backup just in case.
• The Loveless Cafe (8400 Highway 100, 646-9700) offers its usual menu items as well as a Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey, dressing and homemade pies from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. All reservations are currently filled; an hour's wait or more is likely for limited walk-up seating.
• Merchants (401 Broadway, 254-1892) provides Thanksgiving fare at both its downstairs bistro (open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.) and upstairs from 1-9 p.m., with the third floor available for large parties by reservation.
• Mere Bulles (5201 Maryland Way, 467-1945) gives thanks in Brentwood with entrée and dessert for $34.99 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with 50 percent off bottled wines all day. Seniors $28.99, ages 5 to 12 $14.99.
• Monell's locations in Gallatin, Germantown and in the old New Orleans Manor on Murfreesboro Road will pass around the family-style platters of turkey, fried chicken and roast beef from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $22.84 per person. Ages 4 to 10 are $11.90, while 3 and under eat free. (Gallatin will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
• At the Opryland Hotel, you've got at least three options: the Old Hickory Steakhouse (458-6848), offering turkey, cranberry apple stuffing, country ham and more for $45; Ravello (458-6848), providing turkey along with its usual Southern Italian fare; or the Cascades Restaurant (458-6848), serving turkey and stuffing, country ham, potato-wrapped snapper and more for $48 ($17 for children). Whichever way, reservations are required.
• The Puckett's Grocery locations both downtown (500 Church St., 770-2772) and in Franklin (120 Fourth Ave. S., 794-5527) will lay out a Thanksgiving buffet of smoked turkey, holiday ham and fried chicken. Call or make reservations online, though the Nashville location is already full.
• That faithful fount of breakfast-buffet gluttony Shoney's has your steam-table Thanksgiving standing by at $10.99 for adults, $4.99 for kids.
• Nashville reliable Sperry's will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at both its Belle Meade (5109 Harding Road, 353-0809) and Cool Springs (650 Frazier Dr., 778-5990) locations. $26 for adults, $13 for children.
• Thanksgiving at Ted's Montana Grill (2817 West End Ave., 329-3415) features Ted's Traditional Roast Turkey meal starting at $25 per person; it can also be ordered in a half-sized portion for kids for $12. Also: select wines by the glass for $6 or by the bottle for $20.
• Whole Foods Market in Green Hills and on McEwen in Franklin will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The hot bar will feature traditional Thanksgiving food items such as herb-rubbed turkey, gravies, stuffings, mashed potatoes, side dishes and more. As for catering, a smoked turkey dinner that feeds 6 to 8 runs $99.99.