Carl’s may be closed for the season, but there are plenty of local food experiences to be had this holiday season in the Fredericksburg region. Sit back and let one of the many eateries here do the cooking—
Or the brewing.
Highmark Brewing, just over the bridge from the city in Stafford County, has a new beer release this November that ushers in winter. The Fall Into Winter Brown Ale by Highmark features notes of pumpkin and gingerbread, according to co-owner Brandon Newton.
He sees the brewery as a place to get together with family and friends, especially as the holidays come around. While everyone’s home for Thanksgiving, they’re holding an event called Highmark Homecoming, featuring live music and food from Juan More Taco on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday surrounding the holiday.
“It’s just a great environment for family and friends,” he said.
Find the full live music scheduled at: https://www.facebook.com/Highmarkbrewery/.
Likewise, at Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe on Princess Anne Street in downtown Fredericksburg, owner Trista Couser hopes to bring people together during the holiday season.
She cooks whole Thanksgiving feasts for pickup featuring a whole turkey, green beans with almond brown butter glaze, sour cream mashed potatoes with green onions, bread stuffing with fresh sage and thyme, gravy, cranberry jelly, rolls and pies. For nine years she has sold ready-made turkeys, sides and pies.
“I’m glad to be able to help out for people who don’t have the time, or who want to spend more time with their family,” she said. “Cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner is labor intensive.”
Her speciality this time of year is pumpkin pie. Hers is an old recipe, handed down to her mother before her in San Francisco. “It’s so creamy,” she said. “That the main element; there’s just one spice. It’s unreal how good it is.”
She also offers an annual Breakfast with Santa on multiple dates in December. She says Mrs. Clause comes a long, too. The event features a breakfast buffet and during the last 15 minutes Santa tells new stories to children.
“It’s something we love doing every year,” she said.
Find ordering and event info online at: http://eileensbakeryandcafe.com.
Looking for something new? Stafford-based Mechelle’s Baking Company has rolled out new pie flavors this holiday season. Well known in the region from local farmer’s markets and for her flagship sweet potato pie, Mechelle Allen has new lemon chess, key lime chess and ginger cinnamon pear pies this year.
She said cake-lovers have something new to sample this holiday season, too, with her apricot brandy and peach schnapps pound cake.
“It’s to die for,” she said.
Allen said all of her recipes have come out of her passion for cooking and inspiration from local ingredients. Thanksgiving is her busiest time of the year, and pie-lovers can order her pastries in bulk online to pick up at one of five locations around the region. But that’s not all foodies in the region can get from Allen at the drop offs.
Allen, who runs the business with her husband Ricky, also caters full dinners, “everything from salmon to soul food.” Popular dishes include her gourmet salads and deep-fried turkey this time of year.
Order online at: https://www.mechellesbakingcompany.com
Orofino in downtown Fredericksburg always has the feel of being cooked for by a large Italian family. But that environment is especially important to owners Alona and Danilo Orofino during the holidays.
Along with the panettone straight from Italy the Orofino’s sell in-store, they are offering a new event this year.
According to Alona Orofino, a Feast of the Seven Fishes will be held on Dec. 20., featuring eight courses. It’s a popular celebration among Italian-Americans who want to keep homeland traditions alive. Likewise, the Orofinos hope to celebrate with their extended restaurant family. The event will be held at 718 Venue in downtown Fredericksburg to accommodate more guests.
She said the restaurant also does catering and holds private events so people can spend more time with family in town for the holidays.
“It’s the big Italian family environment,” she said. “Everyone just having a good time around the table together.”
To get a seat around the Orofino’s table, go to: http://www.orofinorestaurant.com.
Written by: Lindley Estes
Photo courtesy of Mechelle's Baking Company