HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — For most Americans, Thanksgiving means spending hours slaving over the stove in the kitchen, cooking up the turkey and all the trimmings.

But some people prefer to save the hassle and just eat out on Turkey Day, and several local restaurants and haunts are making that easy this year.

  • Cracker Barrel
  • Waffle House
  • Perry’s Steakhouse
  • Seasons 52
  • Trim Tab Brewery

But if you’re looking for options beyond the traditional turkey dinner, you can try the Red Pearl Chinese Restaurant in Homewood.

“Usually, we got a line going here … I know people are driving like three or four hours to come here [on Thanksgiving],” said Linda Lin, manager of the Red Pearl.

Employees at Red Pearl spent Wednesday preparing for a crush of customers on Thanksgiving Day. The family-owned establishment has been open for more than 20 years, and unlike many of its culinary counterparts, it’s the restaurant’s tradition to stay open during the holidays.

“Some people come here like once a year just for the Thanksgiving dinner here … It’s a normal place to go if you have nowhere to go,” Lin said.

Customers like Latoya Gresham are 100 percent behind taking a day off from Turkey Day.

“I love things that are non-traditional, so I think it’s a great idea to come here for Thanksgiving … If I had to cook, absolutely, I would definitely come here instead,” Gresham said.

That’s also the case for fellow customer K.C. Hayes.

“I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again,” Hayes said.

This year, Hayes is also shopping from Red Pearl’s market next door for her holiday plans.

“I’m feeding my family, a mixed family of meat eaters and plant-based eaters, so I have chosen to prepare Thai food,” Hayes added.

Diners all agreed Red Pearl has the right recipe for a good Thanksgiving, no matter what’s on the menu.

“Many order barbecue duck … We don’t like turkey, it’s too dry,” Lin said.