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    Giving Thanks

    Friendsgiving Potluck in Newark

    Hey Newark, welcome to November! The temperatures are cooler, Pumpkin Spice is the flavor du jour and this Glambassador has only one thing on her mind: Thanksgiving. Yes, the day we give thanks for family, friends and food is upon us and I, for one, am ready to get my gobble on.

    Now we know Turkey Day is all about family but if you live far from home or have a friend group that’s like a family, you may be partaking in a new holiday tradition: Friendsgiving. Simply put, Friendsgiving is celebrating Thanksgiving with a great group of friends and without any awkward family conversations. What’s not to love?

    Now let’s get down to the most important part: the food. A Friendsgiving potluck dinner is the perfect time to show off your culinary prowess or, if you’re short on time (and/or cooking skills), introduce your friends to a great dish from a local restaurant. New to Newark? Not to worry! Here is your Glambassador’s Guide to Where to Grab Food for Your Friendsgiving Potluck and win the night.

    1. Mac and Cheese - We have to start here because no Thanksgiving, or Friendsgiving, is complete without the right macaroni and cheese. This is hands down the most important dish of the entire meal, turkey included! Keeping that in mind, head downtown to Whole Foods’ buffet and scoop up a Friendsgiving-size helping of their gooey and downright delicious mac and cheese, which is sure to please your friends’ palates. Feeling fancy? Head to Top’s Diner and order up their famous Lobster Mac and Cheese, which is chock-full of fresh Canadian lobster tail and claw meat with a creamy three-cheese cognac sauce.

    Mac and Cheese (Soul Food)

    2. Smothered Turkey Wings and Garlic String Beans - Who needs the hassle of cooking a whole turkey when you can impress your friends with moist and perfectly seasoned Smothered Turkey Wings from Vonda’s Kitchen? Big and uber-tender, you’ll find yourself licking your fingers after every bite. While at Vonda’s, grab a side of Garlic String Beans for flavorful veggie side dish.

    3. Corn Muffin Souffle and Sweet Potato Poon - Box stuffing has nothing on the Corn Muffin Souffle from The Weekend Spot! Bring this sweet and fluffy treat as a nice addition to dinner and while you’re at it, order up a side of the Sweet Potato Poon with pineapple and raisins. These sides will be the star of Friendsgiving! The Weekend Spot is only open Friday through Sunday, so make sure to plan ahead.

    Sweet potato (Soul Food)

    4. Fried Cabbage - For a delicious spin on the average side of greens, try the Fried Cabbage from The Redwood Cafe Supper Club. Redwood Cafe is new on the Newark scene but packs a serious soul food punch. Their fried cabbage earns rave reviews and is sure to be the dish that has guests going for seconds.

    Fish Dinner (Soul Food)

    5. Turkey Neck Greens and Deviled eggs - For a more traditional take on greens, head Downtown to Dinosaur BBQ for a heaping helping of their savory Turkey Neck Greens, which are the perfect accompaniment to your Friendsgiving meal. Add a few servings of Deviled Eggs to your order, you won’t regret it!

    6. Rolls/Bread and Cake - A stop at Calandra’s is a must during the holiday season, because very few do baked goods better! Bring your hungry friends a dozen rolls or a loaf of Italian bread fresh out of the oven. You’ll also be the hit of the party if you bring a Calandra’s cake: Red Velvet and Carrot are seasonal favorites.

    Dinosaur Cornbread

    7. Banana Pudding - Mocha Lounge is a new Newark offering with a focus on cupcakes, but is already earning high marks for its luscious banana pudding. The super creamy confection is so good, you may want to buy a few more servings to freeze at home!

    8. Sweet Corn Ice Cream - What’s more seasonal than Sweet Corn Ice Cream from Nasto’s? It’s subtly sweet and delicious on its own and even better with a side of pie! Ice cream adventurists will love the special flavors you’ll only find at Nasto’s, like Honey Fig and Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel.


    Lauren Craig, also known as InaWordFab, is the Glambassador of all things fashion, art and entertainment in Newark. When she isn't busy practicing law or watching reality television, Lauren is devoted to inspiring others to live their most fab and fulfilling life...and world peace. Visit inawordfab.com for more and be sure to follow her life in the fab lane @inawordfab on Twitter and Instagram.