In Texas, Thanksgiving is a day of hot-stove debates.
Cornbread dressing or bread stuffing?
Pumpkin or pecan pie?
Green beans with mushrooms and onion strings, or without?
But Arlington is ground zero for the ultimate debate: Is dinner before or after the Cowboys game?
Olenjack's Grille, which has become the city's favorite holiday buffet, serves turkey beginning at 9 a.m. and offers a stadium shuttle.
Across the chasm of Cowboys Stadium parking, Cityhouse in the Sheraton Arlington will serve a pregame breakfast buffet, then begin serving a turkey and ham dinner buffet at 5 p.m.
Olenjack's chef Brian Olenjack said Texans eat early.
"We learned our lesson," he said.
He grew up in the Midwest, where families start cooking in the morning and share dinner about sundown.
"Here, it's all about the Cowboys," he said.
He'll arrive at midnight to finish baking 600 pounds of turkey for more than 1,000 diners.
Besides turkey, Olenjack's buffet also will include a garlic-poblano pot roast and shrimp-and-grits. Some reservations remain, particularly during the game; $30 ($14 for kids), 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 770 Road to Six Flags E. (near Center Street), 817-226-2600, www.olenjacksgrille.com.
Cityhouse will offer both the turkey-ham buffet ($19) and a limited menu of steak, salmon in beurre rouge sauce or chicken Madeira; 5-10 p.m., 1500 Convention Center Drive, 817-261-8200, www.sheratonarlingtonhotel.com.
Cast Iron in the Omni Fort Worth Hotel continues to impress on holidays. The brunch-lunch menu includes peanut butter waffles and sweet potato pancakes, plus turkey, ham, roast chicken with a balsamic-fig sauce and snapper with a corn-chile relish; $44.95, 817-350-4106, omnifortworthhotel.com/dining.
The top-of-the-line dinner in the region remains Fearing's in Dallas: tangerine-glazed turkey with tortilla dressing, roast grouper, a lamb chop or a "mopped" tenderloin on an elk sausage-broccoli cheese casserole; $95 ($35 for kids), 2121 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 214-922-4848, www.fearingsrestaurant.com.
The region's definitive turkey dinner is also in Dallas: Highland Park Cafeteria, serving Southern-style turkey and dressing since 1925; $10.99, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 1200 N. Buckner Blvd. at Garland Road, www.highlandparkcafeteria.com.
More restaurants were listed in the Friday Eats Beat. See dfw.com/eatsbeat.
Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Your Life & Food and Fridays in Weekend. Facebook "Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat" Twitter @eatsbeat