Where is Café Parizäde located?
Café Parizäde is at 2200 W. Main Street in Durham (see a map).
Take the Durham Expressway (NC 147) either north from I-40, or south from I-85/15-501, and exit at Swift Avenue. At the end of the exit ramp, turn right if coming from I-40, or left if coming from I-85/15-501. At the light just ahead, turn left onto Main Street. Go through one light at Ninth Street and in 100 yards or so, turn right into the Erwin Square complex.
Where is Kipos Greek Taverna located?
Kipos Greek Taverna is at 431 W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill (see a map).
From the UNC campus, take Franklin Street toward Carrboro; the restaurant is in the 400 block on the left. From Carrboro, the restaurant will be on the right on Franklin Street.
Where do I park for Kipos Greek Taverna?
There is a small parking lot behind Kipos; please do not park in any reserved spots. Franklin Street has free on-street parking after 6 pm, and there are municipal lots nearby. The Town of Chapel Hill has information on this (including a link to a handy map Park on the Hill) and nearby parking garages. About two tenths of a mile from the restaurant, on Main Street in Carrboro, is a new parking garage. Please allow time to park when arriving for the event.
What is the price?
The all-inclusive price is $27.00 for current TVS members, $30.00 for other adults, and $8.00 for children aged 5-10; children younger than 5 eat for free. The prices are the same for all of the seatings at either restaurant. Prepayment is required.
Since prepayment is required, what are my options for prepaying?
Since we're so close to Thanksgiving, paying by check is no longer an option. You must prepay with a credit card. Although you'll make your payment using PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account in order to make a credit card transaction.
Once I make a reservation and payment, can I get a refund if my plans change?
No, refunds are not available. (Just like when you buy tickets for a performance, the tickets are not refundable.) But your reservation is transferable – if necessary, just contact us (by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to Brian at 919-370-3220) to let us know to whom we should transfer the reservation if that proves necessary.
If I want to join TVS or renew my membership in order to pay the lower cost for Thanksgiving, how does that work?
In order to pay the lower cost for Thanksgiving, you must have a TVS membership that will be current on Thanksgiving Day. If not, you can join TVS or renew your membership at the time you make a reservation, which will allow you to pay the lower member price. If you prepay for your Thanksgiving meal with a credit card, one payment will cover your meal and your membership. If you prepay for your Thanksgiving meal using a check, you can use the same check to cover your membership payment. Annual membership is $15 for individuals and $20 for families; 27-month memberships cost double. Student and low-income membership is $10 per year.
If you make your reservation online, just choose the option to join TVS or renew your membership, and the membership cost will be included in your total cost. If you make your reservation by phone, please print the membership form and include this form when you mail TVS your check.
I'm unsure if my membership will be current on Thanksgiving Day. How can I confirm this?
Current TVS members, as well as some lapsed members, should have received a postcard in the mail with a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-digit "key code" on the address label. That key code, along with the last name on the label, will enable the reservation system to retrieve your membership status. You may also email Ken at email@example.com in order to confirm your status.
I'm a member of TVS. Can my out-of-town family members get in with me at member prices?
Yes, they can get in with you at member prices.
Who else can get member prices in my party?
If you're an Individual or Student/Low Income member, the member price only applies to you. If you're a Family member, your immediate family living with you can all get in for member prices. Other local family must pay non-member prices, unless they are visiting you from out-of-town (see previous answer).
I prefer to pay cash for the event. Is that possible?
We prefer check or credit card. Postal money order is also okay – just treat it as a check. If none of these options is a possibility for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can see if we can have you select "payment by check" and then make arrangements to meet within a few days of your reservation to receive your cash.
Can I call the restaurant that I'm eating at directly and give them my credit card number?
No – TVS is processing credit card transactions and collecting all money for the meal in advance. Of course if you buy additional items, like drinks from the restaurant that aren't included, you will have to pay the restaurant directly, and can use a credit card for that.
Can I hold off on giving anyone my credit card number and just bring my credit card to the Thanksgiving event?
No – we need to make sure that the seats are paid for ahead of time, and therefore we'll need your credit card payment at the time you make your reservation.
I would love to come but can't because of difficult financial circumstances. Is there anything that you can do?
We may be able to help! We don't want you to stay away if extenuating circumstances make the cost an issue. Café Parizäde, for the Thanksgiving Day event, may be able to fully or partially subsidize a small number of meals; please contact us to explain any financial hardship and to see if we can help out.
When should I arrive?
To help reduce lines, we limit the number of people who can arrive at the restaurants at the same time. For the Thanksgiving Day seating at Café Parizäde, possible arrival times are 11:30 am, 12:00 pm, 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, and 2:30; the entire event will last from 11:30 am to approximately 5:00 pm. You can (and are encouraged to) stay as long as you like after your arrival; the raffle will likely begin around 3:30 pm.
For the Monday seating at Kipos Greek Taverna, possible arrival times are 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, and 7:00 pm; the event will last from 6:00 pm to approximately 9:00 pm. A limited program, including announcements and the drawing of a few raffle prizes, will likely begin at around 7:30 or 8:00 pm.
Our setup at the restaurants is made much easier if we don't have to host arrivals before the event begins.
How should I dress?
If the past is any judge, expect to see people dressed neatly. Some will be in suit and tie, many will be in more casual but neat attire.
Is it okay to come alone?
Absolutely! As in the past, we'll have folks with TVS making sure that you're comfortable and can help to seat you and introduce you to others.
In addition, at Café Parizäde, we will have a designated Community Table for guests who are coming to the event alone. The Community Table will be available for those arriving at 12:00 or 12:30. If you would like to be seated there, choose the 12:00 or 12:30 arrival time and answer "yes" to the question on the reservation form, "Would you like to be seated at a Community Table?". If the 12:00 and 12:30 arrival times are full, or you are unable to arrive at those times, we can try to seat you at this table, but cannot guarantee you a seat there. If no seats are available at the Community Table when you arrive, we will be happy to seat you elsewhere in the restaurant.
For the Monday seating at Kipos Greek Taverna, we don't yet know if there is sufficient interest in a Community Table. If you are coming alone to this seating and would be interested in sitting at a Community Table, please answer "yes" to the question on the reservation form, "Would you like to be seated at a Community Table?". If there is enough demand, we will have such a table and you will be seated there when you arrive. Otherwise, we will be happy to seat you elsewhere in the restaurant.
My reservation is for a large group. Can I reserve a table for our group?
Generally, we have both small group and community seating and, though our event is always crowded, we haven't had a problem seating groups. If your reservation for the Thanksgiving Day seating at Café Parizäde is for a group of 7 or larger, and your entire party is arriving at the same time, we will reserve a specific table for your group. If your group of 7+ guests will be spread across multiple reservations (at the same arrival time), please let us know in the "notes/questions" box on the reservation form that your reservation is part of a larger group, and include the name that should be used to reserve the group table.
If your reservation for the Monday seating at Kipos Greek Taverna is for a group of 6 or larger, we will reserve a specific table for your group.
Can my party of two have a small table just to ourselves?
At the Thanksgiving Day seating at Café Parizäde, a limited number of small private tables for two can be requested in the restaurant next to Café Parizäde (which contains additional seating areas for our Thanksgiving event). These tables will only be available for those arriving at 11:30 or 12:00. Please request a table for two when you make your reservation.
What can I expect at the event?
Besides happy people and a wide variety of great food in superb restaurants known for their quality, service, and decor, we'll have a raffle and free literature that you can browse or take home about vegetarianism. The press is often at our Thanksgiving Feast, so don't be surprised to see TV cameras or newspaper reporters.
Do we have the restaurants to ourselves?
Yes! At Parizäde, this includes the main dining room, more intimate club room and boardroom in the back, and additional seating in the restaurant next door also owned by Giorgios Bakatsias, the owner of Parizäde. The dishes will be served in a two-sided buffet.
At Kipos Greek Taverna, we'll also have the restaurant all to ourselves.
Is the event non-smoking?
Yes, it is. No smoking is permitted inside either of the restaurants or immediately in front of any of the entrances.
It sounds like a big event! Will the lines be long?
This event has grown in popularity so much so that years ago we had long lines just getting folks into the event. Now that we stagger arrival times and require pre-payment, it's much easier for guests to come in to the restaurant fairly quickly. And implementing two-sided serving lines at Café Parizäde has reduced waiting in the buffet line; in recent years there never seemed to be a wait at all for getting food! This year should be similar; there will no doubt be some lines, but we aim to keep them pleasantly moving.
I have special needs that preclude me from standing in the buffet line, as I'm in a wheelchair / have very young kids / other.
We are happy to accommodate you! When you are seated, please alert your server about your needs and, as required, the server can put a plate of food together for you and bring it to you.
What dishes will be served at the event?
The menus for both seatings are currently being developed and will be posted at a later date.
I'd like to also have wine with my meal. Can I?
Sure! You can order wine from the restaurant's bar. Wait staff will help you; you will need to pay when a waiter delivers your drink. (Though the meal price is all-inclusive, you should tip for bar service.)
I would like to bring my own bottle of wine. Can I and, if so, is there a corking fee?
Café Parizäde has a well-stocked bar that you can order from. However, if you have a special wine that you would like to have served, we have made arrangements with Café Parizäde to allow you to bring it. Please bring the wine to your server and pay him/her directly the $10 corkage fee. Consider supplementing what you bring with fine selections from the restaurant, as well.
Kipos Greek Taverna also has a well-stocked bar. Kipos has a $15 corkage fee if you would like to bring wine to the event. Consider supplementing what you bring with fine selections from the restaurant, as well.
I have particular food allergies. Will I be able to find a variety of food I can eat?
All of the food will be plant-based. There will be a wide variety of food but if you have a concern, feel free to contact us before the event to see how we can best accommodate you. Please ask us at the event for questions on ingredients of any particular dishes and we'll do our best to help you. We attempt to use labels like "GF" (gluten-free) and "SF" (soy-free), but if you have questions or other allergies, ask for Dilip or to talk to the Chef when you arrive.
I have problems eating sugar. Will there be desserts that I can enjoy?
None of the desserts will have refined white sugar or honey. Other sweeteners, like turbinado sugar, are used. If you wish to avoid all added sweeteners, fruit is available.
I will be attending with my children. Will there be food that kids will enjoy?
We sure hope so. Thanksgiving is a family holiday and we want to make sure that families enjoy our event. We get rave reviews about the food at this event every year, and aim for a wide variety of dishes. Most of the dishes have gourmet sensibilities, but we aim to always have a relatively simple pasta dish, as well as salads, breads, and grains. We hope that the discerning as well as not-so-discerning diner of any age, vegetarian or not, will come away loving the food!
I would like to participate in the Pre-Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day feasts but I'm not able to eat at the restaurant. Can I pay to stop by and "pack and run" with some food?
Yes, indeed. As long as you pay your admission price for Cafe Parizade or Kipos Greek Taverna, just let us know when you make your reservation and then again when you get to the event that you need to pack your meal, and you will be given a takeaway container. Even better, we encourage you to bring your own reusable container to avoid waste.
We love the food! Can we bring containers to bring home extra food?
In general, no. Food is made for the number of people coming to eat at the event. Some event organizers and volunteers actually don't eat until the event concludes.
However, in the event that there is an excess of some item(s), an announcement will be made during the raffle. The restaurant will have containers for your use then - or you will be able to use your own reusable containers - to take home any such items.
How does the raffle work?
We always have many generous donors who provide gifts to TVS, including cases of food products, books, gift certificates from area businesses, t-shirts, various services, and much more. Many of these prizes are of value of at least $25-50 and sometimes much more. We will sell raffle tickets for $1 apiece and draw for these prizes around 3:30 pm at Café Parizäde.
Our plans are to keep the Monday meal at Kipos Greek Taverna more quiet. We anticipate having a welcome and some announcements around 8:00 pm or so, and will have a small raffle of a few prizes then, as well.
Is the raffle at Kipos Greek Taverna separate from the raffle at Café Parizäde?
Yes. Winners at either restaurant will be drawn only from tickets purchased by guests attending that restaurant.
Do I have to be present to win a prize in the raffle?
Yes and no. We require that somebody with a winning ticket be present during the raffle to claim each prize. If you purchase raffle tickets and can't stay for the actual raffle, you can certainly give your tickets to somebody else who will be present and who can collect, on your behalf, any prizes that you will have won.
I am planning on coming but will also be attending another Thanksgiving event after I eat. What happens if I leave early and miss the raffle drawing after I enter?
Please see the last question. Please note that if we draw a ticket and nobody present is holding the winning number, we will simply draw again.
I have something that I would like to donate to the raffle. Can I?
Yes; please contact Dilip Barman at email@example.com before these events.
What does vegan mean?
The food at the event will all be vegan, which means that no animal products will have been used. There will be no meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or honey in any of the dishes, and we also won't have any refined sugar. If you're new to veganism or vegetarianism, you may be surprised at how delicious and diverse our menu is!
This event is hosted by the Triangle Vegetarian Society, and we invite you to browse our links section and other resources for more context, including a presentation put together by Dilip Barman. Not only is veganism great for the environment, human health, and the animals, but also we want to ensure that most everybody will be comfortable eating anything at the Feast and to showcase to the public how easy and exciting vegan food is!
What is TVS?
The Triangle Vegetarian Society was founded in 1986 to promote the nutritional, ethical, and environmental aspects of vegetarianism. TVS is an active group with monthly potlucks and restaurant reviews, as well as many special events like our Thanksgiving Feast. We encourage membership not just for vegetarians, but for all who have an interest in any aspect of vegetarianism.
Do I have to be a member of TVS to come?
Absolutely not; in recent years, for example, only about 45-50% of the attendees were members. But if you decide to become a member when you prepay for the event, you can pay the lower member price.
What is the history of the TVS Thanksgiving?
TVS was formed in 1986. In 1986 or 1987, we apparently had turkeys for Thanksgiving – i.e., live turkeys eating alongside us at a potluck dinner, and made it on national TV. We continued to celebrate Thanksgiving as a potluck dinner for several years at a church meeting room near Duke University in Durham. Around 1994, we decided to try a restaurant Thanksgiving, and ate at Govinda's in Carrboro. If memory serves, since Govinda's went out of business, we had our feast at the Regulator Café in Hillsborough in 1995 and 1996. (Every year from 1996 on, we have made it to the evening news!) Unfortunately, the Regulator Café, too, went out of business, so in 1997 we had our feast at the Irregardless Café in Raleigh; we had about 100 guests and were on both channel 5 and FOX TV. We were again on the news, but just for a 20-second spot, in 1998 at Irregardless, and began having a raffle. We made our move to Café Parizäde in 1999, had 83 people, sold 238 raffle tickets, and had exceptional media coverage (Channel 17 did a piece a few days before, and Channel 11, the News & Observer, and possibly the Spectator all covered the event). In 2000 at Café Parizäde, we had over 100 attendees, sold 368 raffle tickets, had 86 raffle prizes, and were on 3 or maybe 4 of the evening news programs. In 2003, brimming with 281 attendees sharing the restaurant with the general public in the back, we had excellent coverage by both of the major local newspapers (Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News and Observer) and were on at least one evening news program.
2004 was a particularly exciting year as we believed we now had grown to be the country's largest vegetarian Thanksgiving with 360 attendees. We had good local press coverage with a pre-event article in the Durham Herald-Sun newspaper and Channels 5 and 17 covering us and giving positive coverage in their news on Thanksgiving Day, plus having three large and delicious pictures from our event on the cover of the Durham Herald-Sun food section the day after Thanksgiving. In addition, we attracted national attention with freelance writer and photographer Linda Long flying down from New York to cover the event for California-based VegNews and New Jersey-based American Vegan; we subsequently had cover articles in the summer 2005 issue of American Vegan and Thanksgiving 2005 issue of VegNews.
In 2005 we had 475 attendees, in 2006 we had 365, in 2007 we had 525, in 2008 we had 578, in 2009 we had 788, in 2010 we had 807, in 2011 we had 876, and in 2012 we had 976 attendees at two seatings at Café Parizäde and Washington Duke Inn.
Is our vegan Thanksgiving unusual?
The truly "traditional" Thanksgiving was probably vegan, with the possible inclusion of deer, according to historian Rynn Berry. The European settlers' first Thanksgiving when they arrived on November 11, 1620, likely consisted of beans and corn that they stole from the Native Americans. In November 1621, the Pilgrims joined the natives in their centuries' old harvest festival.
According to Rynn Berry, "The main meal was a sort of corn meal mush along with nuts and fruits ... popcorn and popcorn balls made by the Indians with maple syrup were served as a sweet. There was a variety of breadstuffs ... it is also possible that other native foods such as pumpkin and squash were served." The meal was primarily vegan, with the possibility of some wild game included.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. The idea of eating turkeys was popularized by an article in Ladies Home Journal in the 1930s.