TIFTON -- As Tiftonites awaken to a new day, Kenny Hawkins adjusts the racks in his charcoal-smitten grill at Hawkeye's Barbecue. The smell of smoked meat lingers in the air and travels with Hawkins. Adorned in an apron and bright yellow gloves, he hauls pounds and pounds of meat from a truck to his enormous grill. This is an everyday routine for Hawkins but the burden becomes even greater at Christmas.
A big part of Hawkeye's business is catering, especially around the holiday season. Many area families rely on Hawkins to provide a big family meal with all of the fixings included.
"We are unique because we offer seafood on our menu," said Hawkins. Ribeye steak with fried shrimp has become one of Hawkeye's dinner specialties. But Hawkeye Bar-B-Que offers turkey and dressing for customers seeking a more traditional meal for Christmas.
About 100 additional orders are expected to be placed by Monday, Hawkins said. As Christmas nears, the orders increase. Hawkins is not alone.
On Love Avenue, Wishbone's owner J.B. Stinchcomb also contemplates what is in store for his business this holiday season.
"I mean you just don't know what we go through this time of year," he said.
Wishbone opened in 1968 and was bought by Stinchcomb in 1989. Wishbone does a good business during the rest of the year but the catering arm of the operation cranks up for the holidays.
As customers squeeze into Wishbone's dining area for lunchtime, Stinchcomb knows this is only the beginning of what is to come in the next couple of weeks. Wishbone's menu proudly states: 'We cater any size party.' Orders for Christmas have already been placed and even more are expected from regular customers.
Chicken dressing and giblet gravy is one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant and for Christmas, Stinchcomb offers an uncooked dressing that can be easily tossed in the oven on Christmas Day. Customers also have a choice of baked ham or smoked or fried turkey. Stinchcomb kindly reminds each and every customer that cranberry sauce is available as well, because no Christmas meal is complete without it, he said.
Desserts are always popular on a caterer's menu and Hawkeye's sweet potato souffl/ and Wishbone's pecan pie are also popular on the menu.
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