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casual caterer suggestions for a luncheon?

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hi all,

i'm arranging a farewell luncheon for a coworker, to be held in medford, and i'm looking for suggestions for a fun or funky place that does reasonably-priced catering or volume delivery? probably about 50 people will attend, and i'm not looking for a sit-down thing; really just delivery of some luncheon platters or dishes, or possibly sandwiches. i'm thinking that something like brazilian might be fun. i actually did a similar thing for another coworker a few years ago, and i ordered a bunch of platters from picante in central. any other similar places you might suggest?

thanks!

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  1. Two suggestions:

    1. East Coast Grill

    2. Blue Ribbon BBQ

    1. Brazilian? I know that Oasis Brazilian Restaurant in Medford caters:

      http://www.newoasisrestaurant.com/abo...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        Oasis caters, either by the tray for certain plates or a set menu. The set menu runs somewhere around $10/person, although if you negotiate enough you might get them down to $8/person for their basic offering. The set menu includes rice, beans (ask for feijao tropeiro), salad, potato salad (ask them to substitute salpicao), chicken, pork, and beef.

        I have had it the last two years on Christmas eve, chosen by consensus (because of the $8 price), and supplemented by other things (churrasco one year, roast baby goat the other). The chicken was really bacon wrapped chicken, seared and then roasted. The pork was loin, roasted and sliced, served with pre-fab gravy (oddly sweet, which is not to brazilian tastes). The beef was more Brazilian and was basically sliced roasted loin, with onions.

        I have had much better luck ordering trays from them, but the issue there is the cost. A 1/2 tray of feijao tropeiro is at least $45. I think you could do well with trays of feijao tropeiro, rice, kale, salpicao... but still not certain what to do about the meat plate (they don't offer pernil for catering and moqueca might be expensive, plus has bones which isn't great for served lunch)

        When their food is good I like it (and both their salpicao and tropeiro are among the better restaurant versions locally), so I still suggest their function room for time to time, but I struggle with recommending their catering.

      2. Hmmm. My first choice for something like this might be Izzy's in Cambridge -- yellow rice, roast pork and another meat, fried plantains... You would have to work out the vegetarian option.

        I have had J&J's catering (portuguese) once and it was quite good and their prices seem quite reasonable. Good option for fish-oriented offerings, some finger options, might be able to do small pregos (steak sandwiches) too.

        Something Savory is quite expensive for dinner-oriented catering, but they also have drop-off oriented offerings (jambalaya) which might be more affordable.

        In Brazilian Oasis is oriented toward catering, but I have to tell you I have been pretty unimpressed with the food they provided. For something lighter I would suggest trying Petiscos a small "snack" shop in Magoon Sq. They offer trays of 100 bite-sized snacks for around $40/100. They do a lot of soups, but you would have to see what is to your liking (probably caldo verde and either caldo de pinto (chicken soup thickened with yucca). The might be able to do other things like roast pork or a larger savory pie (torta salgada), but I will be frank that communication maybe difficult so make sure nothing gets lost in the translation.

        I have had some excellent catering from Taqueria La Mexicana, although I dunno if that is too close to your Picante experience.

        Keep in mind that a lot of latin cultures use bullion cubes, so you may have to live with a bit of MSG.

        3 Replies
        1. re: itaunas

          thanks for all of the detailed suggestions! this really helps. i'll see what i can find for menus, etc. online for these places. money isn't too much of a concern, since it's on the office.. ;-)

          1. re: melle76

            J&J isn't online but they have a fax. Phone is 617-625-3978; fax is 4452

            1. re: Aromatherapy

              I actually have J&J's catering menu here in front of me, but with the demise of Amazon not certain where to send it. I also have the Izzy's regular menu and La Taqueria Mexicana's catering menu is on the internet. My email is currently listed in my profile if you want those mailed Monday. Petiscos you would to do in person (the owners have a high-school age daughter who would speak more English) and some of the names of the finger-foods are in the following two threads:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/155470
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/335637

              There also is a Magic Oven thread with some more descriptions, but I couldn't find it easily.

              http://www.lataqueria.com/cater.html

        2. La Taqueria Mexicana in Somerville's Union Square is a great option. The food is cheap, fantastic and Roberto (owner/proprietor) is easy to work with.

          1. I have been intrigued by Smoke and Pickles catering, but have had no recent events that needed catering, so I can't offer a recommendation.

            http://smokeandpickles.com/default.html