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Ethnic/specialty food lunch delivery in Cambridge/Somerville

HCH Sep 4, 2007 01:28 PM

Can anyone suggest good restaurants in the Cambridge/Somerville area that could deliver lunch for about 30 people? This is for a series of lunches at an office. Ethnic food or restaurants with some kind of specialty fare (like barbecue) are especially popular with our crowd.


  1. franksnbeans Feb 21, 2008 07:38 AM

    Great Thai Chef in Union Square has very good food, a reasonable lunch menu, and delivers. I imagine if you talked to them in advance they could set up something "off-menu" for you.

    1. h
      HCH Feb 19, 2008 03:59 PM

      A belated thank-you to everyone who answered --- these are all great suggestions and I particularly want to add my voice to the chorus of praise for Guru the Caterer. The food was great and Pushp (the proprietor) is fantastic to work with on big delivery orders like this. Anyone out there doing an informal lunch of about this size, definitely consider Guru!

      5 Replies
      1. re: HCH
        yumyum Feb 20, 2008 11:11 AM

        What can you tell us about the food at Guru? I love the idea of this place but have been denied both times I remembered to check it out. (Once he was away with a note on the door and the other he just wasn't there.) Any specifics on what he made for you would be much appreciated.

        1. re: yumyum
          yumyum Feb 21, 2008 09:55 AM

          I'm answering my own question ... I had lunch from Guru the Caterer today and it was delicious. They do a chicken combo, a veg combo and a lamb or goat combo at lunch. I had the goat curry, palak paneer, with rice and paratha. The goat was definitely oily but in a good way (careful of the bones, though) but the spinach was really really good, without a ton of butter like you usually find in restaurant Indian food in Boston. The paratha was identical to the Jackson Heights imports you find in the freezer section at the Indian groceries in town, but I don't fault him for bringing that stuff in, it's great. Pushp told me he's really very busy with catering, and even busier next week. I'd definitely put Guru on the short list for catering a lunch or dinner party.

          1. re: yumyum
            jillu May 11, 2008 04:44 PM

            You are wrong in assuming that Pushp buys frozen parathas/ rotis. It is against the very philosophy of the place.

            Please check with him when you are there next time.

            1. re: jillu
              digga May 11, 2008 04:52 PM

              I'm pretty sure the partha is made in-house, too. I was chatting with someone else in line (of Indian descent) who lives by his paratha. We had a tasty take-away this week - one veg (chana masala) and one chicken tikka masala. Veg came with cauliflower+potato curry side and the chicken came with the same chana masala (if the kitchen weren't so small and not manned by just Pushpindr, I would've liked to see at least one more option other than the chana masala). Both came with rice and paratha. Scumptious. We never don't feel as full after eating his food as we do after other Indian meals...is that because he doesn't use as much ghee? I have no idea, but I like it!

              1. re: digga
                Aromatherapy May 12, 2008 04:25 AM

                Definitely not as oily. The test? How long the leftovers take to nuke. Much longer than expected.

        2. s
          Splendid Spatula Oct 2, 2007 10:05 AM

          Hey, great question - I'd love some good, interesting lunch catering rec's. I am so sick of bag lunches with sandwiches at meetings!

          My suggestion: Blue Ribbon Barbecue. They will deliver, and bring more (good) food than one can possibly eat. Order for about five people than you need!

          1. Dr.Jimbob Sep 4, 2007 06:48 PM

            Two of my favorite go-to delivery places to my abode in North Cambridge are Redbones in Davis Square and Qingdao Garden in North Cambridge. (One of my longer Qingdao posts is at <http://www.chowhound.com/topics/416724#2729402>, and a longer Redbones review is at <http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42186...) You can try calling them to see if they'd be willing to take on an order for 30.

            55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

            Qingdao Garden Restaurant
            2382 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr.Jimbob
              lgss May 12, 2008 05:24 AM

              Redbones delivers by bicycle...at least smaller orders.

            2. yumyum Sep 4, 2007 01:56 PM

              Taqueria la Mexicano does very good catering ... you could do a tamale party or something (anything) involving their carnitas and chilles rellenos. Skip the tortas. Give Roberto a call and he'll work within your budget.

              Cantine La Mexicana
              247 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

              1. s
                smtucker Sep 4, 2007 01:37 PM

                This spot has gotten great reviews from both chowhound and a few of my MIT clients. I haven't been yet myself though.


                5 Replies
                1. re: smtucker
                  DavisSquare Sep 4, 2007 01:50 PM

                  He was shut down by a fire recently:

                  No word about it on his website. Anyone know if he's back in business? In any case, his food is good but very basic and quite cheap. It is in no way fancy and it's not as good as many of the Indian restaurants around Cambridge/Somerville. It's spot on for a cheap lunch, but you can get better Indian if you have the budget for it. My personal favorite is the Kebab Factory, and I believe that they do cater:


                  1. re: smtucker
                    Steve L Sep 4, 2007 02:08 PM

                    I've been eating once or twice a week at Guru the Caterer and am constantly impressed with the food and the friendly service. I've been there over the last several weeks and he is open. He's trying more for a home-cooked quality to his food vs restaurant with lots of oil and butter. There's lots of good Indian food to be had but Guru is very good and relatively cheap and very deserving of success.

                    1. re: Steve L
                      mselin Oct 1, 2007 12:45 PM

                      I just want to echo the good reviews of Guru. I just went there today on a friend's recommendation and found the food to be some of the best indian I've had -- very flavorful, lots of substance (versus simply being a lot of sauce). I got the vegetarian special -- 2 vegetarian dishes, white rice and plenty of bread for just $5.50. I haven't come close to finishing it, so the rest will be my dinner. I will definitely be returning.

                      1. re: mselin
                        Aromatherapy Oct 2, 2007 12:00 PM

                        Note that you don't have to go to Somerville--there are 2 dropoff points at MIT and some more somewhere (unspecified) downtown. Looks like prices are a bit lower at the storefront, but it's not all that convenient a location. See http://www.guruthecaterer.com/WLD.htm

                        1. re: Aromatherapy
                          maryv Feb 19, 2008 05:32 PM

                          The web site says "We can drop off at a new location as long as there is a minimum order of 5 people." so the OP's 30-person office should be all set.

                          (oops, should have read the rest of the thread before posting, yes, the OP is definitely all set!)

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