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San Diego Caterers- help with the short list

geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 02:46 PM

Hey all,

I'm in the process of looking for a caterer and I have narrowed down to a handful of choices. Has anyone worked with these companies? Was the food good? How was the staff? Other impressions?

Continental Catering
Ranch Catering
Peartrees Catering
The French Gourmet
TK&A Custom Catering
Culinary Concepts

I'm working with a set list from the venue, so I'm looking only at these six. Food's a priority for this event, so if there are any reservations with the quality of the food, please, please, please speak up. Thanks!

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  1. DiningDiva RE: geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 03:24 PM

    What type of event is the catering for?

    I've had Ranch Catering, it's okay, nothing spectacular. I think their forte is more casual events. Peartree is providing meals for the CV jail and I hear from a police acquaintance they aren't happy with the service (but then it is jail food and how much can you really do with that)

    I've heard excellent things about the French Gourmet. What about Water's, they're pretty good too.

    6 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva
      geekyfoodie RE: DiningDiva Apr 23, 2008 03:59 PM

      Hi DD, thanks for the feedback. It's going to be a wedding reception.

      Waters is out of my price range, unfortunately. Festivities is also too costly, but both companies were upfront about it. I'm keeping Bekker's in the back of my mind, just in case we say to hell with a traditional to-do and just go with a BBQ in the park.

      1. re: geekyfoodie
        foodiechick RE: geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 04:24 PM

        I used the French Gourmet for my wedding cake - it was devine. I have not used the full service catering deptartment, but I have used TK&A for many business receptions. They are lovely to work with, nice selection to play with. Although we had an expense account budget, they seemed able to work within any cost parameters for smaller customers. Let us know what you find - good luck.

        1. re: foodiechick
          geekyfoodie RE: foodiechick Apr 23, 2008 05:30 PM

          Thanks, FC! I had a great chat with the rep from TK&A today. He was explaining how flexible they can be and what we really want is flexibility. We want to be able to do things like bring in kegs/half-kegs of our favorite beers (I'm not paying $10/person to serve Bud Light), our own wines, have the eclectic mix of foods that we both like, etc.

          The cake's really important to us, as we hate slivers of dried up cardboard typically served at weddings, so I'm happy to hear that the French Gourmet's was good. Mr. Geeky says he's going to insist that guests receive actual slices. No slivers for us! The only downside is that I was hoping to make the cake, as I'm an avid amateur baker and I've done simply decorated tiered cakes before. TFG has a very high cake-cutting fee for outside cakes, so we know we'd have to get the cake from them if we decided to work with them.

          1. re: geekyfoodie
            foodiechick RE: geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 10:23 PM

            thanks for the feedback. as i said, we got cake only from FG...strawberry bagatelle. don't know where your reception is, ours was in a hotel (i know, how un-inspired), but they did not charge for the staff to cut. if your location is an independent locale, another idea would be to assign a couple of family members or bridesmaids/groomsmen to take turns manning the cutting station. imho the cake was that good (only a brides foggy view). just a couple of alternative ideas if you go that route.

        2. re: geekyfoodie
          DiningDiva RE: geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 05:07 PM

          If you're considering Bekker's you might also want to consider West Coast BBQ. They were the original owners of Bekker's and have started up again. They also do catering, here's the link - http://www.westcoastcater.com/ They got their catering menu and terms on the web site. I've only eaten their BBQ, and have no idea how their catering services would be, but if it fits your budget I would think it would merit at least a phone call.

          1. re: DiningDiva
            geekyfoodie RE: DiningDiva Apr 23, 2008 05:18 PM

            Thanks, DD, I'll keep them in mind. We haven't scrapped the traditional party yet and our first-choice venue is the Japanese Friendship Garden, hence the required caterers list.

            West Coast lists their prices and look like a really good deal for a casual and fun wedding... we could have BBQ, peach cobbler, and cake on real plates for about half of my quoted prices so far. We'll see... the JFG was an amazing site and all that's left to consider is the almighty dollar.

      2. b
        Bob Foster RE: geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 05:13 PM

        I know you have your list but I have to tell you we tried several of those but ended up using Simply Unforgetable for a wedding. By FAR, the best food we have ever had at a catered event. The guests raved about their food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Foster
          geekyfoodie RE: Bob Foster Apr 23, 2008 05:25 PM

          I was looking at them when we were considering another venue. Even though they're not on JFG's list, I'll keep your rec in mind. How was the cost?

          1. re: geekyfoodie
            b
            Bob Foster RE: geekyfoodie Apr 23, 2008 09:36 PM

            Of course it depends on what you decide to serve. We thought they were reasonable.

            We also used European Cake Gallery (Point Loma) for the cake. It was outstanding!

        2. SteveTimko RE: geekyfoodie May 15, 2008 02:42 PM

          Big immigration raid today at the French Gourmet. About a dozen detained.

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