Super cheap mexican catering, east bay.
I think this is a long, long shot, but hey if it's out there someone here should know! My daughter's birthday is in 2 weeks. We are expecting about 50-60 people (big family) and it occurred to me that there may be a taqueria that I could pick up food from that would not be very expensive. Obviously I know it will be more then if I made it myself. But counting the hours I save cooking and shopping it might be worth it. I would want chips, salsa, beans, rice and a main dish. No specific price in mind, just want it to be comparable to cooking myself, anything like that out there? Concord area would be first choice, but Berkeley/Oakland if cheaper is ok too. Thanks!
I wanted to report back on the food. It is the place Ruth mentioned. They have 3 branches but I believe the catering is separate for each. I went in person and got the number for the man in charge of catering and he never asked me which location so I assume it is separate.
Anyways I got there 5 minutes after I asked for it to be ready. All the food was laid out on a table for me ready to go. The food was so hot they needed a towel to be able to carry it out to the car. I liked that they took it out to the car without asking me and then expertly arranged it so noting would spill. I never would have thought to arrange the trays like they did.
They gave me one tray of refried beans, two trays of rice, and a tray each of chicken and beef fajitas. I checked the fajitas before I left since I was worried it would be more filling and less meat, but was very surprised by the amount of meat, in fact it was primarily meat. In addition for free with all orders over a $100 they throw in free chips and salsa. They gave much a plastic bag stuffed full with chips, it was a lot of chips. In addition there were three kinds of salsa, a green verde, a red salsa and pico de gallo+. It was a big container of each, I wish I knew what size, it came in a plastic container like you would get in a deli, but it was not the small size, rather the large size.
When I got home I put all the food in the oven without turning the oven on. I also got warm fresh tortillas from Las Montanos Supermarket which went in the oven too. It took longer then I thought for all the guests to arrive, so were not ready to eat until 2 hours after I picked up the food. When I went to go grab a tray I was amazed to see they were still too hot to handle. I think this was because the wrapped the tray in plastic wrap before putting on the aluminum lid. Whatever the reason it was nice to not have to re heat anything, even the tortillas were still warm.
I did by some cheese, sour cream and guacamole to go with it, but that was not too much more money. The fajitas did accumulate a lot of liquid from sitting for so long, but that was easy to drain off. So the food gets laid out and immediately you start hearing how much people were enjoying everything. The only complaint I had was that the beans and rice were a little spicy, which actually made them very flavorful, but since we had kids I would see next time if they could tone it down a tab. But I think only one person complained about it since once everything got mixed together it was not as spicy. I was glad too because the chips were thinner then the kind they serve in the restaurant and so they were tastier. The salsas were all incredible too. Overall it was a great meal. Was it some super foodie fancy food, no. But was it very good Mexican food for a great price, yes
We also had lots of leftovers which was nice. It was just great to not have to worry about the food. I wound up with only one dishwasher load of stuff to wash, and had more time to focus on other things. I just may never cook for a crowd again. I may love cooking but for me cooking for that many people just isn't fun. But this was a blast!
I wanted to report back on my findings for anyone who may be interested. The party has dwindled down to 35 people. I live near concord so I just starting going to a bunch of places that were close enough to each other to make it worth the time. For 35 people I was having several places quote me at $300 or more. But then I found it. $145 for rice, beans, chicken and beef fajitas, chips and salsa. Yes, that would be $4 a head. I will still need to get cheese, sour cream, guacamole and tortillas. But that won't add that much especially since tortillas can be found for very cheap. I'm not sure I could cook for that cheap plus all the time I am saving. The food from this taqueria is normally excellent (not the best chips, but hey you can't have it all) so hopefully the catering will match.