Need to feed a LARGE group on the cheap in Walnut Creek/Oakland
I'm running an event for a large group of high school students at the Walnut Creek Marriott in mid-February. On the Thursday night I need to take everyone (60 students and around 40 adult coaches) out to dinner. Staying in Walnut Creek would be easiest, especially if we need to shuttle folks to the restaurant. If we cannot come up with a good option in Walnut Creek, we could drive as far as Oakland or Berkeley.
Because our guests are coming from all over the country, I'd prefer to take them someplace that is not a chain and that have some local flavor. My budget is, not surprisingly, limited. Given the budget, I think Chinese, Mexican, or burgers would be the best bets. Regardless, there must be decent options for vegetarians. I, not too surprisingly, would prefer food that actually tastes good.
How open to "ethnic" foods do you think these people will be? A surprising number of people still find even Chinese food to be uncomfortably unfamiliar, and if this isn't a food oriented group,. then many of them might consider eating at a restaurant that isn't a chain to be downright weird.
For such a large group, you need help from the restaurant (w/ private room?) -- a taco bar set up (with extras for the veggies), Chinese buffet (veggie chow mein, s&p wings, brocc w/beef - nothing crazy, etc), or other that can have the food out and ready for the gang since ordering individually is out of the question.
Sorry I'm not that WC-familiar so can't rec restaurants.
I know what to order. Family style platters work well. I'd actually rather not do a buffet, because when 100 people hit it at the same time, it will move very slowly. The real question is where to go. I can do T-Rex, but they're a bit more expensive than my budget will really allow. I can do Legendary Palace or one of the other Oakland Chinatown places that is set up for banquets. I'm hoping, however, to stay in the Walnut Creek area to make transportation easier.
Does anyone think we could fit into Sichuan Fortune House?
Have you considered Dragon 2000?
I haven't been for a few years. It caters to the PF Chang's crowd but can also turn out authentic dishes. The website says it can accommodate banquets of up to 150.
1651 Botelho Dr Ste 120, Walnut Creek, CA 94596