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Feb 16, 2012 06:31 PM

Informal Catering

I'm looking for some ideas for catering my wife's 40th birthday gathering. Something informal - not a sit down meal. I'm thinking potluck/family style, but something high quality and delicious. Could be something prepared ahead of time that I can pick up or that would be delivered. Don't need a staff to help serve or anything. figure around 40 people kids and adults. Any ideas? St. Paul or South Metro preferred.


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  1. Ace Catering (part of D'Amico's, I think) catered hubby's birthday with appetizers, which they delivered to St .Paul. Food was really good and quite different from their regular menu. I've also done D'Amico's takeout for a group as a buffet and it's hard to go wrong with their entrees and salads, which worked well for a diverse group of folks.

    1. I had a good experience using Brasa for a work event. Everyone liked the food (and in general I like Brasa quite a lot). The pork and braised beef are my favorite meats from Brasa. When I was there recently, I particularly enjoyed the romaine and mozzarella salad and the chips and guacamole as sides.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LauraB

        I used Brasa for a work event as well and it was sensational. The meats are excellent. And there is a great variety of sides to choose from. You can get some classic sides like macaroni and cheese and potato salad and some sides for more adventurous tastes so everyone can be happy. The coconut curry vegetables were great and so was the yuca side dish.

        Here's their link:

      2. I had a good experience doing something similar with Broder's Cucina. They delivered salad, two kinds of lasagna, a cheese tray, and dessert bars.

        1. Check out Solo By Bonicelli ( She's a high quality chef that can do a lot of custom work for you.

          3 Replies
          1. re: foreverhungry

            I've used Salsa a La Salsa for catering my father's 60th birthday (Lorenzo the owner was great to work with). It was informal (same food as restaurant) with a papusa bar, which was a great idea.

            Salsa A La Salsa
            1420 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

            1. re: eastlakovore

              I've never thought of catering from them, but the pupusa bar sounds intriguing, how did that work, exactly? Also, can you give us a sense of the pricing of the catering in general?


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Wish I could remember the price (7 years ago now...), but reasonable, otherwise would have gone elsewhere.
                Pupusa bar was a gal working a portable flat top making them to order.

          2. My husband had Chowgirls do my 40th. They brought everything including wine glasses. The food was delicious and we just left all the dishes for them to pick up in the morning. Super easy. You can also hire someone to serve but we didn't.