HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Hotel room picnic suggestions

Hubby and I are getting away for the weekend, and I want to plan a meal in the room. We've already done the typical cheese/crackers/hummus/deli meats sort of thing. This time I was thinking about making something ahead, that will re-heat well in a microwave. Perhaps a stew, soup, or lasagna? Any thoughts or suggestions??
Bianca P.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Fondue? You'd need to prep the vegetables, toast cubes at home. Bring wine and a decadent dessert too, like chocolate mousse or cheesecake.

    1. As soon as I saw your mention of "picnic" my first thought was fried chicken. Who doesn't love fried chicken at a picnic? The beauty of this is it can be eaten at room temperature. You could serve it w potato salad or make a mac & cheese and re-heat that in the micro.

      Other ideas I've used for similar picnic-themed occasions are:

      Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and Tomato Soup (sandwiches served at room temp, soup could travel in a thermos or, reheat in micro.

      Muffuletta - My fave is this recipe from Gourmet Mag:


      Souvlaki (pre-grilled and served cold or at room temp) in a pita w tzatziki and salad

      Roasted Beef Tenderloin served at room temperature w roasted vegetable salad and some lovely crusty bread

      Lobster Rolls

      1. How about a cassoulet? I just had "leftover cassoulet" this evening out of the freezer. It reheats very well and would be an incredible surprise in a hotel room. It's a great winter/cold weather meal, though i'm not sure where you are.

        1. I would do a chowder and kick it up a notch with some fresh bread. Maybe even a nice winter salad, spinach, mandarin oranges, glazed walnuts, cranberries. Make a fancy honey butter for the bread. All these can be done ahead and packed for easy fixing at the hotel. I've even brought a small crock pot with me. Possibilities are endless.

          1. I like to make pressed sandwiches using the iron in the hotel room.

            If I'm making them ahead, I'll make sandwiches using sub rolls, mayonnaise, meat(s), and cheese. Then, I brush both sides of the closed sandwich with plenty of melted butter, wrap in foil, and pack in the cooler.

            When it's time to eat, I'll heat the iron, take out however many sandwiches (still wrapped in foil) we want to eat, put out the hotel room's ironing board (or simply use a table), then press the sandwich down with the iron (I like mine pressed down a pretty good bit), and let it cook until the bread is browned and crispy (thanks to the melted butter). Then, I flip and repeat on the second side.

            Then, I open it up, sit back, and enjoy the wonderful experience of eating a hot, crispy, pressed sandwich with hot, melted cheese squeezing out on all sides that tastes much better than anything on their in-room dining menu for waaaaay less money.

            7 Replies
            1. re: 1POINT21GW

              What a visual, 1P! Fun post.

              We'd totally go appetizer.

              Chocolate or caramel fondue with a microwave as the only option. Fresh fruit, cut up angel food cake, nuts and dark chocolate melted 30 sec at a time until the right consistency.

              Nice loaf of flavorful bread and a soft cheese, tomatoes and olives.


              1. re: 1POINT21GW

                I hope I'm not the next guest in that room with a wrinkled shirt ...

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Oh you didn't assume 1P cleaned the iron?

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I don't assume anything in a hotel room.

                    I wouldn't even assume the guest before 1P cleaned the iron ...

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I was joking, ips. Remember, humor.

                    2. re: HillJ

                      No need to clean the iron. The iron only thing the iron ever touches is the aluminum foil.

                      The sandwiches are left wrapped in the aluminum foil while being pressed. Then unwrapped once they're done.

                2. I used to make stromboli for our hotel picnics. I'd stuff it with meat, cheese, red peppers and olive salad. It was good cold, too.