HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Feb 1, 2014 01:20 PM

Catering idea for approx 30 on a budget

Hi! I'm hosting a small event (film screening) for about 30 at ucsd this Thursday. I'm looking for ideas for something other than pizza. Something international would be great. Even better if they would deliver. If not, something that travels ok and is ok eaten room temp. All ideas welcome! I could probably do about $12 per person. Tia!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hot Dogs
    6 foot long hero

    1. Super Cocina (3627 University Ave) will cater for pick up or delivery. It is unlikely that you will find better home-style Mexican food (no tacos or burritos) in San Diego. They feature regional dishes from different parts of Mexico. The value is excellent. You won't be disappointed.

      1 Reply
      1. Any other ideas out there? I'm due to host another event. Budget per person likely smaller ($8pp) and would like to avoid pizza. I ended up doing Viet sandwhiches and spring rolls, which were a huge hit, last time, but would like some more variety. Super Cocina is a bit far from UCSD, unfortunately. TIA!

        4 Replies
        1. re: sf415

          Not an answer to your query, but a question, if you don't mind:

          Where did you go to get the sandwiches and spring rolls last time?

          1. re: DoctorChow

            It was K Sandwiches. SO cheap and definitely a hit among graduate students REALLY tired of bad pizza. Good vegetarian and meat options. All were pleased, including the guys who always complain of being hungry!

            1. re: sf415

              Excellent choice -- best banh mi in town, IMO, and fast service.

              Well, if you're willing to drive that far, you might want to consider getting BBQ sandwiches this time. I'm going to stick my neck out a bit on this one and suggest LW's BBQ on Clairemont Drive. They have sandwich combos for about $8 including a side and drink; your best bet is either the pulled pork (which comes with coleslaw on it unless you ask not) or beef brisket sandwich. As for sides, my favorites there are the mac & cheese and collard greens (with hot sauce added). Cole slaw, fries, rings, potato salad are fine.

              Just checked and their website says they do catering. I think that their restaurant has ample capacity for 30 people, sit-down, also.

          2. re: sf415

            Picking on DD's post, Costco has some excellent hummus, stuffed grape leaves, olives, fresh bread rolls, imported cold cuts, marinated veggies, cheeses etc, can be well within your budget.

          3. What about doing a mezze spread with hummus, baba ghanoush, pitas, olives, some feta, tabbouli, fattoush, cucumbers salad. A lot of this can be purchased from grocery story delis and it won't break the bank.

            30 people x $8 = $240. That's not that bad.

            Set aside $15 for disposables and that leaves $225 for food. You can definitely do the above for a lot less than $225.

            Aladdin's in either Clairmont or Hillcrest does a passionfruit shrimp salad that is very good. The portion is ginormous. They cater, so I'm sure you could order the salad for 30 (dressing on the side to mix when you get to your venue), plus the pita and hummus, and I'd be willing to bet it would be less than $225. I also don't think you'd need salad for 30, you could probably get by with salad for 20 and fill in with other finger food.

            Go talk to the folks at Papa Luna's Empanadas in Pacific Beach. Empanadas come in all varieties - including sweet - travel well, can be eaten hold, cold or at room temp. They might be willing to work with you on a special order to fit your needs. Talk to a manager or owner, not a counter person.

            Figure out how much you have for food, then go to the Whole Foods in LJ and cruise their prepared food section. $225 should get you enough to feed 30 people.

            There is also the prepared food at Costco, including their chickens. 6 chickens would be less than $50 and they've got so many other semi-bulk prepared foods to augment the chickens including Caesar salads, not to mention you can zip into their cooler and pick up a couple baskets of berries or a fruit platter. The Costco chicken salad is surprisingly good.

            Don't over think this. Your money can go farther than you think.

            1 Reply