Birthday/anniversary - about 100 people. Any ideas? Leaning towards buffet style.
Mexican Themed Party
yes chef, you definitely want a buffet..not only is it casual, fun, and relatively inexpensive for a large group, most of it can be done well ahead of time and the food holds up well on a buffet.....a few menu ideas that i have done successfully is a fajita buffet...beef, chicken both with peppers and onions, all the sides that go with it.... flour tortillas, guac, salsa, sour cream, cheddar, jalapenos.....tamales(pork, vegetable),mexican rice, seasoned black beans, salad of roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, radishes, beans, peppers, cilantro lime viniagrette. mexican ceasar salad with tortilla strips, pumpkin seeds, parm or cojita cheese, black beans and roasted corn(depending on what goes into the salad). dressing is chipotle ceasar. sometimes a pasta dish with a smoked cheddar chipotle sauce and veggies, sometimes cheese or spinach enchiladas(both if you need vegetarian options)......since this is a birthday/anniversary party, i think a dulce de leche or tres leches cake would be perfect.....guess it all depends on your budget..what is it?
@ Joey : great ideas Joey !
Chef Torrie, When I first read your post , 4 soups came to mind, : Tortilla, Albondigas, Crema de cilantro, beef soup. I don't know where you are as far as temperatures go ? There are cold soups to.
personally, while i love soup, i find it hard for guests to navigate with a buffet plate and a soup cup if it's on the same table...maybe a soup station would be nice with a few choices....green chile pork chowder, tortilla, and gazpacho. i like to serve gazpacho in small stemmed glasses which can be done ahead of time and pulled as needed. i would also have a server serving the soup just to cut down on mess and possibility of someone burning themselves, and it looks better...have you ever seen people at a soup bar? it ain't pretty!!! fish tacos, while wonderful die almost instantly when put in a chafer, even if you cut the heat...if you want seafood, maybe a cerviche.......oh yeah coleslaw...mexicans are big on coleslaw( pineapple -jalapeno seems to be popular) yeas on the different salsas...people love all kinds of salsas...mango, corn and black bean etc.....are the clients mexican or do they just like mexican or tex mex cuisine? big difference between mexican and tex-mex....what time of year is this?......definitely cold beer, but not corona or tecate...bohemia and negro modelo are good...pacifico if you need a lighter one for the gringos! where are you located?
you got some great advice here, I just wanted to add one little thing for you, especially if you are looking for a little something to set you apart....
get some Agave syrup for the Margaritas.
Frozen, you can use a mix, but your bartenders can use the agave to make some great Margaritas.
basic ingredients 1 1/2 oz tequila, 2 tsp agave, 2 oz lime juice - shake well .... garnish with lime wedge, optional salted rim
truly a league away from mixes or sour mix.
plated soup and salad courses while nice, will add extra payroll, time, money and headaches for little gain sometimes. it's alot of people moving around a room at the same time, between serving, clearing, watering and guests coming and going to the buffet table(s). is there room for the waitstaff to manuever between the tables while guests are moving around? it also puts alot of stress on a kitchen regarding plating space as well. can your kitchen handle that? does your kitchen also have to do dinner service at the same time the party is going on? that's alot of extra stress on the staff but especially the dishwasher...someone needs to make sure they get tipped out well!....personally if you went with plated courses i don't think the salad course is neccessary as there will be lots of fresh salad-y foods on the buffet. if you did go with a soup, i would go with something hot. gazpacho, while wonderful doesn't quite strike me as something fitting for an april night in connecticut. dead of summer, yes, daytime yes, spring, maybe not so much. i would also keep the soup light and vegetarian.....tomato cilantro, tortilla, that sort of thing, not something as heavy as a pork chili. a soup station still might be fun. i think if you serve appetizers, you could just segue pretty easily into the dinner buffet.i would have appetizers set on a table as well as some passed. having servers serve the dinner buffet will make it go ALOT faster and you will have better portion control. one table? two? choose a base menu and build on it from there...keep it uncomplicated.....list all your options as it's easier to make your choices with it all laid out......hope this helps...oh, and plate and serve the cake...maybe with a small scoop of ice cream or sorbet...rum raisin? mango? depending on the cake of course.....
oh, meant to add, that shroomgirl is the catering maven here and always has excellent advice...maybe she can chime in if she's around......
Edited by durangojo - 2/22/12 at 8:18am
had dinner out the other night here in mexico and ordered a seafood molcajete, which may be a bit misleading as a molcajete as you probably know is the mortar part of a mexican mortar and pestle and is made from volcainic rock. the varieties of the dish are endless. point is that the molcajete was the serving dish.....just thought perhaps you could incorporate them into your mexican themed party...either as serving vessels on the buffet or to serve the soup in if you go that route. a lot of restaurants in the states use the smaller molcajetes to serve salsas or guacamole in, so they are not the heavy rock but rather some sort of light plastic or acrylic or something that is dishwashable...pretty sure you caould rent them......anyway, just a thought....just curious, where you at on your menu these days?