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Help! Need CHEAP catering ideas, stat!


snacky_cat
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So we're having a goodbye party for two coworkers tomorrow night, and our lab was put in charge of supplying the chow at the last minute. We found out mere moments ago that we only have about $200 to spend, and this needs to feed 50-60 people. I NEED IDEAS!

I'm looking for places in the Vancouver/Burnaby area that offer good deals on finger food items. Some of the things on the food list are:

Samosas from the place at 41st and Fraser where they're 3-for-$1

A couple of sushi trays (anyone know a cheap good sushi tray place on the west side of Vancouver?

The savory creams from Pan-o-Pan

Lots of baguette and spreads/patés

Olives (what's the cheapest place for these? Commercial Dr.?)

Cake (need a big cheap slab cake? Suggestions?

If anyone has any tips on where to find good cheap stuff, please send 'em my way. I need to get most of the shopping done tonight/tomorrow. Eeek!

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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If you've got a wok and some veggie oil - buy a box of those prawn crackers (shrimp chips?) from Chinese-foods grocery. They swell - in a variety of pastel colors (pink, white, green, orange, yellow) - and soon the horn of plenty is filled. The grease sure helps, too.

Memo

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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I'll second Costco - one stop shopping - grab a hunk of Asiago, some buns, a bunch of deli trays and the slab o' cake. If you still have $$ leftover for sushi - Samurai Sushi on Cambie between 42nd and 42rd - pretty decent and cheap cheap cheap!

Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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Heh heh, Memphis Blues is on the list, as is Fujiya. I thought of both those places about 5min after posting the original message. :smile:

I tried to engineer an outing to Costco but every single coworker with a Costco card has let them expire over the last couple of months. Might have to hit up Mr Cat's brother and his card tonight. I was also thinking of just baking a metric assload of cupcakes tonight.

Keep the ideas coming. You guys rule!

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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Not knowing if you have access to cooking facilities, I'll pretend you do.

Head on down to your favourite noodle joint and stock up on frozen dumplings/dim sum. Steam in bamboo steamers, serve in the steamer or individually on oriental soup spoons with a drizzle of sauce.

Boom. Catering.

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Thanks all for the great suggestions :smile: Mr Cat's brother gave us our very own Costco card on his business account, so now we can buy crap by the wheelbarrow-load.

The final menu, clocking in at just under $200, is:

Samosas from the place at 49th and Fraser

Fujiya sushi

Pan-o-Pan shells with savory cream fillings

Fresh vegetables with a dip from Mamacat's recipe files

Chutney cheese torte, also from the Mamacat files

Hot crab dip, again courtesy Mamacat

Pastry-clad brie and cranberry (M&M meats)

Spinach mini quiches (homemade, with help from the 180 MINI TART SHELLS FOR $15 :shock: from Costco)

Bruschetta

Cheese plate (St. Andre and Herb-crusted chevre from Costco, with the megapack of variety crackers)

Assorted bread things

And, to appease the proletariat masses, the ubiquitous:

Spinach dip

Chips and salsa

Shrimp ring

And someone's ordering pizza in the middle of all that too. Oh, and we have a giant chocolate buttercream cake that will feed a small army.

Anyway, thanks for all the great ideas. I'm sure the bland palates of the science crowd I'm feeding this all to will scarf it all down. Next time I will ask for - nay, demand, a bigger budget.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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You know - Costco may just suprise you. I find that the meat is excellent quality (though the butchering is not much to speak of) and they are carrying more and more organic items. Their olive oil is quite good and cheap enough to be used in everything. They stock local guys like Que Pasa in bulk. They also have really great cookbooks on sale at prices that are insanity.

They only make a 15% margin on all their products and make a point of paying their employees well and given them very good benefits.

In fact - if they started stocking organic meat - Whole Foods would see alot less of me.

Good luck with your party - $200 for all those people - wow.

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Elvis Platters?

The "mind boggles" and the "gut gurgles" at the prospect...deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches?

I was in the same disgusted boat about the Elvis sandwich, until I tried one courtesy of Canucklehead last weekend. It was not bad - and it had bacon in it. I would not eat this on any sort of regular basis, but if I ever felt my cholesterol getting dangerously low, I would not turn one away. Seriously.

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The final menu, clocking in at just under $200, is:

[snip!]

Will you post some photos? I'm most curious in seeing the 180 mini-spinach quiche in particular and what a $200 spread for for 65 people looks like in general. My last service for 7 cost around $200 ( :huh: ) so a lesson in economy might be in order.

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Is it just me or is anyone else uncomfortable with the words budget and sushi being used in the same sentence?

Depends on whether a qualifier (e.g. "tuna") is in that sentence. I've had budget sushi before: the lab once ordered a $25 tray which gave up about 50 pieces of maki (something like 4 egg, 4 salmon, 42 cucumber but I digress…).

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You know - Costco may just suprise you.  I find that the meat is excellent quality (though the butchering is not much to speak of) and they are carrying more and more organic items.  Their olive oil is quite good and cheap enough to be used in everything.  They stock local guys like Que Pasa in bulk. They also have really great cookbooks on sale at prices that are insanity.

They only make a 15% margin on all their products and make a point of paying their employees well and given them very good benefits.

In fact - if they started stocking organic meat - Whole Foods would see alot less of me.

Good luck with your party - $200 for all those people - wow.

.....and fresh non-farmed salmon ...... so much farm raised atlantic salmon, and farmed trout at Costco, I'm sort of surprised there's such a market for it (the salmon that is). I guess it's really inexpensive (I didn't even check the prices)?

Thanks for the comment regarding the olive oil, I always wondered about it, whether it was reasonably good quality or not.

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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