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Food and Cakes

Themed Menus?

My guy is really interested in the menu (and not a whole lot else) but he's kind of stagnating on ideas.

Right now we're thinking about a gourmet comfort food cocktail hour, followed by an international themed buffet dinner featuring several stations.

For the comfort food cocktail hour, we're thinking:
- Mashed potato bar (regular and sweet)
- Sliders (passed by waiters)
- Small grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters (passed by waiters)
- Mac & cheese balls (passed by waiters - fried?)

Any other ideas for comfort foods that can be made gourmet and passed by waiters?  We don't want to do pizza as we're serving pizza as a late night snack.

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For dinner, we're struggling to come up with a cohesive menu that features international cuisine.  I studied abroad in China & Spain, he studied abroad in Hungary, and we've traveled together to Costa Rica, Mexico, Austria, Germany, and France (so far).  We also live in Miami, which is big on Cuban food.  So he wants to focus on foods that are part of our history.

Any ideas on how to tie together a buffet with themed international stations?  What stations would you recommend?  Are stations enough, or do the lines get super long with 175 guests? 

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Re: Themed Menus?

  • tesskerrtesskerr member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Is there something a little healthier you could have for your "comfot food" maybe, as I am a bit of a health/low fat freak and would feel super full after mashed potato, grilled cheese and mac and cheese!
    For your buffet, you could pick one type of cusine for the "starter" type dishes, eg chinese/asian. Then another type of cusine for the "main" type dishes eg cuban, and then another type for your desserts eg french (macarons yum!) then your late night snacks could be italian, your pizza.
    You could maybe name your guests tables by countries that you have been too, and try and tie the food in that way.
  • edited December 2011
    I think stations can work well for what you're thinking of doing.  If you had three stations, you could have a Cuban food station, a Chinese food station, and a German food station (for example).  People would go to whichever one interested them most first, so I don't think the lines would be terrible.  I don't know that each guest would take from all the stations, or at least not in the same pass through.  You would probably want to talk with your caterer/venue to see how many stations you could comfortably do in your space.  I would pick which foods you want and make the stations distinctly themed to that country, otherwise it could look a little haphazard.  

    For the cocktail hour, you could add on a veggie tray for a healthier option.  Mini pot pies?

  • topchef33topchef33 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Could you do something like Cuban sandwiches or tortas? You could slice them into small portions.

    Maybe you could do a light pizza, like a margherita pizza, for those wanting to be a little healthier.

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  • edited December 2011
    Fun!  For the stations, I'd break it into Asian, Latin, & Euro cuisine.  You could then feature the specific food items within each?
  • Nati05Nati05 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I agree! Do stations and break them up into regions. In each region you can offer the foods from all your favorite countries. That way you haven't left anything out AND you're not overwhelming your crowd with a billion stations. I also agree with the PP about stations and wait lines. It's not quite the same as a buffet, where there's only one or ocassionally two. In this case, you're working with several different stations so your guests will be broken up around the room.

    As a guest I would find this really fun and exciting, trying out things from different stations! And you know, to make things a little personal, you could even include pics or short stories of you and your FI in those different countries, at each station. Then everybody knows a little bit more about you as a couple and they can have fun going to each station not only trying out the foods but also checking out all the pics/ stories. I think that would be cute! :)
  • calindicalindi member
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Oooh, I like the regions rather than the countries!  Asian, Latin, and European works really well!  Thanks, ladies!

    I'll throw this idea and your suggestions at our caterer and see what comes of it!

    As far as healthy during cocktail hour, we'd probably also have a veggie and fruit display - my guy is a total health nut, too, and I think he'd freak with just heavy dairy comfort foods!  Maybe like 'corn on the cob'?  Or... hmm... trying to think of veggie based comfort foods! 

    Maybe we could also have a display table set out during cocktail hour like a picnic for self-serve?  We often do picnics with different cheeses, meats, fresh fruits, vegetables, pickles, olives, and nuts... that might be fun, yes?  Would that go with the comfort food theme for cocktail hour?

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  • sammynysammyny member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Pigs in a blanket, French fries, Pizza bites, Swedish meatballs, Chicken fingers, fried okra, popcorn, rice balls, chocolate covered pretzels, chicken soup, anything wrapped in bacon, PB&J sandwiches (on bread cut in quarters - with and without crust), bananas slices dipped in chocolate, ice cream in mini cones... I'm getting hungry.

    I'd be afraid of serving tomato soup should someone spill on themselves ... nice stain! Also,. I agree that mashed potatoes are a heavy starch for a starter.

  • edited December 2011
    what an interesting idea!
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  • edited December 2011
    If you're having a hard time working things in, there are plenty of foods from the countries you mentioned that you can work into the comfort food cocktail hour. Germany and Hungary both server spaetzel, German Wurst instead of sliders, Austra's big into pretzels. As mentioned, french fries, but call them "pom frites" and give people tiny little forks so they're French, plus they won't get grease all over their clothes! :)

    Have these things passed, and then incorporate the table you mentioned with different types of cheeses, breads/crackers, and fruits/veggies. Once you get to the meal, you'll be free to focus on a few different cuisines (at that point Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, and China?)  for dinner instead of trying to figure out how to incorporate a bunch of different ones.
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