Common Plea Catering Comparison

People post on this board all of the time asking about Common Plea catering since it's the only approved vendor at a few popular Pittsburgh wedding venues. We had a chance to direct compare it since our wedding was two weeks ago (I swear I'm coming back to write vendor reviews this week) and then last week we had to go to a black tie event at Heinz History Center, where Common Plea is the only approved caterer.

At our wedding, everybody was talking about how good the food was, which surprised me since even though I was expecting good food it's hard to cater a group of 130 without some blandness. But a huge number of our guests kept mentioning how good the food was over and over again. I think they were surprised too. 

Then the next Saturday I went to this event at HHC. There were about 280 guests there, so the size of a larger wedding, and many of them had paid up to $200 a ticket to attend. I do want to say that the dessert serving was both delicious and beautiful. The salad was a fine salad. But our entire table commented on how bad the entrees were. I had the vegetarian entree, which honestly was fine (mushroom ravioli). But the salmon was totally bland. It was billed as "sugar crusted" but everybody who had it and tasted it said it just tasted broiled with a lemon. And it had a weird gray color to some of it. The beef was definitely overcooked - and it was supposed to have some kind of nut crust that nobody seemed to get either. And it also looked grey. It just was not that enjoyable of a meal. Would I have felt okay serving it to wedding guests? Eh, maybe because I'm not sure that your wedding meal needs to knock their socks off. But at Common Plea prices I would have felt a little let down if this came out at my wedding.

It's just one experience, but it made me really glad we didn't go with a Common Plea venue. Anyway, people are always asking for experiences with Common Plea, so I hope this helps! 

Re: Common Plea Catering Comparison

  • Thanks for sharing this review!  We came very close to going with the Heinz History Center (because I am just so smitten with Pittsburgh and its past) but went against it because of the confusing/complex pricing system of Common Plea. It seemed like the menu pricing made it easy to get expensive fast unless you planned it with painstaking detail.  It's helpful to hear a play-by-play of an event meal catered by the company! 
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