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Best "Family Platters" for Big Dinners at Home?

Best "Family Platters" for Big Dinners at Home?
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  • Best "Family Platters" for Big Dinners at Home?

    Post #1 - January 7th, 2022, 4:32 pm
    Post #1 - January 7th, 2022, 4:32 pm Post #1 - January 7th, 2022, 4:32 pm
    I love getting big tins of food from restaurants and then heating up in oven and serving up to big family dinners at home.

    But I HATE buying "8 servings of Biryani" or whatever. I LOVE getting a good deal on big "Family platters" or Full trays/Half trays of something yummy.

    Lately I've been getting the family platter in a big tray from Sheeba Mandi -- Lamb and Chicken, Mandi, Zurbian etc with lots of yummy rice.

    Any other ideas out there?
  • Post #2 - January 7th, 2022, 6:23 pm
    Post #2 - January 7th, 2022, 6:23 pm Post #2 - January 7th, 2022, 6:23 pm
    Have you tried Gaetano’s in Forest Park? The lasagna and eggplant parm trays are excellent. He has rotating weekly specials too. While not inexpensive, I consider them a good value because the quality is so high and the leftovers never go to waste.
  • Post #3 - January 7th, 2022, 8:11 pm
    Post #3 - January 7th, 2022, 8:11 pm Post #3 - January 7th, 2022, 8:11 pm
    Depending on what you consider a "deal," and how far you're willing to travel for this, check through the catering menus of your favorite places.

    Whenever I'm on the hunt for something similar, I just talk to someone at a restaurant that I like, and explain the situation with a general idea of what foods they make the I like, and would lend itself to reheating, or heating at home. Most restaurants would LOVE to work with you if they have someone knowledgeable about the operations, and not a worker bee that just thinks food for ten means ten sep entrees in ten styrofoam clamshells.

    Grocery stores that can be trusted can excel at something like this. When Marianos had Todd's BBQ in them, I could always count on them for better than avg bbq feasts with sides and errthing. Mexican grocers like La Casa Del Pueblo and Jimenez have hooked me up with some REALLY good big meals for ten + with far less hassle than you'd think, and prices that made me question what some other places are smokin.

    I'd also suggest Middle Eastern and Indian grocers that have prepared hot foods that you know are good. Off the beaten path, I know for a fact that I could hit Harlem Grocery down there near 100th and Harlem and ask for a bunch of falafel, stuffed falafels, greezy cheese stuffed "pies" and fresh from the oven, hot pita, lavash, fantastic hummus and baba g, all kinds of olives, hot pepper relish, labneh, then at home I could grill or bake some chicken parts, grill some steak parts and veggies, crisp the falafel and warm the pita in the oven, and have an absolutely STELLAR feast for dirt cheap. And I mean it would be FANTASTIC. You might have to call a few days ahead depending on how many falafel you'd want, but they usually have several dozen on hand early, especial on a Saturday. That's just an idea. One gentleman at the counter assured me if I called ahead of time, they'd be happy to work with me on hot foods, and special spicy sauces to go with them.

    Pick a restaurant you like, and ask them. I usually go in with the mindset of, "I'm trying to pay you for your service. I am here, TRYING to pay you." I guarantee you that there will be restaurants chomping at the bit for your business. I also let them know that I understand some of the things that will make their lives easier - like if I'm planning on replating or serving the stuff in their foil pans? Just tell them - "listen - no need for it to be fancy, just slop it right in the pan, less work for you - it's all good. No napkins or silverware to worry about, just give me the food in pans, and I will come get it, and pay you money so you can make a profit. EASY PEASY."

    On the cheap, Costco's a sneaky play, too. Before you brush me off, some of their food is more edible than I'd like to admit, it's just in HUGE portions, ie.
    Shepherd's Pie, that Kirkland Pulled Pork in the refrig section is worth it for the ease to price ratio. A little pricier is that refrigerated "Sliced Roasted Sirloin" Plus, they've got rolls, desserts, and chips and mashed taters and shit in massive quantities.

    Just ideas - tryna help.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #4 - January 8th, 2022, 8:43 am
    Post #4 - January 8th, 2022, 8:43 am Post #4 - January 8th, 2022, 8:43 am
    Sheeba Mandi House on W Foster in North Park for copious platters of wonderful, fresh Yemeni food and reasonably priced. Order online. Highly recommended.
  • Post #5 - January 8th, 2022, 10:16 am
    Post #5 - January 8th, 2022, 10:16 am Post #5 - January 8th, 2022, 10:16 am
    Big Guys sausage has family meal deals as well as "family pack" or trays of food to order. Their food is a notch above typical fastfood.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #6 - January 8th, 2022, 12:57 pm
    Post #6 - January 8th, 2022, 12:57 pm Post #6 - January 8th, 2022, 12:57 pm
    seebee wrote:Depending on what you consider a "deal," and how far you're willing to travel for this, check through the catering menus of your favorite places.

    Whenever I'm on the hunt for something similar, I just talk to someone at a restaurant that I like, and explain the situation with a general idea of what foods they make the I like, and would lend itself to reheating, or heating at home. Most restaurants would LOVE to work with you if they have someone knowledgeable about the operations, and not a worker bee that just thinks food for ten means ten sep entrees in ten styrofoam clamshells.

    Grocery stores that can be trusted can excel at something like this. When Marianos had Todd's BBQ in them, I could always count on them for better than avg bbq feasts with sides and errthing. Mexican grocers like La Casa Del Pueblo and Jimenez have hooked me up with some REALLY good big meals for ten + with far less hassle than you'd think, and prices that made me question what some other places are smokin.

    I'd also suggest Middle Eastern and Indian grocers that have prepared hot foods that you know are good. Off the beaten path, I know for a fact that I could hit Harlem Grocery down there near 100th and Harlem and ask for a bunch of falafel, stuffed falafels, greezy cheese stuffed "pies" and fresh from the oven, hot pita, lavash, fantastic hummus and baba g, all kinds of olives, hot pepper relish, labneh, then at home I could grill or bake some chicken parts, grill some steak parts and veggies, crisp the falafel and warm the pita in the oven, and have an absolutely STELLAR feast for dirt cheap. And I mean it would be FANTASTIC. You might have to call a few days ahead depending on how many falafel you'd want, but they usually have several dozen on hand early, especial on a Saturday. That's just an idea. One gentleman at the counter assured me if I called ahead of time, they'd be happy to work with me on hot foods, and special spicy sauces to go with them.

    Pick a restaurant you like, and ask them. I usually go in with the mindset of, "I'm trying to pay you for your service. I am here, TRYING to pay you." I guarantee you that there will be restaurants chomping at the bit for your business. I also let them know that I understand some of the things that will make their lives easier - like if I'm planning on replating or serving the stuff in their foil pans? Just tell them - "listen - no need for it to be fancy, just slop it right in the pan, less work for you - it's all good. No napkins or silverware to worry about, just give me the food in pans, and I will come get it, and pay you money so you can make a profit. EASY PEASY."

    On the cheap, Costco's a sneaky play, too. Before you brush me off, some of their food is more edible than I'd like to admit, it's just in HUGE portions, ie.
    Shepherd's Pie, that Kirkland Pulled Pork in the refrig section is worth it for the ease to price ratio. A little pricier is that refrigerated "Sliced Roasted Sirloin" Plus, they've got rolls, desserts, and chips and mashed taters and shit in massive quantities.

    Just ideas - tryna help.


    Awesome tips, thanks!!
  • Post #7 - January 8th, 2022, 4:58 pm
    Post #7 - January 8th, 2022, 4:58 pm Post #7 - January 8th, 2022, 4:58 pm
    Can't speak highly enough of Psistaria on this front. My experience is that they'll scale up any dish on the menu to meet your specific needs. They tend to be really busy at peak times, so if you need something then, I'd suggest calling in advance.

    =R=

    4711 W Touhy Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    (847) 676-9400
    psistaria.com
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #8 - January 9th, 2022, 9:55 am
    Post #8 - January 9th, 2022, 9:55 am Post #8 - January 9th, 2022, 9:55 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Can't speak highly enough of Psistaria on this front. My experience is that they'll scale up any dish on the menu to meet your specific needs. They tend to be really busy at peak times, so if you need something then, I'd suggest calling in advance.

    =R=

    4711 W Touhy Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    (847) 676-9400
    psistaria.com

    I second this. Food is excellent and they worked with us for a party a few years ago that had people asking where the great food came from.
  • Post #9 - January 9th, 2022, 4:12 pm
    Post #9 - January 9th, 2022, 4:12 pm Post #9 - January 9th, 2022, 4:12 pm
    Couple other spots that came to mind:

    -Kabobi or noon o kabab with a side of great seas lollipop wings
    -Baccold chicken house has a family meal type package. (I'm blanking on the names of it)
    -As another poster mentioned, international grocery stores are a great place for catering dishes. I know smaller Korean grocery stores always did lots of these orders in the past. I believe joong boo still does and I would imagine the stalls at hmart and assi would oblige as well
  • Post #10 - January 20th, 2022, 6:47 pm
    Post #10 - January 20th, 2022, 6:47 pm Post #10 - January 20th, 2022, 6:47 pm
    Hey Folks,

    Just wanted to throw Pearls Southern Comfort in the ring. We do a considerable amount of catering for groups (Actually it's mostly large party trays to go). We find our New Orleans style comfort food travels well and feeds a crowd. Most of our items are available in half and full pans. Jambalaya's, Mac and Cheese, Red bean's and rice, Gumbo by the Gallons, etc. Our BBQ is also a big hit, sold by the lb. and racks of ribs. Going into Mardi Gras thought this might come in handy for folks throwing parties. We also have King Cakes for sale we get shipped in from Gambino's bakery in Nola for $35. Call ahead to reserve for pick up. Pricing is on our website under Catering.

    Thanks, Danny


    https://www.pearlschicago.com
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #11 - January 20th, 2022, 7:44 pm
    Post #11 - January 20th, 2022, 7:44 pm Post #11 - January 20th, 2022, 7:44 pm
    jhawk1 wrote:Hey Folks,

    Just wanted to throw Pearls Southern Comfort in the ring. We do a considerable amount of catering for groups (Actually it's mostly large party trays to go). We find our New Orleans style comfort food travels well and feeds a crowd. Most of our items are available in half and full pans. Jambalaya's, Mac and Cheese, Red bean's and rice, Gumbo by the Gallons, etc. Our BBQ is also a big hit, sold by the lb. and racks of ribs. Going into Mardi Gras thought this might come in handy for folks throwing parties. We also have King Cakes for sale we get shipped in from Gambino's bakery in Nola for $35. Call ahead to reserve for pick up. Pricing is on our website under Catering.

    Thanks, Danny


    https://www.pearlschicago.com


    Do you do Muffalettas? There’s another thread discussing who does them and thought you might.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #12 - January 20th, 2022, 8:05 pm
    Post #12 - January 20th, 2022, 8:05 pm Post #12 - January 20th, 2022, 8:05 pm
    We only do by request for parties on 3 foot French bread. Gets about 18 slices out of each. We make our own Olive salad. We have been serving for years at our crawfish boils at Toons.
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #13 - February 7th, 2022, 1:40 pm
    Post #13 - February 7th, 2022, 1:40 pm Post #13 - February 7th, 2022, 1:40 pm
    Mrs. Murphy's on Lincoln (just South of Irving Park) has a Family Meal. We ordered the Beef and Guinness Stew (a tad salty) and it came with mashed potatoes and bread. It came out in a covered half sheet aluminum pan and the potatoes in a large take out container. There's also ribs and a corned beef dinner. It's not the bargain of the Century, but $50 seems like a reasonable price to serve at least 4-6.

    Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro
    3905 N Lincoln
    Chicago Illinois 60613
    Tel: 773-248-3905
    https://irishbistro.com/

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