janetofreno's Profile

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Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

First of all, the venue requires a liability policy that includes alcohol liability and that's handled. Secondly, the event will go from around 6pm to 11...that's more like 5 hours in my book.

That being said, I do plan on some of the salads being more substantial (potato, bean, etc) and thinking of the cold fried chicken idea. But do you really consider chili and sandwiches to be "appetizers and snacks"?

Don't worry, I've never thrown a party where there wasn't excess food, and I don't intend to start now:-)

Apr 20, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Actually, we are hiring someone (normally our cleaning lady) to help. And there will be someone to help pour the beer. I'm aware of the custom that in Japan folks always pour for each other, but it could be a friend or family member as well.

Apr 20, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics
1

Marysville, CA area Indian??

Update: As expected, DH's work only took 30 minutes or so, so I just waited and checked up on my emails while he finished. Don't worry, he was well-compensated:-) When he was done, we headed off together to explore Yuba City. As we were driving into town, we stopped to get gas, and asked the Punjabi cashier what her favorite Indian places were. She told us she liked a place on Bridge St, and gave vague directions, but couldn't remember the name. So we cruised Bridge St, and several other main streets in town. Frankly, we didn't find a SINGLE Indian business, much less a restaurant or a Punjabi/Mexican place. We were starting to get REALLY hungry (we'd only had a very light breakfast and nothing else to eat all day, and it was after noon). We had just about agreed to settle for a taqueria we'd passed, when DH spotted Raley's. Dhillon's Pizza it was! (BTW, its not easy to find; tucked away in a corner of the shopping center...).

Well, admittedly we were very hungry, but we both really liked it! We ordered a large (hey, we were hungry!) punjabi veggie combo. It was in the 15 dollar range, and very large. It had a good crust, with just a bit of chew, and was layered with fresh mozzarella, sauce (Not tomato, rather what you would expect in an Indian curry dish), and lots of veggies: zucchini, olives, mushrooms, onions, diced tomato, cilantro, etc. We got it as recommended: with extra serranos, garlic and fresh ginger on top. Yum! It paired perfectly with a local IPA (Forgot the name, sorry). The large pizza was large and filling...we ate about half and took the rest home for tonight.

DH has to go back later this week to deliver some extra equipment the customer wanted, and he's thinking about going back to check out their spinach/paneer pizza. I hope he brings me back some! Definitely worth the stop! The service was good and the staff friendly. You can also build your own pizza; might want to do that next time and experiment a bit:-)

Apr 19, 2015
janetofreno in California

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

I happen to like bagel sandwiches. They hold up better, imo. And Rounds Bakery in Reno (relatively new place) makes pretty decent bagels and has some great bagel sandwiches in creative and very tasty vegetarian options. I've tried them:-) Sure, it might not be Brooklyn, but it's good.

Apr 19, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Marysville, CA area Indian??

oohh...I remember reading that thread on punjabi/mexican and thinking I would like to check it out. I have always found similarities between Mexican and Indian cuisines (and I love both!)...similar ingredients in many cases. In my house, when we eat "chapati" we are really eating flour tortillas...and we make Indian burritos all the time!

I knew Yuba City had the largest Punjabi population; may have to go check it out. Who knows, might even try the pizza...:-) THanks!!

Apr 19, 2015
janetofreno in California

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

So do I...but wondering where in town I can find decent mochi....

Apr 19, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Marysville, CA area Indian??

DH has to travel to Marysville, CA unexpectedly on business today. And I am going along to keep him company. I hear that there is a large East Indian population in the area, and we are always ready to try new Indian restaurants for lunch...so do hounds have any favorites hidden gems in the area? He promised to treat if I came along....

Apr 19, 2015
janetofreno in California

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Hey, I said nothing about Japanese decor. And its inside/out: food will be served inside the ranch house but folks will be free to wander out to the lawns and terraces outside to eat, or stay inside if it rains...as they choose. Amplified music has to be inside the building per park regs, so that might direct the party more inside as the evening goes on anyway. The decor will be simple, with a Western theme as I stated before (mainly because the building already has a western theme, and I have no desire to try and cover the existing artwork:-) The color scheme, at least of the cake, will mimic the colors of the Japanese flag (red and white, which are also the Japanese wedding colors apparently). Since my husband is from India, and red is also the color of weddings in India, it works for us. Of course, my Cal roots don't like anything red, so we might have to compromise on the table decorations:-)

But seriously, this is more of a celebration than a formal wedding (which, if you will recall will have happened the month before). And from my limited experience in Japan, the Japanese LOVE picnics. Especially if there is plenty of beer involved. Go to any park on a holiday in Japan and it will be packed with groups of folks eating and drinking beer and sake and even dancing on the terraces. (I witnessed this personally at Yoyogi Park during Golden Week:-) So I figure our Japanese guests will fit right in...:-)

And we are a pretty eclectic family anyway....:-)

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Yes, we decided no sushi. No shrimp plates either, mainly because of freshness concerns. Rice cracker snack mix on the tables, yes, along with some Indian snacks (ghantia, etc).

As far as other alcoholic drinks, we are planning champagne for a toast, of course. And probably other wine as well. As for Arnold Palmers, the Iced tea and lemonade will be served side-by-side in big self-serve dispensers; I assume some folks will make their own APs. Isn't that how everyone drinks iced tea? (Its what I always do:-)

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Well, its not catering in the classic sense, in that the purveyors in all cases are businesses that primarily do on site restaurant business, but also offer food to go/food to be delivered. They will not be serving the food and they understand this. Is the pizza delivery man liable if he delivers pizza and you have food someone else produced in the house that makes folks sick? Will everyone assume its the pizza? If I went to the bagel store and bought bagels and bagel sandwiches to go, do they assume that their food will be all we eat for a meal? What if add my own fruit? If you are a restaurant and are delivering food somewhere, do you care if its eaten in less than ideal circumstances? Do you only deliver to places that meet your requirements? I don't think I want to live in a world that complicated. OTOH, I can understand them not wanting to have their foods compared to fast foods/simple sandwiches, which is why I posted the question in the first place. In all three cases I mentioned to them that theirs would not be the only food served, but I will remind them. As far as the venue itself is concerned, we are self-catering. Its a park, and everyone knows this. Nothing fancy. This is meant to be a casual event. I laughed when my sister (no, not the one on chowhound;-) called and asked me if she should buy a dress for the occasion...

Apr 18, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Actually, I was thinking of doing that. Knowing my son and his friends (he moonlights as a DJ) there will be a lot of dancing, and I thought a round of sandwiches at 10 or so might go over well....plus it will absorb some of the beer:-)

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Food trucks would be fun, but there is probably just enough parking for guests...no driveway or other area nearby where a food truck could fit. If I had one or two they would take up precious parking spots. That's why I thought the ice cream bicycle would be fun...sort of a similar idea but on a much smaller scale, and he can actually bring it inside the venue should it rain (I know he can, because I have been at an event at the same venue where he was inside. That's where I got the idea). And in the drought this area is having, I am not allowed to pray for no rain. The best I can do is have a venue that allows for that (admittedly small) possibility.....

Apr 18, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

This is a very general and probably overly long post, and for that I apologize. But I am looking for chowhound input/opinions...so don't be afraid to give yours. There is a recently re-activated thread on "Not About Food" about "the worst wedding reception food you ever had" and I am living in fear of being a post on that thread...:-)

Background: My son is being married this summer. There are actually two wedding celebrations planned: the first a formal church wedding in Tokyo where he lives (yes, a church wedding. His fiance is Japanese but she is also Catholic, a somewhat unusual combination...). That one is easy, all I have to do is show up bearing gifts:-)

But I have volunteered to host a second celebration in August here in Reno, NV where we live. This is for the many friends and family who can't swing a trip to Japan. We expect around 75 guests. It will be an eclectic group: my son's future inlaws are making the trip across the pond to come, and members of my husband's family (of East Indian descent) will also be there (they are all vegetarian, although not vegan). Then there is my family, who will eat almost anything although some do have religious restrictions, and my son's equally eclectic mix of 30-something and in their late 20s friends. If there is a food "need" out there (vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, kosher, halal, gluten-free, whatever) it is there. (Yes, we have family/friends who are some of each of those...). I may not be able to totally cater to this diverse a group, but I am going to try. I would like everyone to have at least enough food they can enjoy and can eat. The situation is complicated by the fact that money IS an object.

After exploring various catering options in Reno, we have found that there are several who have items we love and will fit into the menu/price range, but that no one caterer has exactly what we want. The venue is indoor/outdoor in a local park, and it will be warm. In addition, the venue has no full kitchen on site (there is water, electricity and refrigeration available) so items must be prepared in advance. We intend to have items delivered, and serve buffet style (We will provide onsite help, so the caterers won't be expected to actually be there). We have a Western theme for the event, and want to have picnic-style food that is easy to eat but filling. A barbecue would be ideal but it won't work with the large numbers of a) vegetarians and b) folks who don't eat pork (what's a barbecue without pork ribs;-)? We figure given the time of year and picnic theme it will be fine if the food is mostly served cold.

Proposed menu: My husband insists on some Indian food items, so a local Indian caterer will be doing samosas, chutneys, and similar snacks. There will be a variety of sandwiches (some made with bagels), veggies, chips, salsa, dips, hummus, salads, sliced watermelon, etc. I am planning a big crock pot (or several) of vegetarian chili. There will be no items containing beef or pork. Any items containing meat (a few of the sandwiches) will be on a separate buffet table so it is clear to the guests what they might want to eat). The food will come from a couple of local caterers that will deliver. Of course there will be some type of wedding cake, but we are also having a local guy who has an ice cream bicycle come (think of a mini food truck on a bicycle with a small freezer on the back). He will be serving his hand-made ice cream in four flavors, one of which will actually be a sorbet and thus non-dairy.

How does that sound food-wise? Is the mix too crazy? I considered sushi, but don't want it sitting around in warm weather. There will be a nod to our new Japanese family in the color scheme and a few other details. Might have some of those Japanese crackers/snack mix in bowls on the table.

Also, here is a tricky question: our son worked for many years (throughout his college days) at a local sandwich shop (national chain) known for their delivery service. They do party platters, and he would like to have some of their sandwiches as part of the options (some of his former co-workers, and his former boss - who was very good to him over the years - will probably be in attendance, and he wants to give them the business). If you were a local caterer that was somewhat more upscale than a chain sandwich shop, would you be insulted to note that your food was being served alongside what is essentially fast food? Am I being overly sensitive? I don't like sandwiches in most any form, but I am trying to keep everyone happy, and it is after all his wedding. They are cheap enough, so if nothing else I figure those who are really hungry will have extra food...The event will start around dinner time and go well into the evening, and I want at least snacks available should folks get hungry around 10pm....

Thanks for listening and for any thoughts on these or other food ideas. I don't want to do any cooking myself, but do need to keep costs down as mentioned earlier... Reading all the chowhound posts about requests for certain wedding foods doesn't help:-) My son isn't a big help either: other than the requested sandwich platters mentioned above all he says is "I want my friends to have plenty to eat and plenty of beer." (and he is in Japan, so his help in planning is problematic anyway. The beer is handled: there will be an IPA and a darker beer on tap from a local brewery.....Also planning lemonade and ice-tea for the non-drinkers.

Apr 18, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Los Pepes Reno

Update: DH and I had plans to cook tonight, but it was a day with a lot of honeydos for us both, and afterwards we sat with a beer on the deck, and, well, suffice it to say we just didn't feel like cooking....but we were dirty and I had paint all over me from painting the new railing on our front porch...so Dos Pepes seemed like a perfect choice for a place that might accept our disheveled look.

First of all, the English speaking waitress was nowhere to be seen, and there is apparently no printed menu yet, so a little Spanish will be helpful if you go. May I recommend "Dos tacos de carnitas y uno de pollo con arroz y frijoles" ? :-) DH settled for "un burrito con todo pero sin carne". Our meals came with some more of those home made chips and three types of salsa (red, green, and pico de gallo). All were delicious, and they gladly brought more salsa when we ran out. We also had a side order of quacamole. I asked about albondigas and birria, and was told they had been available earlier in the day but were out. This doesn't surprise me, as it was less than an hour before their closing time. I was also heartened to see a good crowd; several large families were enjoying Sunday dinner together. We were definitely the only gringos in the place.

The food was all delicious, and my tacos were made with those same huge tortillas hecho a mano. The carnitas were tasty, tender bites of pork goodness without a bit of excess grease. The guacamole was fresh made and chunky; the way I like it. We were stuffed. The bill for BOTH of us (before tip) was eight dollars. (We only drank water). You heard that right. Eight bucks. We felt downright guilty.

Another note: they only take cash. But don't worry, you won't need much:-)

Mar 29, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

So's my husband:-) Plus he's a good gardener, and that's worth more than something...

Mar 29, 2015
janetofreno in Not About Food

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

LOl...thought of this thread today, and appreciated all the comments as I reread them. No, divorce is not an option:-) I have pretty well decided that I will let him buy staples and household supplies, but if its produce I just have to get it myself (other than citrus and avocados, which he usually gets right:-). Fortunately, in summer and fall it is a non-issue, as DH is a very talented gardener and grows most of our veggies during season. But tonight I am planning a recipe that calls for half and half. I gave him a list for his trip yesterday am that asked for "1/2 and 1/2" but there was none when he returned. "I didn't know what that meant!" was his reason (and I resisted the temptation to point out that he does have a working cell phone...). So he went back to the store to get it, and came back again with fat free half and half! I'm sorry, but fat free cream is kind of like decaf coffee...what's the point? Plus I worry about additives. Sigh.....

Reno chowdown: Superb meal at Gaman Ramen

Really enjoyed it as well, thanks for organizing! The noodles are excellent btw. I also had the pork; DH had the miso (which I tasted, it is very good, and as you said not very salty. He was happy to find a good vegetarian option at a ramen place!). Would also like to note that the service was fast and friendly. The room is small but attractive; we will definitely be back. BTW, that 20 per person included drinks (mostly the ginger beer you mentioned) and a generous tip.

Mar 16, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Los Pepes Reno

Don't worry; I figure birria in the am and ramen in the evening is pretty much a perfect Sunday! :-)

Mar 14, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Los Pepes Reno

As I mentioned elsewhere, this taqueria is the latest reincarnation of the building at the corner of Wells and Winston in Reno (across Wells and slightly north from the Livestock Events Center). Most recently it was a panaderia, which I loved, but sadly it closed just a few months after opening. (DH and I have a theory that customers stopped coming because it was unbearably hot inside....a combination of ovens, big southeast-facing windows that make the place resemble a greenhouse, and inadequate air conditioning).

Well, first of all, I am happy to say that the heat problem seems to have been solved. It was warm inside, but not unbearably so. And I heard the distinct humm of an air conditioner. Furthermore, large ceiling fans have been installed. They weren't running today, but hopefully they will have them on come summer. Furthermore, the place has been nicely re-decorated with bright paint in several colors and a clean, airy feel.

I went in around 10:30 am, and was the only person in the house. It is open from 6am every day, and would make a good breakfast place (particularly if you were attending an event at the Livestock Center). I was planning on Huevos Rancheros, but then saw a sign at the door "Today's Special: Albondigas with corn tortillas hecho a mano. $5.00" Who could resist??

The soup was a medium-sized portion, with two HUGE meatballs and plenty of vegetables in a beefy broth. Not too salty but a bit of a kick. The meatballs were tender, with a fair amount of rice mixed in. Delicioso! It came with a side of some chipotle salsa (which I ignored), along with home-made chips and a tasty salsa verde. And the promised tortillas. Yes, they were hand-made (well, maybe with a tortilla press:-) and they were HUGE (seven to eight inches in diameter). They came in a tortilla warmer and there were four of them...more than I intended to eat, but they tasted so good! I ate every bite and thought of my twin Susan. I've been trying to get her to visit my new place in Reno...maybe the knowledge that there is a decent bowl of albondigas with tortillas hecho a mano within easy walking distance will lure her?? :-)

There is no sign yet, so I asked for the name. I guess a couple of Pepes own the place. The server was friendly and efficient and spoke perfect English. (Although another woman - whom I had noticed cooking in the back; you can see into the kitchen from the counter - did come and offer me more tortillas in Spanish. I wish I would have had room for them!).

I felt guilty about paying only 5 bucks for so much delicious food, so I left about a 50% tip. I still got off cheap:-) I hope some of the Reno hounds will give them some well-deserved business. As for me, I'll be back (maybe even Sunday:-) for the advertised "Birria on weekends"

Mar 12, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Random Reno notes: New Middle Eastern and a Panaderia

Further update: the building the panaderia was in has been re-incarnated into a taqueria called "Los Pepes." I hope this one lasts...see my separate post on that....

Mar 12, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Do people really (and I mean "really") like Girl Scout Cookies?

I confess to being addicted to Thin Mints. Maybe they put something in them; I don't know...and yes, I've been known to freeze them. Could care less about the others. But Thin Mints are Girl Scout Crack as far as I'm concerned....

Feb 21, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Reno Chowdown: Spectacular meal at Crawfish Asian Cuisine

Hardly much winter this year, Andy, unfortunately. Actually, the night we went was the first night we had solid rain in, well, a long time. Which was good not only for the rain, but because it was good rainy day food. I especially enjoyed the soup. And although DH claims not to be a fan of Chinese food, I think its really that we don't get many great options here in town. He did mention on the way home that along with the shrimp he would love to go back for some more of those pea greens and another bowl of the crab/corn soup...:-)

Feb 11, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Reno Chowdown: Spectacular meal at Crawfish Asian Cuisine

Agreed; it was a great meal! I have a confession: when I invited my husband I played down the fact that it is primarily a Chinese restaurant...as he is not a big fan of that cuisine. I instead told him about the boils; knowing that he always loved the New Orleans versions of crawfish and barbecue shrimp. Well, I'm happy to report that he was VERY happy: comparing the cajun-spiced shrimp to the barbecue shrimp at Pascale Manale's (a dish that he craves and MUST eat every time we go to NOLA:-). He said it was the best shrimp he'd had west of east Texas, and vowed to go back soon for more. Which is fine with me, because I can order those lamb chops and have them all to myself:-). Great meal; thanks for organizing!

Feb 11, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

Not surprising to me. Soups and stews are often the stars of Mexican cooking (if we're talking "real" Mexican cuisine and not Tex-Mex). Mexican chefs excel at both, and they are very important in their cuisine.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

But towards the end of the cooking period Gregory commented that he thought his dish needed more heat, and was seem adding what seemed like ground dried chilis (and possibly cumin?) to his dish. And one of the chefs tasted it and said "This tastes like Mexico." So apparently he got it right.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

I too was a little surprised at how good Padma's Spanish was. My husband says he thought he read she lived in Spain for awhile as a child, but Wikipedia says that she split her time between New York and Chennai (her parents divorced when she was very young). She did apparently do some modeling in Madrid as a young woman, and was the hostess of an Italian TV show for awhile...so obviously she's spent time in Europe. She speaks at least four languages....

Oh, and Linda: not to nitpick, but its "Escamole" not "escamoly" You have it spelled both ways here. The last e in Spanish would be pronounced somewhat like a y would be in English, so I can see why you would be confused. Actually the word sounds kind of like if you combined the words "Eskimo" and "lei".

I'm rooting for Gregory.

Feb 05, 2015
janetofreno in Food Media & News

Chutney, a new Reno Indian restaurant

Sadly, the restaurant has been closed for some time now. Its now a Mexican/Salvadoran place. No good leads for Gopi yogurt, sorry....

Jan 26, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Actually, I interpreted that part to be that he just didn't have the TIME to go out and satisfy his cravings...that he was so wrapped up in his chef duties that he didn't think about much else (and when he did he got lonely/homesick/depressed and ended up trying to fill the emptiness with booze...)...but you might be right about just forgetting his roots.

FWIW, my resident Indian chef (aka DH) absolutely LOVED the movie. More than I did, I think. But of course he's the guy who always found classic French cuisine to be a little boring and a little bland...so the idea that the classics might be better with a little infusion of spice certainly was one he readily accepted:-)

Besides, there ARE NO decent Indian restaurants in Paris:-) Trust me, I've tried to find one....(even asked a security guard at Versailles who was from Pondicherry for his recommendation; went to the place he raved about and was very disappointed...)

Jan 22, 2015
janetofreno in Food Media & News

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Why can't you say "I would rather not take it because of severe side effects. I'd rather you prescribe something else." There is a very common drug where that's the case for me. It won't kill me and won't even make me feel badly that day, but if I do take it (even a little) I know that my next blood test will alarm my docs and cause undue concern and further testing. So I choose not to take it. And I tell new doctors exactly why. Since its a common ingredient in pain medicines my husband knows as well. The doctor who says "just say you are allergic" is not giving people the credit they deserve. That kind of thinking is why people really don't understand how allergies work

Jan 02, 2015
janetofreno in Not About Food

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Be grateful that having your child break out in hives was the worse moment of your life.

I know that sounds callous, and I'm sorry. But trust me, there are far worse things than that in this world. And yes, I can understand being protective after having your child break out in hives...but not because it is the worst thing that ever happens. The reason to be protective is that it is possible that the allergy could escalate to something far worse the next time the child eats the offending food. So hives should be something to deal with and treat, but in a rational manner that will keep the child safe the next time.