a

asimplecook's Profile

Title Last Reply

Super Affordable Engagement Party?

Hi fellow chowhounds, I could use your advice. I'm planning a family party to celebrate an engagement and am on a tight budget since there are more parties soon thereafter. I'm thinking very low prices -- $15-25 pp. Where should we go? We're looking at about 30-40 people max for lunch OR dinner and are looking for someplace with...

*Private dining, if possible
*Nice, classy ambiance (tough I know on our budget)
*Good food
*Could even be JUST desserts

So far, some of my favorite good value spots for other family gatherings have been Laurel, Gaslight, and China Pearl. Funky factor could be a plus to help make this distinctive from other gatherings. Thanks!!

-----
China Pearl Restaurant
288 Mishawum Rd, Woburn, MA 01801

Sep 26, 2010
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

I want mochi! Where to find a lot of it (and fresh)

Thanks everyone! I think I found fresh ones at Bao Bao Bakery in Chinatown (not Japanese style), but alas... I've had yet another bout of bridal indecisiveness and may do something different all together. A good list nonetheless.

-----
Bao Bao Bakery
77 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA

Jul 27, 2010
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Asian / Chinese Restaurant for Rehearsal Dinner?

So, there's one month to go before the Big Day... and I have a Friday rehearsal dinner to plan for ~70 people, some coming from Boston and others from Providence at $20-25 per person. We'd like to do a Chinese or Asian meal, since the wedding is American style. The problem: we eat WAY too many Chinese banquet meals as regular family events, so we are super critical on our budget.

Where would you go? What would you order?

...Places I've Considered....
Hei-La Moon: Nicest decorations in Boston, big space, give you room private dividers. Great dim sum, but after a bad dinner meal with a test menu (Dinner for 8), poor service, and big stomachache, am likely to cancel my reservation.

China Pearl: Dirty/dingy inside, not really private either (they'll put you in the main room with our party size) but it is a family tradition. Other locations would offer free parking -- how does Quincy restaurant compare in terms of interiors and quality?

East Ocean City: Small, not much to look at, but great food. Can you get a really good meal for our price range?

Minado's: Too expensive. Harder for toasts and our slideshow / privacy. But hopefully less of a chance of stomachaches.

... other places? anyone suggest Jade Garden?

... or a non-Asian place all together!

THANKS in advance!

-----
China Pearl Restaurant
9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

Minado Restaurant
1282 Worcester St, Natick, MA 01760

East Ocean City Restaurant
27 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Jul 26, 2010
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

I want mochi! Where to find a lot of it (and fresh)

At a friend's wedding last year, I was impressed that she had a fresh platter of mochi as part of her reception (It was in Maryland) I would also really like to get a platter of fresh mochi for my own wedding without breaking the bank. I might even consider them as favors.

Can you suggest anyplace I could get them in the Boston/New England area? I'm almost willing to ask a friend bring them up from NYC a few days beforehand if anyone has reccs there even. (Besides the pre-refrigerated ones at Hmart or C-Mart)

Jun 20, 2010
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Mexican Wedding Cookies? Suggestions yummy, affordable party favors?

Does anyone have any reccommendations on where to find Mexican wedding cookies in the area? Or any other yummy treats?

I'm on a tight budget and can't afford anything pricey. I am looking to find some yummy party favors for my wedding that I'd package. Suggestions are welcome!

May 08, 2010
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Area's best red velvet cakes?

Thank you all for the suggestions! I ended up getting the cake from Firefly's, but regretted it and gave most of it away to unsuspecting friends! It is huge ($22) and while a good value (feeds 10-12), it is not very good. It's akin to Duncan Hines cake mix, but not as good -- it is almost tasteless in need of a stronger chocolate flavor and cake flour.

After sampling a much better cupcake from Sweet, I learned they make cakes to order for $25 (feeds 6-8). Other places I called -- Rosie's, Whole Foods, Russo's -- do not make it or only make it during Christmas-time. I'll continue to go on my quest for the best red velvet in Boston!

Jul 31, 2009
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Where's a great place for an *affordable,* elegant lunch party?

We're looking to throw a small (~20 ppl), surprise luncheon / brunch to celebrate my mother's 60th bday. Any suggestions on some place with great food and nice environment but won't break the bank ($10-15 pp)?

For reference, I am currently thinking of Laurel. But any/all suggestions are welcome in the greater Boston area (including in communitites along 95/90 areas). Places where parking is not too difficult to find is preferred.

Jul 28, 2009
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Best BYOBs appropriate for parents' birthday celebration?

We are looking to host ~20 friends/family for my mom's 60th birthday party and we want to throw a nice brunch / lunch / dinner celebration that a) won't break the bank b) won't look too cheap c) has good food! Any suggestions on where to go for a nice meal?

Additional items on our wish list: ~$20 pp max; semi or totally private; and somewhat parking friendly in the greater Boston area. Also, since some of us are wine drinkers, any suggestions in particular that allow you to BYOB?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Jul 24, 2009
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Area's best red velvet cakes?

In your opinion, which bakery in the greater Boston area makes the best red velvet cake?

I'm looking for a cake for a birthday, but also possibly for my wedding next year. Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

Jul 19, 2009
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Appropriate ratios for food stations / catering?

Hi there,

I am planning a family dinner celebration /function at a hotel and am going to be ordering food. I am trying to cut down on costs. We're very interested in doing food stations and would like to know if you get away without doing a 1:1 order per person if you're offering different things (e.g., pasta, sushi, cocktail sized meats, salads, hor dour'ves)?

For example, if you have 100 people, should you provide 100 orders of everything? Or can you cut down and do 80 orders?

Any other chowhounds out there have experience in this area? I'd like to see what others think vs. what caterers are telling us.

Thank you!

Jun 10, 2009
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Providence - Affordable wedding venues?

I am a Bostonite in search of affordable 2010 wedding venues. I'm wondering if Providence offers something comparatively more affordable but nice.

I'm looking for a setting for 110-135 people and am definitely looking to spend $50-80 pp on catering, alcohol, and venue (including open bar, Saturday dinner -- even though I know those are more expensive options, they're non-negotiable)

Does any one have suggestions? It could be a hotel, museum space, or other place. We are avoiding tents (or completely outside events -- though I am enamored with outside ceremonies and inside receptions).

Thanks for your help -- I know there are a lot of parameters. Send your ideas my way!

May 18, 2009
asimplecook in All New England Archive

Nashua, NH -- lunch/dinner venues for bachelorette party?

Hi all, I am planning a low-key bachelorette party in the Nashua, NH area for June but am unfamiliar with the area's restaurants/actitivities. We are planning on doing SkyVenture and then other fun activities (TBD... any suggestions are welcome)

I'm looking for nice, fun restaurants in the $15-30 range which might have a private room for 10-15 people. Do you have any suggestions? Live music, no live music... We're open!

May 17, 2009
asimplecook in All New England Archive

Best Mild Indian Dishes?

Help! I am going out to eat with friends this weekend to a local Indian neighborhood restaurant, and I don't know what to order. I usually avoid Indian because I can't eat spicy food, and everytime I ask the waitstaff for recommendations, the dishes they recommend turn my mouth on fire and cause acid reflux. (I personally find curry to have a kick -- I'm looking for 100% mild here.)

Besides chicken vindaloo and masala, what are dishes you recommend I try? Only once, I had a sweet vegetarian dish in a sauce -- but it was during a business meeting and I have no clue what it was called.

I would really like to enjoy Indian food, but my knowledge about the best dishes to order is very limited. Your help is appreciated!

Jul 17, 2008
asimplecook in General Topics

Apkujung (sp?)

I recently went to Apgujung with several friends for Korean barbeque. As mentioned above, the restaurant environment/decor is very nice -- it has a sleek but comfortable feel to it. This restaurant was at one point a Naked Fish.

We were placed in a side, private room which has two grills. My friends devoured the barbeque and claimed it was equivalent if not better than Koreana in Cambridge; it is definitely better than Kaya's in Brookline.

The sushi was also fantastic. I had the Takara roll which has an interesting white seaweed wrap on the outside; one of my friends who went last night again said had the sushi salad. We found both rolls to be very fresh and have delectable combinations of flavors. You can also select from several soups.

I'm looking forward to going back. It's much better than having to deal with the crowds and parking issues of Koreana, and offers a pleasant dining experience.

Mar 29, 2008
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area

Homestyle Korean restaurants?

I've been to nice but expensive Korean restaurants in the area -- Koreana, Apgujung, Dabin -- and other Korean restaurants that don't seem as deserving of their high ratings as provided on Citysearch.

My question to fellow hounds is where can I find my no-frills mom 'n pops, authentic Korean food in Boston?

From previous posts, I've only seen: WuChon House and Buk Kyung II.

Is that it? Or are there more in the area??

Mar 22, 2008
asimplecook in Greater Boston Area