Planning a Summer Party? These Restaurants Cater.
Let someone else do the cooking for your next backyard barbecue, baby shower, team banquet or graduation shindig.
Virginia’s Covid restrictions have lifted and gatherings have been deemed safe for the vaccinated. Ready to party? If you’d rather focus on hugging family and friends and leave the cooking to someone else, many area restaurants offer catering services, and some only need 24 hours’ notice (or less) to whip up a feast for your hungry crowd.
This beloved family-owned restaurant group has offered catering services for years, supporting events ranging from small baby showers to large weddings. If you only need to pick up a few mezze platters, the turn-around time can be less than 48 hours. With more lead time, you can add on-site cooking and extra service staff for your affair. Signature foods such as hummus, baba ghanoush, shawarma, kabobs and falafel are always crowd-pleasers, but the restaurant can also prepare items outside its Middle Eastern repertoire, such as Salvadorean pupusas or grilled tenderloin of beef. // 5900 Washington Blvd., Arlington (Westover); 1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington (Pentagon Row/Westpost); 2001 International Drive, McLean (Tyson’s Galleria)
Order a Russian and Uzbek feast for your group at least two days in advance from RusUz in Ballston. Try Uzbekistan’s national dish, plov, featuring rice mixed with carrots, chickpeas, raisins, spices and lamb; baked filo pies filled with meat or potatoes (pirozhki); and steamed Uzbek dumplings (manti) stuffed with lamb, onions and spices and topped with a tomato-yogurt sauce. For a brunch spread, consider caviar tarts and a show-stopping smoked fish tray. Most customers prefer to pick up, but RusUz can also deliver for an extra fee. // 1000 N. Randolph St., Arlington (Ballston)
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery
The customizable catering menu at Bayou Bakery includes all kinds of brunchy goodies and tempting Cajun, Creole and Cuban delights—order hot biscuits, savory quiches, stacks of pressed Cubano and “Muff-a-lotta” sandwiches, or a full-on New Orleans feast with a shrimp and crawfish boil and jambalaya. Chef /owner David Guas is known for his sweets, and no Bayou party is complete without piping hot beignets, sticky pralines or red velvet cake. There is a 48-hour minimum on catering orders. Delivery is offered for a fee within eight miles of the Courthouse cafe. // 1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington (Courthouse)
Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque
Ready to pig out? Joe and Mandy Neuman’s barbecue joint is a carnivore’s paradise, turning out low-and-slow smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, turkey and sausage. If you want to make a big impression, they’ll even bring the smoker to you and turn your event into a spectator sport. The restaurant’s most popular catering order is the buffet menu with three meats and three sides (choose among options like mac’ n’ cheese, baked beans and coleslaw), plus cornbread, slider rolls, housemade pickles and banana pudding. The owners—who catered their own wedding—ask for 48 hours’ notice for large orders, but can occasionally turn things around faster if they have the meat in stock. Minimum order for 20 guests. // 5731 Lee Highway, Arlington (Yorktown)
This venerable Falls Church deli has been offering catering services alongside its restaurant menu for more than four decades, from box lunches—including fresh corned beef, chicken salad and Italian-style sandwiches—to all the chopped liver, smoked fish and challah you need for your next Jewish High Holy Day menu. With 24 hours’ notice, they can deliver the food, along with servers, catering chefs and bartenders if you need extra hands. //7263A Arlington Blvd., Falls Church