Catering Central

Tag: San Francisco San Francisco

1558 Gladding Ct. Milpitas CA 95035Call Us: (650) 961-3300

Catering Checklist

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If you have an upcoming event and require catering services, there are a few things to get in order before making the call. This blog post serves to educate you on the information you should have on hand when you seek out a catering company, so that you can have the best experience possible.


  • Numbers
    First things first: How many people will be at your event? In order to get a handle on what the caterers will do, we need to know how many mouths will be in attendance. Let’s avoid that awkward moment where there’s not enough food at an event!
  • Services
    Do you want hors d’oeuvres, brunch, lunch, casual, or fine dining? Do you need tables, chairs, linens, a buffet, or a sit-down meal? If you’re not sure about what you need, explain the nature of the event to us, and we can help you prepare accordingly through our experienced suggestions.  
  • Budget
    Have an idea of what you’d like to spend, but be flexible and realistic. At Catering Central we provide value for money, balanced with quality service, so keep that in mind when planning your budget. You may also need help with factoring in peripheral costs that you haven’t considered – give us a call so we can help you know what kind of funds are necessary for your event!

  • Location
    Knowing the location helps us give you an accurate quote. Also, a map/layout of the venue helps our team plan the flow of the event, and stay efficient with service.


At Catering Central, we do everything from event catering in Redwood City (94602), to all kinds of catering services in Palo Alto (94303). Find out how our catering services are set apart from our competition, by seeing first hand, what we do best. Expect fresh, healthy food coupled with staff committed to excellence. Call us today on (650) 961-3300!

San Francisco’s Best Ice Cream

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Now that the days are warming up, you might be looking for some stellar ice cream to get you through summer. San Francisco is a hub of new and different foods, as well as home to many classics that have been loved throughout the generations. We have a list of a handful of SF’s most highly rated ice creams for you to check out:

  • Humphrey Slocome
    Opened: 2008
    Most Famous Flavor: Secret Breakfast (Bourbon and cornflakes)
    If you’re adventurous, try: Peanut Butter Curry
  • Smitten
    Opened: 2009
    Most Famous Flavor: Tcho Chocolate
    If you’re adventurous, try: Strawberry White Balsamic (When it’s in season)
  • Mitchell’s
    Opened: 1953
    Most Famous Flavor: Filipino and Peruvian flavors – ube, lucuma, buko
    If you’re adventurous, try: Avocado
  • Bi Rite Creamery
    Opened: 2002
    Most Famous Flavor: Honey Lavender
    If you’re adventurous, try: Chamomile tea with lemon poppy crumble (seasonal)

You can enjoy all foods in moderation, as long as they’re part of a balanced diet. At Catering Central, we highly value food as a means of connection with others, and aim to give all of our clients a positive and satisfying experience with our services. If you’re looking for corporate catering in the San Francisco Bay (94111), private party catering in Sunnyvale (94086), or general catering in Mountain View (94040) – call us today on (650) 961-3300!

Effects of Tech Office Catering

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The Bay Area is an international hub of technology startups, and as a result, many large companies form and grow here. As companies expand, they tend to provide meals to their employees to keep productivity – and employee morale – high. Local businesses, however, are seeing the impact of these in-house office lunches on their sales, as patrons stay at their desks.

While many local caterers have more of an opportunity to provide services to offices (often through third party companies, for better or worse) cafes, restaurants, and local lunch spots are seeing a vast decline in weekday lunch business. Not much can be done about this trend, but keep up with the demand in other ways – such as brick and mortar restaurants offering catering services as well. For those who work in offices without catering, or with an option of eating in or out, you can keep your local businesses in mind by helping them out with your patronage every now and again. Many of your city’s lunch spots have been around for a long time, and it would be a shame to see them close on account of the changing times.

We believe food plays a vital role in not only physical, but emotional health. Our social lives strengthen by building relationships over food, leading to a greater level of connectedness with the world around us. If you’re interested in having your next San Francisco Bay Area (94110, 94024) private or corporate event catered by a company working from this philosophy, call us today on (650) 961-3300. We can’t wait for your call!

Donating Food

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This year 225,000 people will be nourished by the SF-Marin Food Bank. While so many people in the Bay Area are so financially comfortable, the uncomfortable economic divide still remains. People in the Bay Area are hungry, and we can help.

The effects of providing food to people in need have a ripple effect on society as a whole. Many families with young children rely on breakfast clubs at school for a healthy breakfast, which then enables them to learn with fewer distractions. With proper nutrition, children have an improved ability to focus and gain a more meaningful education.

Food Banks also provide home delivered groceries for senior citizens who find themselves unable to keep up with the cost of living. While the majority of food at a bank is non-perishable, the SF-Marin Food Bank incorporates Farmer’s Market-style pantries, helping those in need to eat more nutritionally dense meals.

We work very closely with InnVision Shelter Network (Maple Street Shelter), where we donate our leftover food. This website, Bay Area Hunger shows the location of all of the Food Banks in the Wider San Francisco Bay Area. For more information on how you can donate to the SF-Marin Food Bank, take a look here at their website. Together we can make a difference.

Hosting a Luau

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Say Aloha to your friends and family by hosting a Hawaiian Luau in your backyard. This is such a fun way to see out the summer, encouraging guests to dress in theme and relax together. As people arrive, give them a lei – handmade if you have access to flowers – but store bought is also great.

Part of keeping that relaxed vibe is being able to serve a mean Mai Tai and an icy Pina Colada. Here’s a list of 9 Best Hawaiian Drink Recipes from that you’ll want to get onto.

As for food, you can’t go past Luau Pulled Pork. In fact, at Catering Central this one of our specialties. Marinated overnight in a sugar/salt mixture, we cook our pulled pork for hours until tender.

For dessert, serve up a Pineapple Upside Down cake, or a local Hawaiian favorite Haupia. All the sweet treat inspiration you could possibly need is found at Pinterest. Enjoy your Luau!

Your Event’s Invitation

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Your event’s invitation is the initial expectation your guests will have about your party. You know what they say – you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The invitation should be relevant to the event, capturing your personality as well as the vibe of the party. We have some tips for setting up your event, via your invitation.

Make the information clear and accurate
Are the right time, date, day, address, contact details and dress code made clear on the invitation? Have you specified if the event is brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert or hors d’oeuvres?

Have a limited color scheme
Unless it’s directly related to the event, steer clear of rainbow and willy-nilly color schemes. An aesthetically pleasing invitation uses color with purpose, visually providing mood for the event ahead of time.

Choose a sensible font
Comic Sans was made for comics. Helvetica is a widely used and completely appropriate font for conveying information on an invitation, though you might like to use something more decorative for the event title. Stick to two fonts – maximum.

Be clear about timing
What time does it start? Is it OK to be fashionably late, or would being late be frowned upon? From surprise party, to wedding, to milestone birthday – there are very different social expectations about timing. Also, when does it end? Being clear about this may prevent you from having a house full of people at 2am when you’d rather be sleeping.

We truly hope you enjoy your event. As always, if you’re looking for a caterer, we’ve got you covered. Call us today on (650) 961-3300 to talk about your vision for the party you’re planning.


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Soft Pretzels are no doubt the new “it” food. Like cupcakes and bacon before them, be prepared to see pretzels starting to dominate the artisanal food scene. Why not, though? These tasty treats are delicious in their own right, not to mention a superior delivery vehicle for all kinds of flavorful sauces.

On a recent trip to Harpoon Brewery in Massachusetts, we noted that pretzels were the only snack available to munch on while beer tasting. On the sweet side, Harpoon offers cinnamon sugar pretzels with peanut butter maple icing. Salted pretzels come with various sauces, like; garlic butter, IPA cheese, Ale Mustard, Red Pepper Aioli, Bacon Ranch and Marinara Parmesan.

In San Francisco, more traditional German pretzels are available at Suppenkuche – boasting sesame and sunflower seeded knots with dijon mustard. In the Mission, Schmidt’s bake their pretzel rolls daily, and serve them with meals. Monk’s Kettle also makes a beer themed, plate sized pretzel.

Don’t forget that pretzel stands exist, too. In Golden Park, along Fisherman’s Wharf and Downtown, you’ll see the kinds of salty/sweet pretzels that will get you through a long afternoon. We look forward to seeing more pretzel ideas coming up over the next few months!

Quick Weeknight Meals

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By combining decent quality store bought items with homemade sides (or vice versa) you are cutting your nightly dinner prep time in half. For those days when you don’t want to spend an hour making dinner, try these mealtime hacks.

  1. Meatballs or Steak Pie with Mashed Potatoes
    Mashed potatoes are a cinch when they are the only item you need to prepare – easier still if you buy pre-made frozen mash. They’re also a hearty side for Swedish meatballs from Ikea, or a tavern inspired pie from Trader Joe’s.
  2. Fresh stir fry with frozen vegetables
    Sautee your protein, add your pack of pre-cut, snap-frozen veggies, squirt on some sauce – and voila! All you need now is to throw some rice in the rice cooker. Done.
  1. Pre-marinated fish
    Trader Joe’s has some excellent pre-marinated fish, with the absolute winner being Mojito Salmon. While you’re in the frozen aisle at TJ’s, check out what kinds of rice or quinoa sides are available.
  2. Pasta, pasta, pasta
    Mac and Cheese, marinara sauce, pesto with parmesan… the list goes on. For an unassumingly delicious meal, look no further than pasta. Keep some pasta and sauces in your pantry for a low-key, fast dinner.

The more homemade dinner hacks you collect, the less you’ll be eating out. Dinner at home promotes connection with others, not to mention the benefits for your wallet and waistline.

Everyday Smoothies

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Starting your day with a smoothie is not only a healthy choice, but a proven way for your body to best absorb nutrients. By incorporating superfoods like blueberries and kale, you’re making yourself a nutrient-dense cocktail – and hopefully it tastes great. We have a few smoothie recipe ideas for you:

Green smoothie
Banana, frozen peach slices, a handful of spinach and orange juice.

Grasshopper smoothie
Frozen banana slices, peppermint essence, spinach, agave syrup, almond milk and choc chips.

Berry hemp protein smoothie
Milk (cow, almond or soy is fine), hemp protein powder, kale, a handful of fresh or frozen berries, sweetener to taste.

Pina Colada smoothie
Coconut milk, frozen pineapple chunks, banana.

Play around with the amounts in these recipes, making as much or as little of the smoothie to suit your lifestyle. Heck – you might even decide to start make smoothies every morning for your whole family.

Summertime Salads

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Summer is a great time to get creative with your salads. If you’re lacking inspiration, think about the incredible selection available at local health food stores with salad bars, like you’d see at Whole Foods. Anything and everything you can put on a salad is right there, giving you a wide range of options for a salad perfectly customized to your mood.

If the salad is your meal, go heavy on the protein. Nuts, seeds, tofu, cheese and meat are delicious ways to keep you going for hours. Shying away from carbs might be better for your waistline, but it may cause you to be hungry soon after you eat. Try adding some complex carbs like quinoa, rye bread croutons or pita bread to your plate.

Dark, leafy greens are undoubtedly amazing for your health. Packing a punch of iron, calcium and fiber (to name a few) – kale and spinach are a smart choice for a salad base. Don’t underestimate Romaine lettuce just because it looks like it’s nutritionally void counterpart Iceberg lettuce. Romaine is a great source of chromium, which is a natural helper in the balancing of blood sugar.

Lastly – take risks! If you’ve never added berries, mango or dried fruits to your salad – today is the day. If you’ve only ever used one kind of dressing, try another variety. You’ll never know what works unless you try something new.

We have added our California Salad menu – a hit with companies who want to provide a healthy, yet fortified, lunch salad meal. Take a look!

California Salad Menu (1)1