I know what you are thinking… and by bar I mean taco bar, waffle bar, ice cream sundae bar, salad bar, and grilled cheese bar.
Feeding a crowd is hard. Feeding a bunch of kids who can be potentially a bit picky, even tougher. Feeding 15 or so people quickly is almost impossible.
That is where a bar saves the day. The concept is simple; pick a theme, food or holiday then design the meal as a “Build Your Own”. This past weekend we had a group and had three meals that were build your own with options.
Check out these bars I have saved on my Pinterst board: (kasmithson) How to Feed a Crowd. The links to each of these bars is located just below each picture. Check them out.
Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms
We may have a hotdog bar this weekend. I just have to get someone to come eat them!
The taco bar above uses chip bags as bowls.
The spud bar will be a winter meal for our Thursday night group.
Sunday night we had the best bar. It was a grilled cheese bar. Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, and American cheeses.were the star along with three types of bread, carmelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, pancetta, homemade macaroni and cheese, and bacon were all options to put on the sandwiches.
The trick to a grilled cheese bar is to have one cook and not to assemble the sandwiches until the cook butters the bread and puts them on the grill.
Here is my friend, Tina giving instructions before the feeding frenzy. She manned the griddle until the bitter end.
Before the hoard descended on the grilled cheese bar I was able to snap a couple of pictures.
The surprise ingredient was macaroni and cheese. It sounds odd but the kids loved it. Oh, they loved the bacon, too. The huge griddle came in handy.
Monday morning (Labor Day) it was a waffle bar. There were some hiccups… Mainly because this one was mine. The smoke alarm went off a couple of times, and the breaker was thrown umm… twice. Note to self. Have a pile of waffles ready for the kids cooked ahead and ready to pop into a toaster.
The waffle bar consisted of waffles, regular syrup, blueberry syrup, chocolate sauce, strawberry syrup, whipped cream, peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon, rainbow sprinkles, and more bacon.
Our late (after boating, tubing, and jet skiing) lunch was a sort of fajita bar. I say sort of because there weren’t as many options. It was definitely build your own. We had chicken fajitas, guacamole, queso with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pinto beans, and my favorite cilantro rice. I was way to pooped and overwhelmed to get any photos. Sorry folks.
After diving in to the bar scene all weekend, I did learn a few things.
There are a couple of tricks to a build your own meal bar.
- Organize your items so that they make sense when assembling. Start with the plates, bowls, etc. and end with the silverware and napkins so they don’t have to be carried from station to station.
- Prepare as much ahead as possible. Having things made ahead made the meals more enjoyable for all.
- Make sure that whatever you are serving can be assembled quickly. Everyone is happy when you can keep ’em moving.
- Have plenty of room for folks to move around. Our bar is perfect inside for serving. When the weather is nice, we will be serving outside.
- Have a plan to keep the hot foods hot and the cold foods cold.
Have you ever had a “build your own” bar? If you have, I would love to hear from you. I will bet you have tried things I haven’t even thought about.
I love hearing from you.
3 thoughts on “Belly Up to the Bar”
We had a chalupa bar for a group of about 30 people once. We heated tostada shells and provided warmed refried beans, cooked hamburger seasoned with onions, garlic, and chili powder, guacamole, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, chopped onions, and hot sauce. We served it with a big pot of Mexican style rice and sangria. Everyone loved it – especially our guests of honor who hail from Illinois – and it was easy to prep in advance.
Yummy. I would love that meal, too.
Lol. Bar scene! Great ideas! I’ll have to remember them for our next get together.