While weddings look a little different these days, they’re still happening, quietly – in backyards, on mountaintops, in public parks, and other secluded outdoor spots.
But one signal of celebration that hasn’t changed, and probably never will, is really good food. Elaborately-sauced meats, freshly baked baguettes, and showstopping sweets help differentiate a day from all the others, an especially important feat when shelter-in-place blurs all the usual markers of time.
To avoid the prep work but include a feast, a few people have turned to our Curbside pickup program to fill up their wedding menus, including KitchenTown’s own chef, Eric, and a longtime KitchenTown fan, Grant. We caught up with them to hear all about their 2020 wedding experiences and, of course, what they ate.
What did your wedding look like?
Eric Minnich: My wife and I were planning on having a more traditional wedding this summer, maybe 60-80 people. But it’s funny, because our original idea, when we first got engaged two years ago, was to do a really small ceremony with close friends up in the Yuba [a tributary in the Sierra Nevada]. When COVID happened, we were like, let’s just go up to the river for a few days. My two good friends came up too and did a little ceremony for us. I wish I had pictures, but we were in swimsuits the whole weekend!
Grant Rodiek: It was 12 people, just our close family and friends. We have a cute little boxed backyard with lots of trees and a paved middle area. We cleared it off, got chairs, an arch, some flowers. We just did a little ceremony right there.
Tell me all about the food!
Eric: We got some fresh fruit, some sparkling water, but other than that, the main meats of our dining experiences was all Curbside. We brought some of the crickets, which we’d never had before, some crackers, a couple bottles of wine. For the main meals, we had the shakshuka, Korean-braised short rib, harissa-braised chicken, chile verde, and a couple of soups – black bean soup, red pepper bisque. The short rib was definitely the hit. I should have brought more, but there was only one left – for good reason!
My friends were pretty stoked. One of them has a lot of dietary restrictions; she can’t have gluten or a lot of other allergens, and KitchenTown already cooks like that. And anyway, everything is straightforward to reheat, so if someone doesn’t eat chicken, no big deal, we can reheat another protein option at the same time.
Grant: After the ceremony, my brother and I just went into the kitchen to get everything ready while people had drinks; it took maybe 30 minutes total. We got a big ceramic dish, filled it with the mac and cheese and put it in the oven. I threw the brussels sprouts in the wok, had a couple pans to warm up the short ribs. We got a whole little buffet ready, with fresh baguettes, some butter. My wife’s mom brought us really nice china and we put little tufts of rosemary in the napkins. It was as cute as could be for 12 people. It looked like a real wedding!
When you have that many people, it’s like, too many to order burritos, but not enough to work with caterers. I had picked up all the food the Saturday before, just stuck it in the freezer, and took it out Thursday night to thaw in the fridge. We even had leftovers; I have refrozen short ribs now, and I’ve been eating them on and off for lunch. They’re still good. And it was all so reasonable, I think it was something like 25 bucks per person for a full meal!
Why did you choose Curbside food for your wedding?
Eric: The quality, the convenience, for sure. Not just the convenience of reheating and serving, but the convenience of navigating dietary restrictions. You can shop across different flavors and palates, but also across different dietary needs. You combine that with the quality and easily reheating? That’s pretty hard to find. You know exactly what you’re getting every single time, and you know it’s high-quality, and high safety standards, all of it.
Grant: We’ve been regular customers for a couple months now, and KitchenTown came to mind as an obvious fit to get great food that would work for our situation. And you guys were also so responsive, and kind, and helpful in working with us. My new mother-in-law loved the short ribs so much that now she is starting to come down from Belmont to get food from you in San Mateo.
We order takeout a lot, but it always shows up a little cold, just not quite perfect. And I remember the first time we got Curbside food – we got the Coq au Vin and the Gruyère mac and cheese. And it felt like a restaurant meal. It was really pleasant to sit there and we didn’t even have to do anything, we just warmed it up. I love cooking, but part of the goal of going out is that you don’t have to cook that night.
We’ve done two different lasagnas now, the tamales… everything’s been incredibly good. I keep expecting it to be, like, a little bit dry, or a little bit this, but it isn’t. It’s just routinely good. I would happily go to more restaurants that are just doing what you guys do, even post-COVID. It’s so nice.
You’re on a desert island, and there are no stores around, but you can have a lifetime supply of three Curbside dishes. What do you pick?
Eric: Oof. Any of the pastas. Maybe the crab ravioli. It’s super awesome. But I’ll really have any of those pastas. The gnocchi or the pappardelle… I’d take a lifetime supply of that.
The Korean braised short rib, definitely. I really enjoy those flavors – fermented chili paste, beef, carrots, onions, ginger, soy sauce, all those kinds of things over rice is fantastic.
And any of the pastries. Give me any of them. The croissants, the Danishes, the buttermilk biscuits, the scones. I’ll eat a whole mess of those. I’ll just do a lap around the island to burn it all off.
Grant: Man… I want to look at your menu again and make sure I don’t miss anything!
I’ve loved all the chicken so far – we’ve had the Basque chicken and the Coq au Vin. And I just really love a beautiful, tender piece of chicken. I’d take the Coq au Vin and a baguette, and just sit there dipping into the sauce. And try to teach myself French to pronounce it correctly.
The mac and cheese. It’s just killer. It’s a real standout. It’s a thing I order all the time from different places but I’m almost always disappointed. It’s always bland, or just missing something. This one is really spot on. It warms up really great, it’s so nice and gooey.
And the pork belly. Angela, my wife, is not a big pork belly person, so I get both portions to myself.
Order Curbside pickup at KitchenTown; choose your menu on weekdays and pick up Sat & Sun, 9am-noon.