Catering for a big outdoor party?

barbecue ribs buffetSarah emails:

I was wondering if your readers could help with this: I'm looking into catering companies for a graduation party in July and want to know which ones have provided excellent service, great food- a great value. I'll need food for 150 people- preferably BBQ style, pig roast even, tents, table and chairs. Price isn't too big an issue- but I'm not looking to drop money like its a wedding. Thanks for the help!

It sounds like Sarah realizes this isn't necessarily going to be cheap -- feeding 150 people almost never is. But we hear what she's saying about not wanting to go over the top like some people might for a wedding.

So, got a suggestion for Sarah? Please share!


I think Rolf's (Lexington Ave., Albs.) does stuff like that.

I have used the Old Daily Inn Catering Company -they were excellent and it sounds exactly like what you are looking.

We've got to mention Dinosaur BBQ, Smokey Bones and maybe the Pig Pit BBQ on the north end of 787.

I had friends use Dinosaur to cater their wedding something like 50 miles out of town.

Depends what part of the area you're located in, but Georgia Ray's in Hudson is great food at a great price.

A quick Google of "Pig Roasts Albany, NY" brought up lots of local options. But it also led me to a similar question asked by the a reader of the TU:

This list might help.

Our company uses Millers BBQ in Esperance, and they have traveled for us to Troy and Saratoga and Caroga Lake... excellent, food made on the premise so it is hot and fresh, and the price is very reasonable.

What about having the Capital Q food truck come to your party. Adds a fun element, and their food is awesome. They also do more traditional catering as well.

I have no personal experience using Nighthawk Kitchen as a caterer, but my experiences with Christian Noe and his staff at the Troy farmer's market would make them my first choice to look into, if I were in your situation.

Check out Black Diamond Caterers in Saratoga. (I assume you're in Albany, but for this size event the extra 30 minutes in transit time shouldn't be a deciding factor.) They are very meat-centric and the pig would be right up their alley.

They also now have a retail store, Park Side Eatery, which is a very pleasant place to grab a bite and take it to the park. So you can sample their offerings while you decide.

McGreiveys - I've heard good things about them -

Thank you for all the suggestions! This helps a ton.

I went to an outdoor party catered by Dinosaur BBQ, and thought it was fantastic. Set-up was quick and professional and they used some specialized containers in their truck to transport food from Troy to Niskayuna. Everything was fresh and the perfect temperature. I also liked that there was a reasonable amount of choices at the party. A few meats and a few sides went a long way.

I highly recommend JB's BBQ. He caters a whiffle ball tournament I play in every year, and it's amazing. Complete with a whole pig roast.

If it's not catered by Brooks BBQ, I'm not coming! The rest are just pretenders.

I work with someone who owns a BBQ catering business, and he's catered a work-picnic last spring. It was delicious!

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