What should we serve for a delicious wedding brunch buffet?
August 26, 2012 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Have you been to a wedding that served a brunch buffet? What did you eat that you loved?

Mr. Just-ducky and I are getting married next summer. We are having a Sunday brunch-time wedding (11am-ish ceremony, 1pm-ish reception), and we would like to serve a brunch buffet.

We are about to start contacting caterers, but we don't have a strong idea of what would be good to serve at a brunch buffet (other than bacon). Have you been to a wedding that served a brunch buffet? What did you eat? What did you love about the food? What did you not love?

Our venue is indoors and has a full kitchen; however it can only be used for prep/heating up. No actual cooking is allowed. There are likely to be about 60-80 people.

We will be serving mimosas :)

posted by just_ducky to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Really good bagels, lox, and all the fixins.
posted by radioamy at 9:54 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

We are about to start contacting caterers, but we don't have a strong idea of what would be good to serve at a brunch buffet (other than bacon). No actual cooking is allowed.

In this situation I would very much let the caterers make suggestions for things they know they can pull off successfully. Eggs, for example, are right out. But you could do cold poached salmon, dill potato salad, fruit salad and warmed mini-quiches, for example.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:58 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Mini quiches are nice and fancy. You can cook ahead and then either reheat or serve at room temp.
posted by Night_owl at 9:59 AM on August 26, 2012

Mini quiches are a great idea, served with a potato hash and fresh fruit. You could supplement with more lunch-y options like salads, pulled pork and the like too.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 10:12 AM on August 26, 2012

I had some kind of eggy french toast bread pudding concoction a couple of years ago and it was divine. It was made with brioche, I think.
posted by checkitnice at 10:14 AM on August 26, 2012

Mini quiches. Waffles. Nice fruit, granola, yogurt, honey, nuts. Baked french toast. Banana bread. Some kind of potato hash. A baked bread and cheese dish. Good breakfast sausages. Freshly squeezed juices.
posted by jeather at 10:16 AM on August 26, 2012

Here are some of the things I'd suggest: roasted vegetables, cold smoked salmon with capers, maybe other smoked fish, all sorts of delicious cold and warm salads (cucumber and tomato, caprese, caesar, spring greens, green beans with onions - ask your caterer for their standouts), roast beef or prime rib, some sort of sweet cooked eggy bread (french toast or bread pudding), a cheese tray and rolls.

You probably should have some kind of eggs and some kind of potatoes, because people will be looking for them, but ask your caterer what they think they can do well (and then do your own research to verify how well people think that's turned out at buffets in the past).
posted by Lady Li at 10:22 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Peel n'eat shrimp with a good cocktail sauce.

Oysters on the half shell.

Sliced melons.

Sweet muffins (chocolate chip, poppy seed, banana)

Cinnamon rolls.
posted by bearwife at 10:45 AM on August 26, 2012

Is the "no cooking allowed" specific to using the kitchen? I just attended a lovely catered brunch where the caterers set up a waffle bar (brought their own waffle iron) and an omelette bar (brought their own two-burner stove top). They did no cooking in the kitchen at all. Would something like this be an option?
posted by platinum at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]

Deviled eggs, bread pudding(sweet) with bourbon sauce, strata(savory), bacon, candied bacon, baked oatmeal, maybe cold grilled marinated steak wrapped around pea pods, biscuits & sausage gravy, cheese biscuits, a variety of scones with butter, jams & honey, savory scones with cheeses, sausage, etc., blueberry muffins, sliced fruit, baked eggs in ramekins with various additions. You could have a build-your-own brunch crepe(burritos if you can't make fresh crepes) table. Fresh waffles and lots of toppings or even waffle add-ins, if waffle-maker is allowed. First Watch has a popular brunch menu
posted by theora55 at 11:36 AM on August 26, 2012

Blood marys! No, fix your own bloody mary BAR!
posted by teragram at 11:49 AM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]

Mashed potato bar!! Hot mashed potato in plastic martini glasses. Have a "bar" of onions, bacon bits, cheese, shrimp, steak, chicken, salsa.....anything and EVERYTHING that can go with mashed potatoes. Also do some fruit and veggie plates and some sweet, brunchy things. I've seen the potato bar thing done a few times and people love it.
posted by pearlybob at 12:08 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know if it's brunch-y, but I went to a reception that had a mashed potato bar (served in martini glasses) with a huge array of toppings. That was awesome.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:09 PM on August 26, 2012

WAFFLE BAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by PinkMoose at 12:15 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

They'd revoke my permission to live in Austin if I didn't suggest breakfast tacos. They can be made ahead and kept warm reasonably easily — that's actually what basically everyplace here that does 'em does, so if anyone raises an eyebrow, tell 'em it's "authentic." It's also a way of doing eggs ahead that doesn't suck. If you scramble the eggs with cheese and (optionally) some nice fatty sausage, and wrap 'em in tortillas, and wrap that in tinfoil, and put the whole thing in a styrofoam cooler or some other insulated container to stay warm, the eggs don't get that dry rubbery texture that breakfast buffet scrambled eggs tend to get. I mean, they won't be gourmet eggs — they'll be a goddamn breakfast taco. But they'll stay nice and appetizing.

And yeah, some kind of potato hash. Specifically, one of the following two:
  1. Cubed potatoes, actual real high-quality corned beef, lots of well-browned onions, serve with hot sauce on the side.
  2. Cubed potatoes, cubed or shredded cooked lamb, lots of onions, lots of well-browned onions, more black pepper than you really think you need.
And if you're my Jewish ancestors, pickled herring totally counts as fancy brunch food. But probably you're not my Jewish ancestors. But dude, if you think anyone will go for it, pickled herring.

Also, make sure to have some stuff with, like, fiber and water and vitamins in it. A fuckton of fruit, or a serious vegetable-garnish component in the bloody marys, or something. Catered food is always too dense and ballast-y, and breakfast/brunch food also tends to err in that direction, and oh man people will be so happy to see a cucumber or something.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:35 PM on August 26, 2012

i'm a caterer (IANYC hehe) and my suggestion is to look for one that has the type and style of food you would like. they can then make suggestions for you. i get requests all the time for things that are not on our menus, so i do some research and come up with items that we can produce considering any limitations (eg. no cooking on premises - which, as an off premise caterer, we expect that 90% of the time anyway so no worries there). the caterer will know best what they can produce in that setting. however, some of my fave brunchy dishes would be things like bacon-wrapped egg cups, frittata & strata, savory cheesecakes, savory pastries (doughnuts & shortbreads), smoked fish & smoked fish mousse, terrines (fruity or savory). also, "bars" are still pretty popular. like mentioned above, waffle, french toast or omelette bars are all big hits usually.
posted by ps_im_awesome at 1:41 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

poached salmon!
posted by belau at 3:05 PM on August 26, 2012

Peeled shrimp with cocktail sauce.
Spiral-sliced ham with Dijon mustard, Durkee's, and honey-mustard, plus Jewish rye bread.
Pigs in blankets (cocktail franks stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon) on a hot plate.
Hummus with extra lemon juice stirred in plus warm pita wedges.
Cream cheese, sour cream and chive dip with raw veggies including cauliflower, broccoli, sliced zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, celery, lightly steamed red, yellow and green bell pepper strips and slightly cooked green beans.
Chocolate chip cookies with double chocolate.
If you live among Scandinavians, fyrstekake (Prince's cake), the world's most addictive pastry, made of almond paste, butter and raspberry concentrate in a super-short crust.
And last but not least, a wedding cake made of cheesecake.
posted by KRS at 3:20 PM on August 26, 2012

We had a brinner (breakfast for dinner) buffet at my wedding and the waffle bar and the bagels and lox were a huge hit! We also had mini-scones tray passed for cocktail hour.

The endless mimosas also went over well. I would have loved a make your own bloody mary bar, but our venue didn't allow liquor.

Other items we included were a lot of bacon and sausage + piles of fresh fruit, a light berry based salad, and mini-tea sandwiches.

There was also fried chicken at the waffle bar for the people who knew better than to just eat waffles by themselves. Chicken and waffles for the win!
posted by Arbac at 4:28 PM on August 26, 2012

posted by dahliachewswell at 5:22 PM on August 26, 2012

Baked Brie.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:56 PM on August 26, 2012

Congratulations! I was just married this last month, and for our brunch we had scones, biscuits, bread pudding, yogurt, homemade granola, and strata (which is ingredient-wise much like the suggestions for quiche.) Looking back I would have liked to add some fruit, could have taken away the bread pudding.

So I don't really have any exciting food suggestions. But I did want to suggest checking out your local favorite bakery, if you have one, rather than a professional catering company. We used our local bakery and it was fabulous, and probably half the cost of the full-on hotel catering company, and frankly better than what the hotel catering would have provided.

I also waaaaay over-ordered, since I was estimating, rather than having the professional caterers do a plate count. So we got to send guests away with carbs of their choosing.
posted by lillygog at 4:26 AM on August 27, 2012

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