Advice for the Culinarily Challenged
7938 Great Northern Blvd., 323-5900
Deli manager/cheesemonger extraordinaire Ike Johnson can fix you up with an elegant, buttery Stilton, a voluptuous Brillat Savarin triple cream, or a tasty side of perfectly smoked salmon for your guests to nibble on while you finish heating up the meal you've purchased around town. Good wine, beer, and spirits selection here, too.
2719 Exposition, 474-8515
Monday-Friday, 10:30am-8pm; Saturday, 10:30am-5pm
Holiday specialties from this always-busy West Austin takeout shop include spinach-artichoke dip ($14.99 per pound), smoked salmon spread ($17.99 per pound), and tubs of their melt-in-your-mouth Sharp Cheddar Wafers ($4.25). You can also pre-order pans of mashed potato casseroles and cornbread dressing to bake yourself, as well as gravy by the pint or quart and three kinds of pies.
1200 W. Sixth, 481-8646
The catering menu here offers a wealth of excellent appetizer choices to feed whatever hungry horde has gathered in front of your television: antipasti trays, tapas assortments, mini quiches, even empanadas (the turkey-cranberry are absolutely fabulous), as well as an array of salads, sandwiches, and breads. Be sure to order 24 to 48 hours in advance.
Sweetish Hill Bakery & Catering
1120 W. Sixth, 472-6861
The holiday party menus from Austin's premiere French bakery/cafe are just the ticket if your crowd is large, and you've decided to go with an elegant buffet spread rather than the more traditional turkey sit-down. Choose from such delectables as Brie en Croute, Peppered Pork Tenderloin, and mini chocolate-pecan and pumpkin tartlets or Spice Rubbed Beef Tenderloin, salmon and crab cakes, an asparagus wreath, and bûche de Noël. Any menu can be augmented with gallons of homemade eggnog or hot apple cider. With proper notice, they'll deliver it right to your door.
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