India Sweets & Catering subscribes to the idea that many hands make light work. Since opening in 1992, it has tried to help make get-togethers easy by shouldering a portion, if not all, of the workload with its catering services. At its restaurant, the chefs take care of the cooking. They serve platefuls of halal Indian and Pakistani cuisine that are made with meats including lamb, goat, and tandoori chicken. India Sweets & Catering’s event managers take care of pretty much everything else. Their Flamingo banquet halls in Vallejo and Sacramento host events in large rooms with chandeliers and enough space for 500–600 people, or one breakdancing Paul Bunyan. For on-location events, customers can rent plates and silverware; the services of bartenders or tandoori chefs; or decorations such as backdrops, centerpieces, mandaps, and dulha or dulhan chairs.
After a decade of researching and perfecting cookie recipes, Larry and Shelly Pearson opened Pacific Cookie Company in 1980. Their cookie operation has expanded since those early days, when they focused on just five flavors. They now whip together 13 flavors of cookies, each consisting of simple, quality ingredients, such as Guittard chocolate, pure vanilla extract, cane sugar, and unbleached flour. Cookies are dished out alongside scoops of locally-sourced favorite, Marianne's Ice Cream. If you can't make it to Pacific Cookie Company's Berkeley or Santa Cruz shops, don't fret. The company ships its cookies?along with gift baskets, cookie tins, and gift boxes?to customers around the solar system.
Every day, San Francisco Soup Company?s chefs craft crunchy salads and approximately 12 soups from scratch, keeping an eye on sustainability and seasonality. Both salads and soups showcase organic and locally sourced ingredients such as cage-free eggs from Glaum Egg Ranch and organic milk from Clover Stornetta, and soups cast tendrils of steam from biodegradable containers. San Francisco Soup Company?s commitment to conscious dining extends to the nutritional realms: each recipe comes with nutrition stats, and the menu even designates which soups are gluten-, meat- and dairy-free, and which soup spoons best shield noses from affectionate pinches.
When you take a look at Turkish Kitchen?s menu, you?ll find familiar offerings such as kebabs and falafel. But your eye might also linger on intriguing items ranging from Turkish-style calzones stuffed with spicy lamb to iskender, a dish made from bread cubes blanketed with shaved doner, tomato sauce, and butter. Chefs use traditional Turkish recipes for everything they prepare, including a rotating selection of daily specials. Be sure to save room for the baklava, which East Bay Express named the best in the area thanks to its ?butter-soaked phyllo, thick chunks of roasted pistachio, and a plentitude of honey saturating every supple layer.?
The chefs at Mint Leaf follow family recipes to fashion Northern Indian dishes with seasonal, organic produce, free-range meats sourced from local farmers, and spices handpicked by family back home in India. Kebabs spear mahi-mahi, chicken, and other meats marinated in a house-made yogurt sauce before baking in a clay tandoor oven. A collection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options eases the strain of dietary restrictions. Mint Leaf's selection of more than 50 wines and specialty cocktails helps temper the heat when guests get ambitious in selecting their meal's spice level. On select nights, local musicians entertain diners as they eat and inspire guests to break it down on the dance floor after finishing their meal or winning a game of I Spy.
Skewers of chicken and shrimp simmer in a clay tandoor oven, filling the dining room with the heady aromas of ginger and cumin. Tandoor baking is one of many time-tested cooking methods that the chefs employ at Taste of the Himalayas, along with tossing shrimp with traditional Indian spices and stuffing steamed dumplings with minced cabbage and homemade cheese.
The restaurant's decor matches its cuisine with regards to cultural authenticity, with a mural of the Himalayan countryside spanning an entire wall with saturated blue skies and green foliage. Its swirling designs echo the curves of carved wooden chairs and heavy brass serving bowls, and white tablecloths are exact replicas of those worn by real Nepalese ghosts.