Brie en Croute
Appetizers to Go is a new website that promises to make your party planning easier. Instead of hiring a caterer, you can order gourmet appetizers in bulk from their website and have them shipped overnight. All you have to do is pop them in the oven and you’re ready to go. Some items require a little bit more work in that they need to be deep fried.
I think this is a great concept. If I were having a large party or wedding, I would be likely to use this company because I like things that simplifiy my life and save me money. I would also want to serve food that people likely hadn’t eaten before (i.e. not appetizers from Trader Joe’s).
I rarely have large get togethers, so my initial impression was that the site didn’t fulfill a need of mine since many items are shipped in large quantities and the cost is around $90 for a large box. Then I found the gourmet party combo section of the site where you can get certain assortments of appetizers for around $50. Since I regularly buy lots of frozen food but I'm kind of sick of most of the grocery store's offerings, I would be inclined to buy some of these appetizers in the future just for myself.
The variety of items that Appetizers to Go sells is quite impressive. Not only do they put together special packages for holidays like Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, but the site also caters to wide tastes. In addition to standard cocktail party fare, they sell a selection of Kosher appetizers, Asian appetizers, and vegetable appetizers. You can tell by the ingredients and the pricing that they mainly cater to an upscale clientele. Here are a few examples of their appetizers:
Sirloin gorgonzola brochettes
Japanese breaded boursin artichoke
Lobster risotto cakes
Chorizo en filo
Mission fig, stilton, and filo bundle
The company seems very well thought out. Every time I thought of a possible drawback, Appetizers To Go already had it covered. I thought that since most items are sold in large quantities, it might be easy to get stuck with something you don't like. However, there is a Bride and Groom party sample box where you can try eighteen of their most popular appetizers. This seems like a good thing to order on your first visit to the site. The site accomodates those with allergies or dietary restrictions by listing ingredients. Even though the shipping is overnight and the items have to remain frozen, it only costs $10 (in fact, it's actually free if you buy three boxes). The appetizers are shipped in a styrofoam cooler with dry ice and stay frozen surprisingly well.
I had the opportunity to experience the shipping process and try the brie en croute, a baked brie puff pastry with truffle oil and proscuitto, courtesy of the company. The sample appetizer was quite good--the dough was a bit sweet, and the filling wasn't too salty. True to their promise, I really did just have to unwrap the item and put it on a baking sheet (my kind of cooking), and the suggested baking time was surprisingly accurate. The wheel of brie puffed up in the oven, making the pastry quite attractive just before I cut it open. The only drawback of this item is that instead of being individually sized, it was meant to serve eight, and seemed like it would be awkward and messy to share at a party because the warm cheese is runny and filo dough is notoriously flaky. However, almost all of the site's appetizers actually do come in individual servings, so this drawback isn't an overriding problem. I can’t really vouch for their other appetizers since I was only able to try one item, but there are lots of things that sound good (which I will probably will order), particularly the mission fig, stilton and filo bundle.
Appetizers To Go