Monday, August 20, 2018

Fun Fun Fun in the San Jose Sun: Where to Go

Several festivals are still coming our way with food, fun and more. So let’s get right to it so that you can mark your calendars for these great local activities.


Italian Family Festa

August 25th & 26th at History Park is the 38th annual Italian Family Festa. Each year the Festa adds new activities to keep the Festa fun and relaxing while providing a truly cultural experience to the community. This year’s addition is the Galbani Cooking Stage, sponsored by Galbani Cheese, with celebrity Chef Marco sharing his recipes and cooking tips. With Italian music, entertainment, cultural exhibits and presentations, cooking demonstrations, grape stomps, wine tasting, bocce and more, this is a weekend filled with fun that shouldn’t be missed.


Viva Frida!

September 9th marks a festive tribute in honor of renowned Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo! Head over to Mexican Heritage Plaza to enjoy food, art, music, culture, tequila, and margaritas. Listen to live Mariachi as you admire paintings from local Chicano and Mexican artists and there be a variety of food vendors plus Mexican antojitos, Frida themed photo booths and a festive atmosphere to celebrate one of Mexico’s most renowned artists. The event is kid friendly so the whole family can enjoy this festival and this year there will be a Frida and Diego lookalike contest but tickets will not be sold at the door, so be sure to get yours ahead of time.


Chile, Mole, Pozole

Sunday, September 16th from 11am-4pm you should again visit Mexican Heritage Plaza at The School of Arts and Culture for Chile, Mole, Pozole – a celebration of Mexican Independence Day featuring traditional food, unique family recipes, and art that bridges the traditions of Mexico and East San Jose. At this inaugural event, twelve families will prepare their salsa recipes using locally sourced vegetables. As an attendee, you can sample these delicious salsas and hear the stories behind their creation. Additionally, there will be 3 local restaurants on hand serving up the delicious Mexican staple dishes of mole and pozole.


Looking To Spice Up Your Party Menu?

Whether you have a small gathering of friends, a large reunion, corporate event or a local wedding, Handheld Catering will work with you to design a custom catering menu to please all of your guests. We offer fresh, high-quality and, most importantly, delicious food to the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Contact us today and let Handheld Catering take care of the food.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Check Out These Great San Jose Wedding Venues

Weddings are fun! Nerve-wracking, but fun. And a huge part of that fun is planning the entire thing but trying to find the perfect location around San Jose can be a little overwhelming at times. So today we thought we’d shine the light on a few of the more ‘top-of-the-line’ venues.


Corinthian Grand Ballroom

Located in Downtown San Jose, the Corinthian Grand Ballroom is the premier location for your wedding ceremony & reception. The Corinthian Grand Ballroom is “Silicon Valley’s most elegant and historic private venue” and can accommodate up to 350 guests!


Wedgewood Weddings | Boulder Ridge

Located in Boulder Ridge, high above the Santa Clara Valley in San Jose, Wedgewood Weddings offers panoramic views of the entire Silicon Valley and features a stunning backdrop of the Santa Cruz Mountain Range. 360-degree views of the lush valley make the perfect backdrop for your weddings photos and this venue can handle up to 200 guests. The average wedding cost at Wedgewood Weddings, Boulder Ridge is estimated at between $13,657 and $17,522 for a ceremony & reception for 100 guests.


The Ranch Golf Club, South Bay

Offering more than just an 18-hole golf course, The Ranch Golf Club in the South San Jose hills offers a unique wedding venue that you have to see to believe. With an endless view of the countryside that extends far beyond the meticulous fairways to the glistening, San Francisco skyline, it’s a location that neither you nor your guests will soon forget. For a ceremony & reception with 100 guests, the average wedding cost at The Ranch Golf Club is estimated at between $16,734 and $27,167.


Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, South Bay

This 27-hole golf course is nestled in Coyote Valley, providing a beautiful view of the lush rolling hills. The clubhouse has large windows with elegant white edging that frame the exquisite views and a massive, decorative skylight atop the room with a pyramid-like quality adds impressive lighting. At Cinnabar Hills Golf Club you can expect to pay between $9,825 and $17,592 for a ceremony & reception with 100 guests.


Got Something a Little More Budget-Friendly Planned?

We know that the above locations aren’t for every wedding and you can also check out some of our favorite Bay Area Wedding Venues. However, no matter what venue you choose, Handheld Catering can provide you with Bay Area wedding catering that is customized to your specifications. Almost nothing makes us more excited than crafting a delicious and fresh-made meal, but we’ve got to say — true love comes pretty close. Handheld Catering is thrilled to offer wedding catering services throughout the Bay Area including Santa Clara, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and San Jose, so that newlyweds and guests alike can have the dining experience of a lifetime.


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Monday, August 6, 2018

Handheld Catering On Location At Stanford University

Recently we were honored to be a part of a two-day event at the University’s Center on Global Poverty and Development. This research center works to improve the lives of the world’s poor and is working diligently to turn path-breaking research into real-world results. From research and awarding student fellowships to convening conferences and events, the Center strives to improve policies that will make people’s lives better.


What Was On The Menu

With 2 full days of breakfast, lunch, and snacks, Handheld Catering worked up an impressive menu for all four meals. Of course, as a Certified Green Business, we used all biodegradable products for all plating and utensils, as well as napkins the cups for beverages and coffee.

Day 1 Menu


  • Fruit salad
  • Egg, potato, spinach, bacon, mushroom, onion, tomato and cheddar cheese frittatas.
  • Vegetarian option with egg, potato, spinach, red pepper onions and Swiss.
  • Build your own bagel bar with assorted sliced bagels, sliced cheddar, and Swiss, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado.
  • Assorted juices, tea and of course plenty of coffee.

AM Snack

  • Assorted mini muffins & mini scones with jam and butter.
  • Assorted soft drinks, mineral water and lemon and mint-infused water.

Buffet Lunch

  • Baby arugula salad with orange and grapefruit segments, shaved fennel, red onion and a honey lemon vinaigrette.
  • Seasonal vegetables.
  • Garlic and leek mashed potatoes.
  • Fried Sea Bass with a tarragon white wine sauce.
  • Vegetarian entree which was roasted red bell peppers filled with wild rice, spinach, corn, fava beans, and tomatoes.
  • Dessert was salted caramel brownies, lemon bars, and blueberry crumble bars.

Day 2 Menu

The Daily Start Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs with fresh chives.
  • Roasted breakfast potatoes with red peppers and onions.
  • Chicken apple sausage.
  • Fresh fruit platter.
  • Assorted mini croissants.
  • Assorted Greek yogurt cups with granola on the side.
  • Beverage service with coffee, tea, and juice.

AM Snack

  • Assorted breakfast breads – banana, zucchini and lemon poppyseed.
  • Assorted soft drinks and mineral water with lemon and mint infused.

Buffet Lunch

  • Naan
  • Steam basmati rice
  • Aloo gobi with potatoes, cauliflower, and peas in Indian spices.
  • Vegetarian option of Dall-Indian spiced lentils.
  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Dessert was individual gulab jamun/ mango fruit custards

You Need Handheld Catering

No matter if you’re having a formal event or a small social gathering, Handheld Catering can customize a menu that’s perfect for you. Whether you substitute certain items from one of our delicious menus or you have us craft one from the ground up, we will make a meal that you and your guests are destined to enjoy. Contact us today for your upcoming Palo Alto corporate event catering needs, wedding, reunion or just a gathering of friends. We’ll take care of everything – you just enjoy the party.


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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Handheld Catering Certified As Green Business

You likely know that at Handheld Catering we strive to use the freshest ingredients from local growers and farmers and that we practice the farm-to-fork approach. However, we are proud to announce that we are now the first caterer in Silicon Valley to be Certified as a Green Business and only the 36th in the entire state of California to receive such a distinguished honor. This is a milestone that we are extremely delighted to achieve and we couldn’t wait to share this news with you.


So What Does ‘Certified’ Mean?

Becoming a Certified Green Business is reserved for those companies that are verified to be complying with environmental regulations in the areas of pollution prevention, business waste, energy, water and air quality and that show they truly care about sustainability. Handheld Catering is committed to taking action to conserve resources and prevent pollution and this Certification lets the rest of the state know exactly how committed we are.


What Differences Do Green Businesses Make?

As of 2018, there have been 3,108 California businesses Certified Green and the overall savings has been huge. Take a look at some of these savings from the past year.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emission – With the equivalent of planting 419.696 trees in one year, greenhouse gas was reduced by 356,322 metric tons.
  • Utility Usage – Small businesses saved $9,000,000 in utilities.
  • Diverted Waste – 122,030 metric tons of waste was diverted from landfills and that’s the equivalent of 15,253 garbage trucks worth.
  • Water Conservation – 60,621,760 gallons of water saved – enough to fill over 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools.


Why Get Certified?

Becoming a California Green Business Partner not only means that you’re doing your part to fight climate change, but that you’re committed to improving the health of our citizens and environment. Savings in energy, water and garbage thanks to cost-saving practices mean less waste and more money retained by the company and by using less toxic products, your staff members benefit as well.

Recent studies have shown that consumer’s desire to patronize businesses that are doing their part for the environment has been steadily increasing and 42% of surveyed California Green Businesses reported an increase in business since receiving their recognition.


Let Us Do The Cooking

Handheld Catering is available for all of your private and office events in the Bay Area. We will customize a menu specifically to your likes or specifications and since we use those locally-sourced fresh ingredients and we are Certified Green, you know that you and your guests will be treated to an unforgettable meal.

Whether you have a wedding, reunion, small family get together or a large and very important client or corporate meeting, Handheld Catering will craft a delightful breakfast, lunch or dinner that you can be proud of. Contact us today and let us do the cooking so you can enjoy the gathering.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Summer Might Be Winding Down, But You Don’t Have To!

There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful weather in the Bay Area. As Summer winds down and Spring starts to peek its gorgeous head out at us, we wanted to point out a few great festivals that are on the horizon.


The San Jose Jazz Fest helps wrap up the Summer August 10-12. With over 100 artists scheduled to perform and almost a dozen stages, the weekend is destined to be fantastic. Visit their website for a complete list of performers but there will be headliners including Jane Monheit, Yissy & Bandancha, Johnny Gill, Sarah McKenzie, Kool & The Gang and more, this is one festival in San Jose that you don’t want to miss.


August 18 & 19 you can visit the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Yosip Parish, located at 680 Minnesota Avenue in San Jose to enjoy the 26th Annual Assyrian Food Festival. Admission is free and the festival showcases Assyrian food, traditions and educating the community about Assyrian heritage, as well as preserving and passing on Assyrian cultural traditions to the next generation. Make plans to attend the festival and enjoy authentic food, music, and dance.


The Italian Family Festa takes place August 25 & 26 at History Park in San Jose. Admission is free and there will be Italian food, live music, wine, grape stomp, bocce, cultural seminars and historical/genealogical displays. Leave the animals at home for this one, only service animals are allowed, and Saturday night there will be a street dance. The music lineup is certain to please and vendors will be offering so much delicious Italian food, you might gain a few pounds.


The 2018 Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival will take place this year September 15 & 16 in Central Park. This festival will feature the talents of local and regional artists with nearly 175 booths to visit, 25 community groups serving international foods, four vintners pouring fine wines, micro-brewed beer, live entertainment on three stages, and the ever-popular Kids Kingdom.


There’s not much that can beat the sights, sounds, and tastes in and around the Bay Area. Take the time to enjoy your weekends outdoors with the festivals above and be sure to watch our Blog for regular updates on happenings in and around San Jose.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Get Outside this Summer! 3 Great Activities in the Bay Area

Summer means sun and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy some of the Beauty around the Bay Area. There are a lot of great places to go hiking this summer but we’ve put together 3 area selections and paired them with a great place nearby to dine afterwards.

Encased by Mountain View and East Palo Alto, the Baylands Nature Preserve is a 1,940 acre undisturbed marshland. With 15 miles of multi-use trails you can hike, run, or bike your way around as well as enjoy wind surfing, sailing, canoeing, and a variety of nature walks and programs on ecology and natural history. Dogs are welcome but must remain on a leash and as it’s a preserve, there’s no collecting of plants or animals allowed. One your hiking adventure is complete, stop by the Kali Greek Kitchen for a fantastic local organic menu. With a great selection of light meals and filling plates along with a variety of beer and wine, this is a perfect stop on the way back home.

Also nearby there is the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, a 3,436-acre preserve that is rich in wildlife and ecosystem diversity. Monte Bello is Italian for ‘Beautiful Mountain’ and is surrounded by other open space preserves and parks, making trip options nearly limitless. There are multiple hiking trails available, from a self-guided 3 mile loop with an average 5% grade that will take you about 3 hours to complete, to the Canyon Trail that is popular with bicyclists, and trails that connect to other nearby open space preserves. Once you have completed your day of open space fun, stop in to get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Named in part after the Arlo Guthrie song, Alice’s has been around since the 1960’s, is family owned and operated, and they serve locally sourced ingredients served up in a casual atmosphere that is perfect after a day enjoying the outdoors.

The Windy Hill Preserve is a 1,335-acre preserve featuring open grassland ridges and forests of redwood, fir, and oak. There is a very popular 8 mile loop that goes through the forested ridges to the valley floor and back again that combines the use of 4 different trails popular among hikers and equestrians alike. Leashed dogs are allowed on most of the trails but you need to plan accordingly as there are a couple where they aren’t allowed. Once your workout is done for the day, stop by Nick’s Next Door for some great American Bistro Cuisine. With a fantastic menu, a great wine list, and plenty of spirits, you’ll be glad you made the stop.


Be sure to watch our Blog for other exciting happenings around the Bay Area and don’t forget to contact us for all your catering needs during both private and corporate events this summer.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

3 Reasons to Have Your Summer Vacation in San Jose

Deciding where to make a Summer getaway? Beautiful San Jose is the largest city within the Bay Area and a popular vacation destination throughout the year, but Summers in San Jose are a sight to behold. Be sure to visit our Blog for inside information on festivals and other fun adventures in and around the area, but here are 3 fantastic reasons to plan your Summer vacation in San Jose.

Island Reggae Fest starts at 11am on July 14th at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. The Island Reggae Festival is an area tradition that is celebrating its 7th anniversary this year. There will be lots of live music, a Polynesian Dance Showcase, plenty of food & merchandise vendors, arts & crafts, a tattoo showcase, & unlimited carnival rides for kids 12 & under. This is a full day of fun in San Jose that you won’t want to miss so be sure to take along your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy some time in the sun.

The Paper Plane in downtown San Jose is the perfect spot for a taste of signature crafted cocktails and delicious food while enjoying a late night happy hour that even includes discounts on food. They rotate out their menu every 6 months to match the seasons and feature 16 signature cocktails with 6 on tap, 5 ‘new school’ cocktails from around the world, and 5 classic cocktails. It is a fun, easy-going atmosphere that will make you wish you lived closer to San Jose.

Looking for something special for you and your significant other? Le Papillon is an upscale French restaurant and steakhouse that is the perfect choice for special occasions. Featuring more than 500 wines along with 3 & 4 course dining options, you’ll have your choice of elegant selections suited to any taste. Their menu changes seasonally with a focus on the freshest, local organic ingredients possible and is a great spot for a taste of San Jose.

Got friends and/or relatives coming to visit you in San Jose? Handheld Catering is available for private events and we will customize the perfect menu for your get together, no matter how large or small. At Handheld Catering, we follow the Farm-to-Fork approach, using fresh locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible, and serve gourmet meals that are unforgettable for private/special gatherings, weddings, and even corporate settings. Give your guests a taste of San Jose with catering you can be proud of.

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