We’ve all been to those perfect Memorial Day barbecues, where the hosts seem to magically whisk together dishes that would make Martha Stewart jealous.
Luckily for the rest of us there’s a great way to fake it. We’re talking takeout, prepped meals that will make your Memorial Day party Instagram-worthy. Here are five options to save your holiday feast:
Carmine’s Gourmet Market
If your Memorial Day “barbecue” will have white-jacketed waiters and evening gowns, then you’ll need a catering menu to match all that circumstance. Carmine’s will start off with passed apps like cheese-stuffed Belgian endive and mini beef wellingtons, followed by chicken marsala and tilapia abruzzo. End the night with Italian rum cake and the house specialty, tiramisu. Apps will run you about $2 each, entrees from about $5 to $15 per person and $49 for a tiramisu that’ll feed a dozen. But ignore the bottom line if your spread must appear flown in from the Old World.
2401 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561.775.0105; carmines.com
Eten Food Co.
From a Las Olas storefront no wider than a shotgun shack, Eten has created a takeout mecca. It is a custom catering operation, so they’ll create a menu for you or work with whatever you request. They also prep “table-ready” platters, meaning you won’t even need to add the sprig of parsley to pretty it up.
1404 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954.383.4460; etenfood.com
Fernanda’s International Market
Maybe you know Fernanda’s mostly for those incredible Italian subs. But they also do a brisk business of prepared food that makes for a fine party or picnic. They’ll mix up a basket of dishes like tomato basil salad, Brussel sprouts and chicken cutlets, setting you back about $10-$12 per person. “We can customize anything,” says owner and manager Bethany Johasky. “And don’t worry about reheating, because our food is so good you can eat it cold. I’ve seen people polish off a container of Brussel sprouts standing right here.”
3045 N Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954.566.3104; fernandasmkt.com
Fit Food Fresh
Here’s the best option if your Memorial Day guest list includes dieters, vegetarians, Paleo-only eaters or all-organic enthusiasts. Fit Food Fresh is typically a weekly food delivery service, but you can also put in a one-time order for a Memorial Day spread of delivered dishes. They include grilled wild-caught salmon, chicken roulade and Korean meatballs, with prices of about $10-$15. The best part for the health-conscious is the meals all come with nutritional information, so you know exactly how many calories you’re eating before all the drinking begins.
129 NW 13th St., Boca Raton; 866.600.4778; fitfoodfresh.com
The Roasted Fig
Panama City-born Chef Freddy Kunkel offers a catering service throughout South Florida that runs from the budget-conscious to the big-spender. Order boxed lunches with things like smoked pork sandwiches or the signature roasted fig salad for less than you’d pay at most restaurants ($15.50 per person). Or go all-out and bring in Chef Freddy to cater the party, with menus as diverse as a five-course vegan spread that ends with a blueberry crumble with coconut ice cream.
525 NW 1st Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954.399.0271; theroastedfig.com
Photo courtesy of Carmine's Gourmet Market
Photo courtesy of Eten Food Co.
Photo courtesy of Fernanda's International Market
Photo courtesy of Fit Food Fresh
Photo courtesy of The Roasted Fig