Think Outside the Lunch Box

  • Think Outside the Lunch Box

    Boxed lunches don’t need to be boring, just ask these four catering pros.

     
    FROM THE Fall 2018 ISSUE
     

    The Box Lunch serves healthy on-the-go meals.

  • Think Outside the Lunch Box

    Boxed lunches don’t need to be boring, just ask these four catering pros.

     
    FROM THE Fall 2018 ISSUE
     

    Spring mix salad with grilled chicken from Capozzoli Catering

There's nothing easier than a boxed lunch. Both set-up and clean-up are simple, and ordering them takes no effort. While guests aren’t necessarily excited about eating them, they’re a safe option for any event.

But boxed lunches can be tired. How many prepackaged, bland turkey sandwiches can one person eat? However, if you do your homework, you can find a number of companies across Pennsylvania that deliver delicious and unique lunches. We rounded up a few that will make eating at your event a breeze and something guests will actually look forward to.  

Healthy and Satisfying

A few years ago, Connor Ryan became interested in CrossFit—the fitness regimen. At the same time, he and his family decided to dedicate their life to eating healthy. A selftaught cook who has worked in numerous kitchens over the years, Ryan then found an opening in the marketplace for healthy, on-the-go meals that were both tasty and healthy. Thus, The Box Lunch was born. Along with catering, the company drops off box lunches filled with menu items such as quinoa bowls and chicken fajitas to CrossFit Kennett Square and CrossFit Wheelhouse twice a week as well as a number of others. Those who frequent the gyms put in their order every week and simply pick up their lunches at their own leisure at whichever location they frequent. The meals align perfectly with the healthy eating CrossFit participants typically dedicate their life to and are a great alternative to the ham and turkey sandwiches usually found in boxed lunches at conferences and outdoor events. 

“It’s convenient,” says Ryan. “My goal was to make good food, simple food that tasted good.” 

A Chip off the Old Block

At 80-plus years old, Capozzoli Catering has seen more than its fair share of boxed lunches. With the capability to serve anywhere from 10-10,000, size isn’t really a problem, and travel isn’t an issue either. The company offers several types including the Average Joe and the South Philly. The former features options such as ham and cheese, tuna and roast beef sandwiches, and comes with potato chips, fruit, cookies and disposable products. The latter features a number of hoagie options and comes with potato chips, pasta salad, Tastykakes and disposable products. Customers can also purchase enhancements, which include assorted candy bars and berries.

“It’s so convenient. Everything is combined in one box,” says Michael Capozzoli Jr., executive chef for the company and grandson of Tony Capozzoli who opened the restaurant. “It’s a great option.”

The restaurant, located in Folsom, prides itself on serving fresh food. As opposed to premade sandwiches and packaged cookies, they make everything themselves, and get their rolls, brownies and other items delivered every day. 

No Event Too Big

Many catering companies have a maximum capacity of people they can serve. At All the Best Catering, that’s simply not the case. A number of years ago, Citizens Bank hosted its first anniversary party in Pittsburgh. The catering company had to deliver 16,000 boxed lunches to about 15 locations. Arthur Cohen, owner of the Pittsburgh-based company, and 30-40 other people worked around the clock for 48 hours to pull off the gig. 

Their offerings are pretty standard with sandwich boxes and salad boxes. But what makes them stand out, Cohen says, is their use of Boar’s Head meat and local bakery items from BreakWorks Breads. Items include turkey club wraps, Italian subs and chicken breast sandwiches with salads such as Caesar, chef salad and grilled veggie. All boxes come with a number of sides including cookies, a beverage, fruit, pickles, mints, disposables, a surprise snack and more. They also take time to craft the box’s presentation, making sure it’s visually pleasing and includes delicious food. They deliver 100 to 200 boxes a day. 

“I’m a little biased, but we do the best boxed lunches in Pittsburgh,” says Cohen. “It’s all about the quality and variety of our boxes.” 

A Parisian Affair

Donna Lussier used to bake her treats at home, selling them at a stand in the Lancaster Central Market. Now, she’s truly transformed, working in her own brick-and-mortar location called La Petite Patisserie on Gallery Row with a tea room that can host groups of 18 or less.  

A student of the Pennsylvania Culinary School Pastry Arts program, all of the bakery’s options use as many local products as possible from companies across Lancaster County. 

We love what we do and we put a lot of time and effort in producing a delicious, highquality product,” says Lussier. 

Its boxes are more on the gourmet side. Options include a turkey pesto wrap, a BLT with cocoa-crusted bacon and a quiche of the day. Each box comes with a side—either a crudite cup with housemade onion dip or French potato salad—and a chocolate chip or sugar cookie. Beverages also are included. Adding French macarons—the most popular item—is a must. 

“It is not your average boxed lunch,” says Lussier. “It comes in pretty packaging that makes you feel excited when you open it and once you do, you are happy to taste how delicious it is.” 

Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) held an event with corporate planners at Mistral at the King of Prussia Mall to spread the word about Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA, which debuted in July at the Big Top on the grounds of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

 

Following his intuition led Brian Czarnecki to Camelback Resort.

 

Meet in the Birthplace of Little League Baseball