Last Friday I shared an Instagram story with a super easy dinner party that I hosted for friends. It was by far one of the easiest events I’ve hosted. There was virtually no cooking, and very little chopping and prepping and it was all very budget-friendly.
This Sandwich party was a total hit on my Instagram stories and people were fascinated by how affordable and simple it was. Though I shared a couple of tips in my Instagram stories, I wanted to write a full post on how to host your own. The pictures aren’t the best because I wasn’t planning on posting this, but I hope you enjoy!
As you plan your own, you can make this as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. For me, part of the fun was getting creative with the sauces and spreads. I made a delicious mushroom spread, the lemon arugula pesto, red pesto, and caramelized onions.
The great thing about hosting a Sandwich Bar is that you can easily accommodate guests with specific dietary restrictions. Whether your guest is on a diet, vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant or gluten-free they’ll be able to choose a sandwich or lettuce wrap that they’ll love.
Here’s a list of menu items you can choose from.
- Gluten Free Bread
- Pita Bread
- Sandwich Bread
- Lettuce Wraps
- Cashew Cheese
- Shredded Chicken
- Turkey Breast
- BBQ Jackfruit
- Dijon Mustard
- Pickled Onions
- Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Red Peppers
- Banana Peppers
- Sundried Tomatoes
- Potato Chips
- Plantain Chips
The Little Details
I kept the decoration as casual as the menu and used kraft paper as a tablecloth for the buffet and dining table. I had seen this on Pinterest when I was hooked on it sometime around 2012 but hadn’t done it before.
I bought the recycled kraft paper by the yard at a local craft store, but you can find it on Amazon by clicking below:
Directly on the kraft paper, I labeled all the ingredients, which not only added a playful element but was also very useful when it came to guests building their own sandwiches.
This made clean up easy for the buffet table and the dining table.
Fast Food Baskets
I bought fast food baskets because I think they’re fun, but they were also very practical when it came to clean up. Click below to buy similar ones on Amazon.
To keep dishwashing low, without using paper plates, I used reusable fast food baskets with wax paper liners. These make for very easy cleanup and will come in handy for other casual events in my house.
I also used these to serve chips family style in the center of the table. I can’t wait to use them again for burger parties, taco nights and other casual events.
Since the dining table was covered in kraft, and the baskets were sitting in the corner of the buffet, I wanted to add simple decor so that it didn’t look so plain. Fancy flowers would’ve looked out of place and anything large would’ve been in the way.
I used these tiny bottles that I bought on Amazon, and added long-lasting Ruscus leaves to add a small detail that wouldn’t be in the way and could easily be moved when the way more important chips came to the table.
An easy way to add something funny and thematic to an event at home is a funny quote or saying in a letterboard. I try to update this letterboard whenever I have friends over for a fun dinner and it’s always a hit.
You could use a chalkboard, letters on your fridge, a lightbox or a letterboard. In my old apartment, I used to have a lightbox in the entryway, and now I have this letterboard hanging in my kitchen which always end up being the first stop for everyone that comes to my house.
Get creative! It’s a fun way to not take your event or yourself too seriously.
My letterboard was a rare Home Goods find that was the perfect fit for the wall I was putting it on. Though I can’t find a similar size online, but I’ve linked a small square one below that fits just about anywhere. Because of it’s size you can prop it against a wall or place it in just about any corner. It would look great on your bar car!
Step by Step
- Go Shopping: Use the menu suggestions above to build a shopping list to your liking. If you have guests with dietary restrictions or that are currently on a diet, make sure you include options for them.
- Set up the Sandwich Station:
- Pace the kraft paper on the surface you’ll be using for the sandwich bar (I used my kitchen island). Secure it with masking tape to the sides or bottom of the table.
- Place all serving plates and plates on the table. I used a mismatched group of plates that I selected based on size
- Add post-its labeling what should be in each. This will help you at the moment of serving and with the next step. They should be in the following order: breads and bases → sauces → meats → cheeses→ veggies.
- Write the name of each item on the kraft paper.
- I borrowed a sandwich press from a neighbor and set it up close to the station.
- This can be done the day or morning before the event.
- Prep the Food:
- Before your guests arrive, you can set up some food items to make serving easier.
- Sauces can be served ahead of time in their small plates and kept in the fridge.
- Cut the baguettes or any other bread that needs cutting, but make sure to store it covered so that it doesn’t go stale.
- Cut the veggies and store in the fridge; If you’re going to be roasting vegetables, do it and store in the fridge.
- Serve the Food:
- Place the bacon in the oven when your guests start to arrive. I prefer baking it (400° F for 15-20 min)
- Serve everything while the bacon is cooking.
- Having the plates out and everything labeled will help you not miss anything or stress.
There was a tiny restaurant in NYC (can’t remember the name) that only served paninis. The only dessert was, of course, a sweet Nutella panini. I have to admit I went there a couple of times for lunch just to have the dessert so I can’t believe I didn’t think of adding sweet sandwiches to the menu. A genius Diccia Instagram followers asked for suggestions reminded me of this option.
Here are some menu ideas to add deserts to your sandwich bar:
- Dinner Rolls
- Peanut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Sliced Bananas
- Shredded Coconut
- Dulce de Leche
Hope you decide to host an easy and budget-friendly Sandwich Bar.