Over the summer, I asked for advice on catering a 1st birthday party for my son. (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424208)
I got great advice from everyone and I finally got around to putting together a report. (See bottom for link to photos -- last one is of the birthday boy enjoying his cake before he went to bed!)
Everything worked out so unbelievably well. We ordered the food from Standing Room Only. Jack was a total pleasure to deal with. As I stated in the original thread, I was a little skeptical because I kept trying to reach him and never heard back. The party was immediately following the Jewish holidays, and while I suspected that they were totally busy, I was offput a bit. Well, when he did get back to me, I couldn't have been happier or felt more confident. Most of the arrangements were made via e-mail's late at night (we were corresponding back and forth at around 11:00 each night!), but that was totally fine with me. He was quick to respond, make any adjustments that I wanted and made me feel comfortable.
On the day of the party, he personally delivered the food to my house exactly when he said he would, if a few minutes early. When he showed up, I felt like an old friend was walking in the door!
We had a crudite with an excellent scallion/leek dip, 4 types of sandwiches, 3 salads -- a corn salad, an asian slaw and a green salad -- plus fruit salad. There was also a tray of macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders for the kids (although many of the adults were raving about the macaroni and cheese!). I didn't get to eat much during the party, but it all looked great on the table and it tasted good even after everyone left.
On to the cake... As I said in the other thread, we decided to go with the cake from Lulu. The bottom tier was yellow cake and a chocolate pudding filling, and the top tier was a chocolate cake with their oreo filling. The outside was a layer of fondant, and underneath the fondant was a layer of frosting on the cake.
First of all, it looked fabulous! When people arrived, everyone was surrounding the cake in awe! And words cannot begin to describe how delicious this cake was (moans and groans would be more appropriate!). While the yellow cake with the chocolate pudding was moist and sensational, the cookies and cream part was the absolute winner! Moist chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling (huge chunks of Lulu's homemade "oreos" in the filling). Oh my god, was it good. People were RAVING about it! After 1 taste, my husband and I looked at each other and said at the same time "we know what we're ordering for R's (our daughter's) birthday party in October"!
And when my husband and my father went to pick up the cake that morning, they came home with an extra cake! Apparently, Jay had some extra cakes that were made for whatever reason, so he said to my husband "here, take a cake home with you"! It was the cookies and cream cake with vanilla frosting (not decorated). We had lot of our own cake left over, so I hated for the extra cake to go to waste (plus if it stayed in our house, I would have been the one to eat the whole thing!), so the next day I bought it to my office. More raves.
Separately, the weekend following the party we were going to a friend's house in NJ for the Yom Kippur break fast. She was having a large-ish crown and I was assigned to bring a dessert. I was planning to make an apple-cranberry pie, but early that week, I was on Lulu's website and I noticed that they were making their "homemade Yodels" for the holiday. I couldn't resist. I ordered 2 dozen Yodels and brought them to my friend's house. And while there was a TON of food and desserts, everyone was walking around saying "Who brought these Yodels?". I was proud.
Can you tell that I was happy? My daughter's 3rd birthday party is next weekend, and since we're having at a "place", I don't need to order food (well, pizza, but that doesn't count as food). But we did already order the cake from Lulu. I can't wait to sink my teeth into that cookies and cream again!
Thanks to all who gave me advice...I can't wait to host another party!