Saz's Event Showcase
Catering Beyond the Sampler Platter
Being from Milwaukee and a regular on the Summerfest grounds, I know there are certain food staples that most fair goers indulge in including the Saz’s sampler platter. Loading up on mozzarella sticks, cheese curds and french fries are not something anyone should do on a regular basis but for those 10 days of Summerfest most Milwaukeeans will take the chance to indulge. Because of their delicious fair food it’s sometimes surprising to couples that Saz’s does a great job of going beyond their more casual menu of curds and ribs to cater to a whole new group - weddings.
|Saz's Seafood Tower
I recently had the opportunity to attend Saz’s Event Showcase at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Not only was this an excellent opportunity to sample my way through Saz’s wedding menu, it also allowed me to see the zoo’s many unique event spaces. I want to focus this article on the food, but I will point out that if you are looking for a venue a little fun and out of the ordinary, take a look at the zoo. I’m pretty sure that this is the only place in Milwaukee that your guests can sip champagne while eyeing up a cheetah. Not quite that adventurous? The zoo also has three more traditional event spaces. You will still be in the zoo, but the wildlife won’t be eyeing up your entree.
But, let’s get back to the food. I was told to come hungry so my dinner date and I made sure to eat a light lunch and we were ever so happy that we did. Our first stop was U.S. Bank Gathering Place which was the welcome center and check-in for the event. While waiting in line for our credentials to enter, we were welcomed with delicious seared duck BLT. Even though my companion chose to discard her finely diced tomatoes, we both agreed that it was a unique and tasty start to our evening.
After gathering up our itinerary, we wandered into the Apes of Africa building for some refreshments and appetizers. The ape exhibit provided for a very unique backdrop for mingling with cocktails and snacks. Passed around the exhibit were beautifully decorated Peach with a Kiss Margaritas which were light, refreshing and would be an exciting alternative to your standard passed champagne. While not out of the ordinary by any means, the meat, fruit and cheese display was extremely eye catching, fresh and tasty. The veggies were chopped and put into tall cylinders instead of your typical horizontal display making even the most simple of appetizers appealing to the masses.
Realizing that we had quite a bit of sampling to go, we made our way to the Peck Welcome Center for a sampling of Saz’s station menu. The Welcome Center is the largest of the buildings and is able to hold up to 500 guests making it one of the few non-hotel space options in Milwaukee that are able to hold events of that size. The room was lively with a band, bar and lots and lots of food. Immediately grabbing my attention was the multi-level raw bar stacking shrimp, oysters and ceviche on layers of carved ice. If you are looking for something extraordinary, this would make that statement. At this point the lines were running long so my companion and I made a plan of attack and spread out. I stayed in line for the mashed potato martini bar where I was able to select from countless options to add to my spuds including everything from chorizo and ham, to cheddar and chives. I thought it was a great touch to have your ingredients sauteed to order as opposed to cooking in advance. My friend went around to the back side of this station and secured us some Pork Osso Bucco which was extremely tender and falling off the bone. We could have eaten more of both of those but decided to save room for the next course if you will. I do want to mention that if you are looking for stations, Saz’s has just about every ethnicity on their menu including German, Mexican and Asian making this a great dining mix for multicultural couples looking to provide their guests with a mix of both of their ethnicities. Looking for something not on the menu? Don’t be afraid to ask! Saz’s chefs will work with you to create a perfect menu for your event.
We next moved to the Zoofari Conference Center which is located off of Bluemound Road before actually entering the zoo. This space contained samplings of Saz’s many wonderful buffet menu options. Feeling on the brink of fullness, we still managed to fill our plates with carved beef Wellington, carved pork, state street chicken, red roasted potatoes and grilled veggies. Not only was the food hot and flavorful, but the presentation was again eye-catching making your buffett a step above the standard hot plates.
With only a half hour left, we thought we might as well go all out and head over to the Feline Building for dessert. I was kind of glad that we only had 20 minutes to take in the sweetness that awaited or I’m pretty sure I would have made it my personal mission to sample everything. We decided to go big and then go home with a stop at the crepe station for a Bananas Foster hot and gooey crepe. The chef in charge of this indulgence really had to twist our arm to convince us to add the chocolate, strawberries and whipped cream to the already indulgent dessert. We sipped our champagne and moaned our way through the rich dessert but we somehow both managed to eat the entire thing and resisted the urge to lick the plate clean. If I attend the event next year, I really might eat my dessert first as they had so many yummy displays from cream puffs and petite fours to freshly scooped gelato.
Looking at my companion, we both knew that it was time to leave. We had eaten so much exceptional food that the thought of another bite was becoming unbearable. Hopefully, you’ll see that he point of this blog is not to focus on my extreme overindulgence but that when you think of Saz’s, you should think of its catering as more than just cheese sticks and ribs. While those things are both delicious too, Saz’s is making a name for itself in Milwaukee’s culinary catering for both casual and formal events of all kinds. There are so many delicious items that I didn’t even have the time to sample (thank goodness!) that any couple looking to write something beyond chicken and beef on their reception cards should definitely give Saz’s a look.
You can view a sample of Saz’s wedding menu on their website: http://www.sazs.com/Catering/index.html