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Health food in the East Bay is losing its snob appeal. Two new restaurants combine healthy, often organic ingredients to create quick meals—that don’t cost that much more than a Big Mac.


Photography by Joe Budd

You’re throwing a small party. By the time you’re done buying the food, picking up cups and napkins, swinging by the liquor store, and stopping for ice, you may not be in the partying mood anymore. That’s where caterer Barbara Llewellyn’s Party in a Box comes in.

“Our clients lead very busy lives,” says Llewellyn, an Orinda resident. “They may not have time to shop and prepare for entertaining, but they don’t have a need for a full-service event, either.”

The boxes—with themes ranging from a tailgate party, to wine tasting, to girls night—supply a party of six to 12 and include everything from fresh flowers, to adorable cocktail napkins, to stylish glasses and china plates.

The service comes with all the food you need, too. Perfectly aged cheeses, for example, come with supercrisp crackers, spiced digestive biscuits, and bread sticks straight from the oven. And, dessert might be artisan chocolates prepared by Llewellyn’s pastry chef.

The box even contains some entertainment, as in tasting notes, games such as Table Topics, and music mixes on CD. Best of all, the loot in the box is yours to keep after the event.

Each Party in a Box is $65–$150, plus the cost of food. Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning, 434 25th St., Oakland, (510) 832-1967, www.barbarallewellyn.com.

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