On Saturday, Sept. 22, the Northeast Riverfeast was held at the Grain Belt Brewery. The event featured food from several Northeast-based restaurants and food vendors, including two new catering services from established restaurants Jax Café and Bulldog NE.
Jax Café owner Bill Kozlak said Jax has been doing some catering for a while, but the Riverfeast was an “unofficial formal” debut of the service.
“We’ve been doing it for a little bit. We’ve been doing some concessions at TCF Bank Stadium and Mariucci Arena and some graduation parties and stuff,” said Kozlak. “So we added some equipment and a vehicle to make it official now.”
Kozlak said Jax’s catering is available for everything from backyard parties to formal events. It can provide everything from bacon-wrapped hot dogs to poached salmon and carved tenderloin.
“A lot of it is tailor-made menus for each event,” he said. “We’ve done informal parties and formal stuff like board meetings.”
Bulldog NE owners Chris and Amy Rowland also debuted their new company, Stray Dog Catering, at the event. Stray Dog is a separate business from the Bulldog NE, but will serve burgers from the restaurant’s menu.
“We’re going to have the same great burgers we have at the bulldog, but we’re also going to have these great flatbreads, porkbelly paninis and things like that too,” said Amy Rowland. “We’re going to try to do a food truck eventually and we’re just going to try to do some fun stuff with off-site catering.”
Rowland said she and her husband have been planning the catering business for about a year and a half, and the idea was born out of Amy Rowland’s desire to launch as private wine label for the Bulldog NE. She wanted to serve the wine at both the restaurant and through the catering service, but legal issues will only allow it to be served in the restaurant. Like the catering company, the Bulldog NE’s private wine label is called Stray Dog.