You enter the tavern, the lights are low. There’s a handful of figures occupying some tables. Glancing around you see a half-orc drinking solo in a back corner. A group of rowdy gnomes playing some kind of card game, and a lone firbolg bard strums a lyre near the bar. You sit down and a barmaid approaches the table: What’ll you have, folks?
Figuring out party meals is a bit more complex out of game. Tavern’s aren’t always a feasible or affordable option for us in the real world… And tavern owners generally frown upon BYOB.
Our D&D crew tries to meet once a week, and we strongly believe in party meals. We are a bunch of adults with full time jobs who have cleared one night a week to devote to catching up and saving the world. Three of the crew work retail, one works an Australian schedule and somehow we manage to live the dream of weekly D&D. Frequently it is Friday nights after at least half of the people have worked a full day.
I work a corporate job, so my schedule is set in stone. I also have the comfiest, most intimate space with ample parking. The most important “pro”: no roommates or family barging in. There’s something great about music playing in the background while you eat, catch up and play D&D. As a result, I host the majority of Dungeons & Dragons game nights (and coincidentally, the makeshift studio in which we record.)
As owner of the kitchen, it is usually up to me to figure out food for the group of 6. This can get spendy. If I am not feeling the desire to cook for 6 people, they are always willing to chip in for pizza. This is especially important when it’s hot and my meager ACs are struggling to keep up. Also when it gets busy at the day job, it’s a great fallback. If we are having a special event, or feeling fancy, we will order Take & Bake (locally we have Papa Murphy) I’ve also heard of groups bringing their own takeout. A little easier to coordinate in urban areas, than the more rural area where even pizza won’t deliver..
However, I am fortunate enough to have an extremely considerate group of friends who bring snacks and a ton of their own booze. Sometimes I make Jell-o Shots. Occasionally they volunteer to bring entrees, which is always appreciated.
One of my go-to party meals is definitely Tacos. They are amazing for fickle eaters. Do you like cilantro, but the team wizard thinks it tastes like soap? Put it on the side and everyone can dress their tacos to their preference. You can make Salsa chicken with chicken breasts + a jar of your favorite salsa in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours. If you want to elevate your taco game, I suggest an amazing Jalapeno lime Chicken recipe for the slowcooker. A definite crowd-pleaser.
Sometimes, I’m not in the mood for cooking or organizing. A quick declaration of Snaxgiving in group chat and everyone replies with which snack they will bring. Group favorites are frozen taquitos, veggie tray, meat & cheese trays, pinwheels, chips/popcorn, cookies and frozen spanikopita. It can still requires some oven time, but it’s easier than designing a food plan. It still feels like we are sitting down for a dinner, just with less organization.
Every now and then I like to throw out something unusual and see what sticks. My favorite from the past 6 months are The Tea Party and Brunch For Dinner(Brea-nch-ner?) Both were received with resounding “YES!” in the group chat. Everyone was quick to volunteer their favorite food for each event and the menu wrote itself.
And of course at my house we follow a strict BYOB policy. Since everyone has very different tastes, but we all like getting a buzz on while we play. Sometimes we will have a thematic drink. For instance someone brought Champagne and orange juice to brunch for mimosas. For Cinco de Mayo, we made margaritas.
Generally the day after game night includes a “walk of shame” to the recycling bin with a box full of empty beer bottles and cans.
Stay tuned for more details about prepping for the party.
Disclaimer: only the jell-o shots photo is mine. The rest are just fancy pics I pulled from unsplash. Beer: Christin Hume | Brunch: Marie Dehayes | Feast:Gor Davtyan We do use Amazon Affiliate links as a way to subsidize our hosting fees. We choose the links, nothing it being pushed by any agenda other than actual experience with the items.