Since, obviously, you can't have a party without some sort of food, I had to find a place that was willing to accommodate a gluten free menu. Since most of our guests were coming from the Schenectady area, it had to be someplace with available parking -- effectively ruling out downtown Albany. My husband also abhors regular bars - he'd much rather play games and have something to actually do. Finally, I wanted to keep it within a reasonable budget for approximately 30 people.
After making a few phone calls, I came up with the perfect venue: Diamond Eight Billiards. It's located in Latham and it's the best pool hall we've found in the area. It had everything we wanted -- pool, darts, foozeball, and a wonderful party manager, Irene, who went above and beyond to accommodate all of my menu requests. My goal for the party - I wanted my husband to be free to eat anything he wanted, and I wanted it to be good enough for all the other guests to enjoy.
The menu that Irene and I worked out:
- Cheese and fruit platter
- Veggie and dip platter (Marzetti ranch dip)
- Tossed salad (Croutons on the side and gluten free Marzetti salad dressing)
- Sausage and peppers (with gluten free sausage, of course)
- Chicken and peppers
- Chicken and mushrooms
- Mild and Medium wings (broiled and tossed with sauce, instead of fried)
- Potato salad
My mother, mother in law, and sister in law stopped by Diamond Eight that afternoon to decorate -- everything looked festive, the food was great (though, I'll confess, I ordered a bit too much - we're eating a ton of leftover wings right now), and my husband was thoroughly surprised. What made it even better, though, was that everyone was entertained for the entire evening. I reserved four pool tables that were constantly busy, they had karaoke, and overall a great time!
* Note: The puggle wasn't invited to the party, and, I'm pretty sure hates me after making her take that picture. But I couldn't resist including it. :-)