Effortless entertaining

Charlestown’s catering makes entertaining friends and family easy while you take the credit

Created date

November 20th, 2019
Whether an intimate family gathering in your apartment or a large party in one of the on-site private dining venues, Oak Crest's Catering Department has many options when it comes to entertaining friends and family. 

Whether an intimate family gathering in your apartment or a large party in one of the on-site private dining venues, Charlestown’s Catering Department has many options when it comes to entertaining friends and family. 

This December, Joann Malpass is hosting a Christmas dinner for two dozen family members. The menu has been carefully planned; her home is beautifully decorated, and Joann hasn’t lifted a finger. As a resident of Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., Joann has access to a wide variety of options that will make her family gathering easy and stress-free. 

“I’ve always cooked a holiday dinner,” says Joann, who moved to Charlestown in 2004 from her home on Frederick Road, in Catonsville. “After I moved to Charlestown, I still had everyone over to my apartment. Then our family grew to 24 people, including 10 kids, and we needed more space.”

Now Joann holds her family’s holiday dinner in the Fireside Gallery, one of several venues at the community, and lets Charlestown’s catering department do the cooking. 

“We usually have something to snack on like crab dip or sweet and sour meatballs. For the main course, salmon is usually on the menu,” says Joann. “We have tables set up where the kids can do crafts. The guys can shoot pool outside the Gallery and watch the football game at the bar or relax in the lounge. Sometimes everyone brings their bathing suits and we go to the pool. It all works out nicely.”

Stress-free strategy

Charlestown’s on-site catering handles all the details and lets you take all the credit. 

“We cater all kinds of special events ranging from weddings, birthdays, and baby showers to memorials, bar mitzvahs, graduations, and galas,” says Dining Services Director Aida Blanco Galindo. “We have a variety of indoor and outdoor venues that can accommodate anywhere from 25 to 500 guests. We also deliver full buffet spreads to apartments and other spaces such as the lounge areas and art studios.” 

During the holidays and on any given day for that matter, Charlestown is a great place to host your get-togethers. Each day, seven unique on-site restaurants serve up world-class cuisine for over 2,000 diners. An executive chef oversees the culinary program, and a chef de cuisine oversees each kitchen. A team of cooks and kitchen staff, along with hundreds of high school students who serve in the dining venues, provide support. 

Daily menus offer a variety of entrées and specials ranging from much-loved winter-time comfort foods like meatloaf and pot roast to international fare. Fish and chicken breast, tossed salad, and other special diet-friendly foods are always available. 

When Paul McKean wanted to throw his wife a birthday party with 40 of her friends, he turned to Charlestown’s catering department to help him plan the party, from the venue to the menu. 

“I chose the Gallery. I went with Mexican food, and we also had an open bar,” says Paul. “Catering did a good job. Everything turned out great, and my wife was thrilled with the party.”

Less mess, less stress

Charlestown Sales Associate Molly Fricker says a common misconception about Charlestown is once you move, entertaining becomes a thing of the past. 

“When you move to Charlestown, the only thing you sacrifice, if you choose, is the cooking and cleaning that go along with entertaining,” says Fricker. “Apartments are large enough to host your weekly book club, or if you want to continue the tradition of making Christmas cookies with your grandkids, you can still do that. Or if you don’t want to spend your time stuck in the kitchen and cleaning your apartment, our private dining rooms and catering department are affordable, convenient options that are available to you.”

Besides Christmas dinner, Joann has also used Charlestown’s catering department to host wedding and baby showers. With a wide-ranging catering menu that includes buffets with omelet and waffle bars, gourmet lunches with homemade sandwiches, soups, and salads; hot dinner buffets and plated entrees; afternoon teas; hors d’oeuvres; desserts; and a full bar, the sky is the limit.

“They do a great job and best of all, I don’t have to do a thing,” says Joann.

Blanco Galindo notes that Charlestown’s venues and catering service are not exclusive to Charlestown residents, but available at an affordable rate to anyone in the greater community looking to host an event.

In addition to their many dining and catering options, Charlestown hosts a variety of concerts, performances, and other fun events throughout the holiday season, including their popular Chapel Concert Series in the historic Our Lady of the Angels Chapel.