Although I might have a ridiculous amount of white plates on hand for parties, they're all 12-inch rounds. This is fine until you're serving strictly finger foods and really require something smaller. For a recent bridal shower, I put a few eco-friendly few pieces from Restaurantware to the test and I have to say — I was pretty darn impressed.
Small disposable plates by nature usually, well, let's be honest... suck. They most often fall into the category of "plates that are made from just enough plastic to not drop food in your lap... maybe." After moving into a new home (or rather an old church we're converting into one) it was decided that I would be the host of a bridal shower with all the women in my (rather large) family. Just having moved I'd yet to unpack my dishware.
Disposables were the natural option, but the options available to me at big box stores weren't really options at all. Paper plates are too thin and although they came in coordinating colors with the bride's colors, if the food being served had any weight or needed to be cut, well then you were out of luck. There's always styrofoam or additional plastic, but they're not made of much either and you can forget about any of them being eco-friendly. I needed rough and tumble plates for rough and tumble women and their army of small children.Restaurantware.com
They've been around the block, they supply to most the major caterers and restaurants in the country and when it comes to party supply, they know what they're doing. If their products fail, they go out of business, it's as simple as that — and they've been in business for 20+ years. That was good enough for me and I requested a few samples to give their products a whirl.
When FedEx arrived at my door I was tickled pink. I found square 6-inch plates for my bridal shower (all recyclable!) and a box filled to the brim of other small assorted serving pieces. You want to see a foodie get all giddy? Give them a box of display servingware and see what happens. There was dancing in the streets and singing from the rooftops, all this stuff was so cool! It was physically impossible to not want to throw a party. I was already designing dishes and small foods around the plates themselves.
Now Sarah, they can't be that thrilling, they're just disposable plates and cups and stuff, right? Wrong! For most folks looking for disposable tableware, these products were just high end options. But to me, the girl who can't throw away anything... I was looking at a box of items that could be reused time and time again when handwashed. Even if that's not high on most folks' list, it was on mine. It meant that one solid investment could last me through a year or more's worth of parties.
There are a few exclusions when it comes to some of the thin pine and bamboo options (as grease or liquids would soak through), but for the most part, I would have been 100% satisfied placing an order for the items and knowing I would more than get my money back out of them, even though their prices are reasonable to begin with.
Aside from looking great and lasting for a reasonable length of time, what impressed me most about the products at hand was their sustainability. The "Sea Green Tableware" (which is tinted slightly green in the photos above) is biodegradable and the clear plastic pieces are recyclable. The bamboo is obviously earth-friendly and their thin pine pieces will be mulch in your compost pile in no time.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)