Goodies & Bits LLC

Dale, TX

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About this pro

Goodies & Bits LLC is owned and operated by award-winning cook Marvin Elam and his wife Estella Elam, a retired educational administrator from the Austin Independent School District.

We offer a wide range of catering options. Our goal is to provide the freshest authentic Spanish paella, soul food and down-home seasoned barbecue in Austin, Texas, and surrounding areas. The food is made from scratch without taking any short cuts on cooking techniques, ingredients or quality of bought food. The food is fantastic with a one and only unique taste.

Addie Broyles, food writer for the Austin Statesman, was one of the judges at an Austin Paella Lovers United Cook-off when Marvin won first place in the non-traditional category. She got a taste of the unique flavor that goes into Mr. Elam's food. Here is an e-mail to Mr. Elam from Addie Broyles:

Hello, Marvin!

It's Addie Broyles, the food writer for the Statesman.

I met you at the Paella Lovers United Cook-off last year (I was one of the judges), and I still haven't forgotten your amazing entry. It was so different than every other paella I tried, and I loved you and your team's enthusiasm for cooking competitions.

In the past few months, I've been wondering if you've been competing and in what kind of contests. You mention (almost in passing) that you guys just really like to enter contests and have gotten pretty good at them over the years. That planted a seed for a story that I think I'd like to write, if you were feeling up to it and were in contest mode this year.

Anyway, let me know what you think! Maybe I could tag along on one of your competitions.

Have a great rest of your week!


When it comes to cooking Soul Food, Barbecue or Paella, Mr. Elam pulls no punches as he creates his own unique signature taste. After making a food purchase from Goodies & Bits, a little girl who is about 8 years old told her dad, "When I get to heaven, I hope they cook food just like this." This typifies what you get when you taste this one-of-a-kind cooking.

In addition to our fine food and friendly, experienced staff, we will work with you to ensure that your event reflects your own taste and personal touches.

Our goal is to relieve you of the many details that go along with hosting a successful party so that you, as well as your guests, can thoroughly enjoy your special event.

Book our Live Paella Party, where we make paella in large 3-feet paella pans, while you and your guests can watch a homemade sofrito being made.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, suggestions or would like to inquire about any additional ways we may be of service.

Thank you for your interest in our catering services. We look forward to working with you to make your special event a success in every possible way.

Very best regards,

Goodies & Bits LLC
Marvin Elam
Managing Officer

Goodies & Bits is as good as it gets.


Dale, TX 78616

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Years in business


Number of employees


Times hired on Thumbtack



19 Reviews
  • Jaymie O. Sep 19, 2017
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
  • Ken J. Jul 28, 2017
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Food was wonderful.
  • Ariel V. Jun 18, 2017
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Fantastic food! Owners are very personable. Would recommend them for the future. Great BBQ at extremely reasonable prices!
  • Christine H. Apr 24, 2017
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Had a 16th birthday party for my son. Goodies & Bits food truck was there to help celebrate. Not only was their food was AMAZING but the price was very reasonable. They were so personable and friendly! Thank you so much for helping to make my son's bday perfect! I would definitely recommend Goodies & Bits for your next celebration!
  • Cindy G. Apr 23, 2017
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Grand BBQ Event DR Horton Donnell Parke Community Party Review
    They were very professional offering quality service. Everyone at our event enjoyed the BBQ. The coleslaw was a little blah, yet I would definitely use them again.
  • Samuel R. Apr 18, 2017
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Goodies & Bits Rocked!!!
    My folks here at HMH loved the food and several people emailed me to make sure and bring Goodies & Bits back to our location. Marvin and Roy were both nice and we look forward to having them again!!
  • Heather E. Apr 2, 2017
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    The best food ever!
    We ate Mr Marvin's amazing food for our wedding! It was amazing!! Everything tasted home cooked and so good, the mac and cheese is absolutely the best I have ever had! The brisket and chicken melted in your mouth!
  • Edy U. Jan 2, 2017
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Happy Holidays
    G & B delivered a terrific birthday lunch to our son's workplace on New Year's Day. Thank you, Marvin!
    Marvin E. Jan 10, 2017

    Thank you very much! It was a pleasure to serve Spectrum News!

  • Carrie D. Nov 14, 2016
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Highly recommended
    I couldn't ask more from Marvin and Estella; they are both lovely people, professional, and punctual. Not to mention their food is DELICIOUS!! I have had them come out twice now for community events, and they have been fantastic both times. They are highly recommended!
  • Ellen H. Oct 10, 2016
    Food Truck or Cart Services
    Verified Review
    Amazing. Goodies and Bits were simply amazing, awesome. They showed up early and were prepared when our church members were leaving service. Service was quick and the food was awesome. There was something for everyone. I loved that we had options to choose from as to what they served. I even know some people that went back twice. A tremendous thanks for helping to make our event successful.
  • Celina M. Sep 25, 2016
    Event Catering (Drop-off)
    Verified Review
    Catering experience
    What a great experience!!! The food (which was amazing) was delivered on time as promised and Marvin and his wife are simply wonderful people. He knew what I was looking for in a menu and came through for me.
  • Debbie K. Dec 21, 2015
    My nonprofit had the pleasure of hosting Goodies and Bits food trailer onsite at our studios! The Royal Chefs, Marvin and Estella, are a pleasure to work with and the food is Heavenly! My favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth brisket on a melt-in-your-mouth roll! The pound cake was also delicious!!!!
  • Don G. Dec 19, 2015
    I personally watched Marvin make a huge batch of paella at a back yard bar-b-que. It was a wonderful sight and a great meal!! The man can cook!
  • David D. Dec 15, 2015
    I had a birthday party for my wife with 80+ guests. Goodies & Bits provided 3 different Paella dishes, a Spanish salad and 4 different appetizers. The food could not have been better and my guests raved about the fare. Five of their people worked the party. They were well dressed, professional and accommodating. Marvin and Estella are a joy to work with. I look forward to using them again at a future event.
  • Tony R. Dec 15, 2015
    I would like to rate my experience with Goodie & Bits LLC as outstanding. The choice of the menu to wonderful tastes of the seasonings in the food were excellent.  Hats off to Goodie and Bits and I would and have recommended their services of family, co-workers and friends.  Everything was tasty, well cooked and savored the flavors.  Great job!  4 stars in my book. Tony & Selina Robertson
  • Debra Dibble B. Dec 15, 2015
    The food was delicious like a home cooked meal. Love the nice clean appearance of the service area and politeness of staff. I highly recommend patronizing this business. You will go back again and again... Debra B
  • Kirsten E. Dec 14, 2015
    Goodies & Bits is passionate about their work. The presentation is neat and colorful. Providing consistent texture and taste. You won't be disappointed.
  • Wills D. Dec 14, 2015
    great quality food.
  • Chris W. Dec 14, 2015
    Great food. Some of the best BBQ sandwiches it!!!


What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
You can be a good writer, and create a beautiful pamphlet describing great food, but it takes a lot more to actually cook it.” What should really seal the deal is an initial meeting with the caterer. Why is this important? It isn’t until you get face (or phone) time with the caterer that you can really know what he or she is all about, and vice-versa. In short, don’t allow yourself to be wooed by glossy brochures and an attractive website. What matters is how you feel when you actually speak to the caterer.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Food will be one of your major wedding costs — typically, the catering bill accounts for 45 to 50 percent of the total wedding budget. The first big choice you'll make as you plan your dinner is how to serve your guests. Back in the day, couples pretty much had two choices: a sit-down dinner or a buffet. But nowadays, there are so many more options to explore when deciding how to serve your reception meal. To help you figure out the best serving style for your celebration, we've outlined the five most popular meal options, along with the pros and cons for each. Style #1: Plated Dinner What it is: A plated, sit-down dinner is considered the most traditional and formal option as each guest is individually served a plated meal. Typically, guests are served three courses: appetizer, entrée, and dessert (sometimes a fourth course is added before the entrée). Caterers will usually give guests a choice of two (or three) entrées, which they select beforehand; another option is to serve each guest two proteins, such as meat and fish, on one plate (sometimes called a "duet" plate). Pros: Everyone at the table gets their food at the same time. Also, your caterer will know exactly how much food to purchase since each meal is pre-selected, so your food costs will be lower than a buffet or family-style meal. You can spread out activities (like dances and toasts) in between each course to keep guests engaged and maintain a nice energy throughout the meal service. Cons: A sit-down meal requires more servers, both due to the plating in the kitchen and to serve the meal to guests. So the staffing portion of your catering bill will be higher. Also, the food options are limited to what you picked during your tasting, so if you have a lot of picky eaters in attendance, there's a chance they may not eat everything on their plate. Style #2: Buffet What it is: Food stations are set up on long tables where guests can walk along and serve themselves. Another option is to have servers stationed behind the buffet table serving each dish. A buffet-style reception is usually considered the most casual style of meal service. Pros: Fewer servers are needed with a buffet reception, which means you may save some money on your catering-staff charges (though you still need staffers to tend to the buffet). Buffets make it easier and more cost effective to provide guests with a variety of choices, which is helpful since many people have so many types of allergies and dietary restrictions. This service style also promotes mingling and interacting among guests. Cons: Since each table will have to wait their turn to head to the buffet, it may take a while for all guests to receive their food; lines may also form. You also might have to rent linens, chaffing dishes, and serving pieces if your caterer does not provide them. Guests have to serve themselves and carry their own plates, which may not be as elegant as you would like. Buffets also require larger quantities of food since people tend to eat more when they serve themselves, which will add to your food costs. Style #3: Food Stations What it is: A station-style reception is one where the food is spread out among different "stations" throughout the reception space. For example, there may be one area that is a carving station, a raw bar, a tapas station, a dessert station, and so forth. The portions served at each station are typically on the smaller side, usually requiring just two or three bites to finish. Pros: Creative food stations and presentations are crowd pleasers; guests will also appreciate the wide variety of dishes and the interactive element. Since the stations are spread out throughout the space, guests won't likely have to wait in line (for very long, at least). At cook-to-order stations, guests can request exactly how they would like their dish prepared. This meal style also promotes a lot of interaction among guests. Cons: Your reception site will need ample room to accommodate the extra space food stations require. You will also need more chefs if you have interactive stations (i.e. pasta, carving stations, etc.), adding to your catering bill Style #4: Family-Style What it is: Similar to a sit-down dinner, a family-style reception has guests assigned to specific dinner tables and waiters to bring the food to the table. Large portions of the dinner offerings are placed on each table on serving platters for guests to fill their own plates (it's just like sitting down for dinner at home with your family!). Pros: Guests can help themselves to as much food as they'd like. The mealtime will be very efficient since guests can begin eating immediately after serving themselves. Cons: Family-style dining requires ample space on your dinner tables for the various platters and dishes. You may need to increase your budget for rental items to account for additional platters and serving pieces. You may have increased food costs because your caterer will need to make extra food to ensure nothing runs out. Style #5: Cocktail-Style Reception What it is: A more recent trend, a cocktail-style reception features hors d'oeuvres and other small bites offered all evening long in lieu of a sit-down meal. The hors d'oeuvres are usually one- or two-bite portions and can be a combination of hot and cold options. The hors d'oeuvres can be passed by servers or stationary for guests to get themselves. This reception style is a good choice for couples wanting a more casual atmosphere and for their guests to really mingle and meet each other. Pros: If your venue is small, cocktail receptions allow you to have more people since you won't need dinner tables and chairs for every guest. They're also typically shorter than a sit-down meal, and they allow you to easily circulate throughout the room and chat with everyone. Also, since you're not serving a main entrée, your food costs could potentially be more affordable. Cons: Some guests may not have attended a cocktail wedding reception, so there may be some confusion if they are expecting a full meal (which is why it's important to word your invitation clearly, like this: "Please join us for a cocktail reception ").