Trunk Treats

Old Packinghouse Cafe Offers New Curbside Catering Pickup Option

The OPC is now letting you order Cuban items in bulk and pick them up with just a pop of your trunk.

By Cooper Levey-Baker December 7, 2020

A selection of items from J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe (clockwise from top): black beans, ropa vieja, a tostone, picadillo, roasted pork, yellow rice and a chicken wing in the middle.

For years, J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe has been a favorite destination for locals hoping to hear some quality tunes from a live band, share a pitcher of beer and enjoy a tasty burger, a fish sandwich or some Cuban food. This holiday season, you can bring the flavors of the OPC home, with new catering options that let you buy Cuban dishes in bulk and pick them up curbside.

Old Packinghouse owner J.R. Garraus placing a catering order in a customer's trunk.

A catering tray costs $40 and is intended to feed four. A combo includes a main meat item (or combination of different items), plus yellow rice and black beans. Protein choices include Cuban-style roasted pork, ropa vieja or picadillo. All three are excellent, and they even heat up nicely as leftovers the day after, when you can stretch the meats by using them as a base for a platter of Cuban-flavored tacos.

If you're still hungry after all that, you can add on any of the restaurant's sides à la carte. I'd recommend the tostones and maybe throw in some of the salt and pepper chicken wings, too.

Be sure to place your catering order at least 48 hours ahead of time. When you arrive, just pop your trunk and the restaurant will bring out your food.

In addition to adding the new pickup option, OPC owner J.R. Garraus has expanded the restaurant's front deck to allow for more outdoor seating. He's also created a back patio area where groups of up to 20 can gather in an open-air environment for parties. Whatever your holiday plans are, the OPC has got you covered.

J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe is located at 987 S. Packinghouse Road, Sarasota, and is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more info, call (941) 371-9358 or visit the restaurant's website.

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