May Days

Old Packinghouse Cafe Adds New Menu Items for May

New dishes include an intriguing Cuban twist on shepherd's pie and a geographically ambiguous sandwich called a 'Miami Philly.'

By Cooper Levey-Baker May 3, 2021

J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe.

J.R.'s Old Packinghouse Cafe is refreshing its menu for the month of May, adding a handful of new items to complement the classics for which the restaurant has become known.

New items include an intriguing Cuban twist on shepherd's pie, which uses picadillo-style ground beef as its base, plus corn, mashed potatoes and melted cheese. The restaurant is also making a geographically ambiguous sandwich called a "Miami Philly," which substitutes mojo pork for Philly beef and is smothered in queso, cheese, onion, cilantro and tomatoes.

The Old Packinghouse is also continuing to highlight its Buffalo chicken sandwich, a twist on its popular basic fried chicken sandwich. Other recent hits have included a salmon entrée that comes with an assertive chimichurri.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Old Packinghouse expanded its front patio and also began hosting private events in an open backyard space. The restaurant has also ramped up its catering options, putting together individualized meals rather than the large shareable platters it used for catering before the pandemic. It has long been a hub for fun live music, and it continues to book acts nearly every night.

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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