If you are visiting Puerto Rico over the Thanksgiving Day holidays, you might have already done your research and found out that YES we do celebrate Thanksgiving here in sunny Puerto Rico. This time-honored tradition of breaking bread in celebration of family, friends, and loved ones by giving thanks for our blessings is celebrated all across the island, albeit with a Caribbean culinary twist. While the holiday still centers on coming together with family over a meal, some dinner tables tend to be more traditional than others. Roasted turkey still holds center stage but as pavochón (turkey rubbed with adobo, coated in garlic and citrus, then slow-roasted over coal or wood), potato salad is swapped for codito salad (elbow macaroni pasta), yams are traded in for yuca (casava), sweet potato turns white with Puerto Rican batata, while arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and copious amounts of rum are never far from the table.
Flavors of San Juan Food & Culture Tours visits six off-the-beaten path restaurants, specialty shops and cafes in Old San Juan, however we will not be operating November 28, Thanksgiving Day 2013. As we share the holiday with our families, we’d like to suggest some places you might enjoy spending Thanksgiving dinner with YOUR family and friends. Below are some restaurants offering special Thanksgiving menus that combine both local and traditional specialties.
THANKSGIVING DAY RESTAURANTS FLAVORS RECOMMENDS
In Old San Juan:
ROSA DE TRIANA
open till 9pm
Menu: Turkey stuffed with cassave, macaroni salad, mamposteao rice, and a glass of sangria for $19.95
Smoked Turkey with Caramelized Carrots or Pork Rib eye with sausage served in mushroom sauce or Skirt steak with pepper
*All dishes served with rice and pigeon peas
$29.95 per person
Outside Old San Juan:
EMBASSY SUITES SAN JUAN
Thanksgiving Day Buffet:
Cream of Pumpkin Soup
Mixed Green & Potato Salad
Carved Roasted Turkey w/ Gravy & Cranberry Sauce
Turkey Breast in Beurre Blanc Sauce Roasted Chicken & Flank Steak
Rice w/ Pigeon Peas
Au Gratin Potato & Sweet Baked Potato Stuffing & Green String Beans
Assorted Cheesecake, Pumpkin & Apple Pies Bread Rolls & Butter
$29.95 per person
Outside San Juan:
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a home-style Puerto Rican Thanksgiving, get in your car and drive to route 184 (La Ruta de Lechón). This will lead you a long, winding road known as Guavate in the lush mountains of Cayey. Here you will find pavochón, ensalada de codito, arroz con gandules, batata, and probably even some local moonshine rum. The home of lechón (roasted suckling pig) has been visited Andrew Zimmerman and by Anthony Bourdain, who hailed their lechón as some of the best roasted pork on the planet. Check out his No Reservations visit to Guavate : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLmERURmhFY
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