Lunch with Chef Judi: J.R’s Old Packinghouse Café

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Located off Cattleman Road, J.R’s Old Packinghouse Café is what they call themselves the quintessential dive with great Cuban and American food.

The Packinghouse was exactly that, packinghouses for the celery fields out east of I-75.

Jr. is a proclaimed chef in his own right and with a degree from Johnson and Wales School of Culinary Arts.

It’s a lively joint with pass the hat music and a Cuban sandwich and burger that beats most places.

The inside skinny: Friday nights are always packed with good Blue Grass music so plan to arrive a little early.


Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at