Monday, December 2, 2013

Final Tropical Thanksgiving

This was our final Thanksgiving in Puerto Rico. The weather has started to get wonderful, the skies are blue and the humidity has dropped. Where else can you sit outside for Thanksgiving? As a final hoo-rah we decided to have a nice dinner in a nice place with good friends we may not see for a year or more. Our friends Toni and Gerd spend 5 months in Puerto Rico each year and this Thanksgiving had a couple visitors from Germany staying with them. We all headed to Royal Isabela for a Thanksgiving buffet. The setting is spectacular and is an example of how all of Puerto Rico could be. Royal Isabela is a golf resort that isn't locally advertised. I found out about it while talking to the gal whose husband sells bread at the farmer's market. I was asking where he sells his bread. She said "Royal Isabela" and Villa  Montana (another restaurant/resort). She also said she worked in the organic gardens on the grounds there and that they try to source local produce and meat for meals there. I managed to get a phone number and when Jeff's parents visited we took a trip out there. The food was good quality and service was very good as well. It isn't crowded either since no one knows about it and there aren't any signs showing where it is.

We met our friends and took them along the twisty roads to find the place. As you arrive you are greeted by a large gate that opens as you drive close. Personnel come out and greet you and direct you to the restaurant. We had reservations for 3 and the table was ready with our name on it and the Thanksgiving spread was already out. There was roast turkey with a crushed casava stuffing. There was gravy and cranberry sauce. Roasted pork loin with a mango chutney and ham with pineapple were also available. There was a pasta station with made-to-order pasta and a pizza station for made-to-order pizzas. Candied yams and Italian chard stuffing and rice were nice sides. There were a couple salads and pasta salad, bread, and a  fresh local fruit salad. For dessert tres leche, flan and pumpkin pie. We all gorged and enjoyed talking for a couple hours. Gerd and Jeff used some "app" on their phones to figure out who the tugboat/barge we could see was. Toni and I wandered the grounds a little enjoying the views. We all had a very nice dinner. No leftovers in the fridge...but no dishes in the sink either! This Xmas will be our last and I'll go all out at home with turkey and everything else. Royal Isabela is on the Kruse "recommended" list.


Anonymous said...

"We all headed to Royal Isabela for a Thanksgiving buffet."

"The setting is spectacular and is an example of how all of Puerto Rico" could be.

"Royal Isabela is a golf resort that isn't locally advertised."


Gee, why can't all of Puerto Rico be just like a golf resort? Get your shit together ricans!

Britton said...

Sounds like quite the experience! PR has a lot of contrast. From roadside fried inexpensive food with Spanish speaking locals to meticulously maintained golf course resorts that grow their own food.

We were talking about this contrast the other day with some friends. You can see a totally trashed out 80s Toyota corolla on the same street as a perfectly maintained Porsche 911 Turbo.

We want to check out Royal Isabela some time.