Boater’s Grill preparing a Nochebuena feast that is sure to make your Christmas culinary experience special

The traditional Nochebuena will definitely feel different in 2020. As island families plan their holiday gatherings -- be it Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) or Christmas lunch or dinner -- traditions and customs are a valuable part of the holiday experience. During these Covid holidays, more and more families are looking for ways to maximize the time spent with family, rather than cooking.

So what options are available for Key Biscayners looking to enjoy the traditional Nochebuena or Christmas lunch or dinner, without having to spend time away from the family dealing with a caja-china or that stubborn turkey that takes so long to prepare.

In steps David and Reina Gonzalez and their team at Boater’s Grill.

Lechon Asado at Boaters Grill

Boaters, as many on the island refer to this special place on No Name Harbor inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, not only serves fresh and delicious seafood -- such as their famous whole fried snapper -- they are equipped to cater both a traditional Nochebuena feast as well as a special Christmas Day dinner.

The star of their holiday menu is their award-winning lechón asado (whole roast pork). The recipe, according to David, has its roots in Las Villa, Cuba, where he learned the family’s special technique to slow roast a pig that is tasty, providing a crispy chicharrón (pork rind) and much less greasy than your typical lechón. David shows off a tray from a recently carved lechón where there is hardly any excess grease.

Boaters special congri

The roasting process is long and detailed, with little left to chance, baked in one of the Boater’s ovens, specially made for these times so as to roast several lechones at one time.

This year, Boater’s Grill offers lechón starting at 30 lbs. and up.

For those not needing such a large portion, they will also be roasting perniles (pork shoulder) as well as masas de puerco fritas (fried pork chunks) that are as delicious as the larger faire.

Want something different this year? Boater’ will also be offering traditional slow roasted turkey, as well as turkey Fricasêe, complete with cornbread stuffing prepared with dry fruits and pine nuts. They will also prepare home-style gravy and cranberry chutney.

Boaters Grill lechon asado

To complete your family’s holiday feast, the team at Boater’s Grill will have all the fixings you need, including the traditional Cuban Nochebuena staples, like congri (black beans and rice), moros (red beans and rice), along with yuca en mojo and sweet plantains.

Orders will be available for pick-up until 4 p.m.on Dec. 24. For best service and to make sure you can reserve your order, they request all special orders be placed by Dec. 21.

Boater’s Grill, along with LightHouse Café, will be open on Christmas Day. Boater’s opens at 11 a.m.

The Cleat, the island’s hottest sunset watching spot, will also open Christmas Day in the afternoon.

For questions or to place your holiday order, please call (305) 361-0080. Boater’s Grill is located at 1200 Crandon Blvd.

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