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Key West dining report (long)

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Thanks to everyone who posted various Key West recommendations -- I kept them all in mind last week.

I'd say best meal was at Roof Top Cafe, and the place was only maybe a fourth full on a Friday night. I had a delicious salad (I think it was called Sunset -- greens with very tasty vinaigrette, candied pecans, cubes of mango, crumbles of blue cheese, and julienne of bell peppers and beets. maybe one other thing, not sure), the lobster special that was fantastic, and split a delicious seared tuna appetizer with my DC. He had the snapper entree, which he didn't like at all. Oh well! We shared a piece of key lime pie for dessert, which was delicious and not too big.

Day 1 Had dinner the first night at Meson de Pepe, because we had just gotten to town after flight delays and were looking for something near hotel, when some people coming out described it as a tapas restaurant and raved about the ceviche. We got about a half dozen different apps, and I think the best one was some roast pork in a little cup made out of plantain. Flan for dessert was ok. Wouldn't go back though.

Day 2 lunch was at the hotel restaurant, because of an hour for lunch and having to get back to meetings. Something 245 at the Westin. Split order of conch fritters, because we felt that we should get them. They were good enough. (We had them again at the airport while waiting for our departure flight, because some people said they were good at the airport. They were terrible. Greasy, doughy, yucky.) I had the lobster quesadilla, which was very good and came with some chopped mangoes. DC had I think a seared tuna with a salad, which was also very good.

Day 2 evening we were trying to make it to some Happy Hours, and the first one we found that seemed somewhat appealing was Alonzo's. My first half-price drink was so weak, it was hard to tell if there was any alcohol in it. So for the second, I ordered a double. It was about what I would make for myself at home, not overly alcoholic by any means. DC had a margarita, didn't notice alcohol in it, and switched to beer. We had the smoked fish dip, which was pretty good, and an order of spinach and parmesan baked oysters, which were ok. We left there and continued down the wharf and found Turtle Kraal, where we had the most delicious raw oysters we have had in a very long time, I think for 50 cents each. We got a second dozen.

Day 3 -- walked down Duval Street to Croissants de France for excellent croissants -- mine plain, his something else -- raspberry maybe.

then sightseeing for a while and lunch at Banana Cafe. I had the Chaud Chevre crepe, a crepe with goat cheese and walnuts, served with a little salad of mache with vinaigrette and more walnuts. Pretty good. DC had avocado and Swiss cheese on a baguette. He liked it a lot. A loudmouth at a very close adjacent table was so annoying that we didn't stay for dessert.

Day 3 for dinner, we were walking to Sarabeth's or somewhere, I forget which, in a drizzle that suddenly turned into a downpour, so we ran into the nearest place, which was Fogarty's on Duval. Fish tacos and fish sandwich were both very good, and the key lime pie was fine too. We had to hang out for quite a while waiting out the rain (it was a feeder band from Tomas, which thankfully made a quick right turn and didn't come our way).

Day 4 we made our way to Pepe's for late breakfast. I had eggs benedict, which were ok, and DC had French toast with berries, which looked a lot better than mine, but I refrained from eating his. the fresh squeezed orange juice was SO delicious, and a bird pooped onto my glass when I was about 2/3 finished, so I got a whole new glass. Yummy!

Since we had breakfast so late, I don't think we had lunch that day. For dinner, we wanted more salty oysters from Turtle Kraal, which we followed up with a grilled seafood plate and an order of very good ribs. None of the side orders looked interesting to me, so I randomly picked mashed potatoes and corn, and was very pleased to get a nice corn on the cob and real mashed potatoes.

Day 5. got Cuban sandwiches from Cuban Coffee Queen. very large sandwiches. good fresh squeezed lemonade. Pepsi products otherwise, and coffee of course. Worn out from meetings, got pizza from place on Duval for dinner and took back to the room. Oops, forgot the name. Angelina's maybe? hand thrown pizza dough, pretty good thin pizza.

Day 6 walked to Blue Heaven where we were told it was a 90 minute wait for a table, so we headed over to the Bistro side of Croissants de France and had a wonderful breakfast. Coffee, DC had eggs benedict, which was served atop brioche instead of English muffins, but he liked it. I was having a hard time deciding between the Mushroom Galette (buckwheat crepe) and the spinach and Swiss cheese. I asked for the mushroom, and they were out! Problem solved. The spinach and Swiss cheese also had a bit of bacon, tomatoes, and onions. It was so good. couldn't have asked for anything better. Hm, I'm thinking it was Gruyere. Either way, highly recommended.

wasted a bit of time and headed to Sports Page to watch the Saints beat Carolina Panthers. We had basically just finished breakfast, so we didn't order anything to eat until about halftime. We got the smoked fish dip, which was served with thick pieces of delicious toasted bread. Overall pretty good for bar food. It was terribly loud, not so much for the shouting people, of which there were a lot, but from the volume of the Vikings game, which nobody seemed to be interested in anyway. We asked if they could turn it down somewhat and they said no. It was so loud that I wished I had had earplugs.

One of the days walking around, I stopped in a Kermit's outlet (there seem to be many) and got a chocolate-covered piece of key lime pie on a stick. I love key lime pie. I love chocolate. I would never get that again. Just my opinion. Another day walking around, we stopped in at Willie T's for a drink and had the coconut crusted shrimp app, which was really good. this is just a bar on Duval, covered in dollar bills.

Missed a lot of places we had wanted to try, but we'll have to do that on another trip.

Thanks for all the advice.

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Blue Heaven Restaurant
729 Thomas St, Key West, FL 33040

Willie T's
525 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

Sports Page
220 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach, FL 32937

Sarabeth's
530 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040

Turtle Kraals
1 Lands End Vlg, Key West, FL 33040

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  1. Thanks for the details. I have been waiting for someone to post something current about food places in KW. Where would you go that you haven't been? Not too many posts on this thread about KW.

    2 Replies
    1. re: itryalot

      I don't really know. All I can say is that places on my list that we didn't make it to include Blue Heaven, Sarabeth's, Seven Fish, El Siboney's, Camille's, Six toed cat, Michael's, Nine One Five, 5 brothers, and Sandy's Cafe.

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      Blue Heaven Restaurant
      729 Thomas St, Key West, FL 33040

      Seven Fish
      632 Olivia St, Key West, FL 33040

      Siboney
      900 Catherine St, Key West, FL 33040

      Sarabeth's
      530 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040

      1. re: expatorleanian

        Out of the ones that you didn't make it to, I would say that El Siboney's and Sandy's are my favorites. Then again, I'm looking more for good, cheap, laid back dining. I love grabbing a cuban and a cup of cafe con leche at Sandy's, but I'm looking forward to trying the Caribbean Coffee Queen for the same. El Siboney's is great for a simple but good fairly priced dinner. That's something that is difficult to come by in the Keys let alone in Key West.

        Personally I think Blue Heaven is well past it's peak. I find it a mediocre place to eat (priced higher than deserved) and geared way too much to the tourists now. But, then again, try and find any place that isn't tourist geared down there now a days. I haven't tried too many of the others you mentioned above, but like I said, I don't really look for fine dining down there anymore. I've been going down for 20 years, and I'm just looking for a nice relaxing time away from the mainland.

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        Blue Heaven Restaurant
        729 Thomas St, Key West, FL 33040

        Siboney
        900 Catherine St, Key West, FL 33040

    2. The Turtle Kraal is one of my wife's favorite places. We have to eat there at least once while in KW.

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      Turtle Kraals
      1 Lands End Vlg, Key West, FL 33040