So, this is more important that the last post, right? Let’s be honest, it’s all we really care about. Food. With 3 short days in Key West, we did not have time to eat everywhere we would have liked to, but suffice to say we did pretty doggone good for such a short trip.
Hog’s Breath Saloon – Duval Street
One of the quintessential spots to hit up in Key West. It’s famous, they have t-shirts, and well…yeah.
We both had the fish tacos…to be honest they were not the best I’ve ever had, but the were not the worst either. At a price tag of $12.99 for lunch it was seemed a bit pricey, but then they brought out a plate filled with three tacos and a pile of chips. So I was happy about that.
Croissants de France & Le Bistro – Duval Street
We ate breakfast at Le Bistro one very quiet Saturday morning on Duval Street. It’s a quaint outdoor cafe connected to a French bakery – a great place to carb up and have a mimosa to sober up from the night before. Or like us, just enjoy a good cup of coffee and delicious meal.
I enjoyed their version of a classic eggs benedict; instead of being served on an english muffin it was served in a brioche bread bowl. Not even kidding with this. Have you ever had a bread bowl made of brioche?? No? Then why are you still reading? Wait, finish reading, then…Step away from the computer, fly to Key West and go to here. So yeah, it also comes with black forest ham and a yummy whole grain hollandaise sauce. Very filling and satisfying.
The hubs had the Americanos breakfast, which is an open faced croissant topped with three scrambled eggs, lightly dusted with paprika and scallions. He chose to have brie cheese added to his eggs. Wise decision, very wise. Life changing. Always make your eggs with brie. 😉
Hogfish Bar & Grill – Front Street on Stock Island
We made our way one afternoon over to this joint where the locals go for fresh seafood, especially the Hogfish, and a good drink. Keep in mind that it is a mostly open air restaurant and it is HOT in Key West. The shade, fans and ice cold water kept us comfortable though. The patio has a nice view of the harbor. The street it is on does seem a bit sketchy at first and we were unsure we were on the right path until we found it tucked away – I almost wonder if that’s intentional to keep it from becoming overrun with tourists.
Remington had the Fried Hogfish Tacos. These were classic Baja style tacos with shredded cheese, lettuce, cilantro and a creamy sauce. Hogfish is a meaty white fish common to the Florida reefs with a mild, sweet flavor similar to cod or monkfish.
I had the lobster roll with french fries. The lobster was nicely cooked, the roll soft and the salad crunchy, but to be honest there was too much salad and not enough lobster. So not half bad, but certainly not the best lobster roll, but at the price I was not disappointed as it was very reasonable for Maine lobster. The french fries were perfect though.
El Meson de Pepe – Mallory Square
Have you ever had real Cuban food? I mean, I’ve never been to Cuba, but I have to imagine that this is about as close as you can get. And it’s good! The interior of this restaurant was so lively and colorful! We went for a light dinner after watching the Sunset at Mallory Square and the outside was booming with loud Cuban music and dancing. It is a large restaurant though so getting a table without a wait was no problem.
We decided that sharing some small dishes from the Tapas menu was the route to go rather than having a big meal after eating key lime pie all day. Turns out the Tapas plates were as big as a full meal! So glad we didn’t order an entree, but if you are hungry this place is sure to fill you up! They also bring out hot buttery Cuban bread in a basket for the table. Pretty sure we ate an entire loaf – it was the best Cuban bread I’ve ever had!
I ordered the Tostones Rellenos – which was four stuffed green plantains filled with Roast Pork, Picadillo, Ropa Vieja, and Seafood Creole. We’ve grown to really enjoy Skinnytaste’s Picadillo for dinner, but this was the real stuff and it was amazing! All of the fillings were so incredibly flavorful, but the Picadillo was by far my favorite. Picadillo is a beef dish similar to hash, Cuban versions include peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, tomato sauce, stock, olives and on occasion raisins, potatoes, and capers, and is usually sauteed in olive oil and white wine, depending on the region.
Remington had the Tamal Cubano en Hoja – a Corn based appetizer wrapped in corn husk, and filled with roast pork, on a bed of plantain chips – basically a Cuban version of the tamale. The roast pork was so tender and flavorful.
And I don’t think I got a picture of it, but Remington’s brother had the Mollete a la Pancho – Cuban bread stuffed w/picadillo, then breaded and fried. It was huge and amazing!! Again the picadillo was perfect, but then they went and stuffed it into Cuban bread and fried it??? Goodness. Apparently a local favorite.
Old Town Bakery – Eaton Street
Word around town was this little hole in the wall bakery had some killer curried chicken salad. And the homemade breads weren’t half bad either.
The menu offers an assortment of sandwiches available every day and then a selection of soups, cheese, breads and sweets daily. The bread menu is set so that if you go on Sunday, you know they will have Tin Can Brioche and Walnut Levain. We went on Sunday – another wise decision. The famous curry chicken salad is best on the Walnut Levain.
It’s a small store/bakery inside with no real room to eat – so plan to eat outside on the bench or just take it to go. But will you look at that bread?? I mean just look at it…that’s the Tin Can Brioche sitting so pretty on top of the bakery case.
Remington got the TB&J (Turkey, Bacon & Red Onion Jam) on the Tin Can Brioche. Yum! It came with lettuce, sprouts and tomato, but he skipped the tomato. He might say it was one of the best turkey sandwiches ever and we eat a lot of them.
I couldn’t pass up the Curried Chicken Salad on Walnut Levain and no your eyes do not deceive you – that is purple bread. Served simply with crisp green apples and it lacked nothing. It lived up to it’s reputation as a delicious chicken salad sandwich, but that bread – my word. It was soft, but chewy. Flavorful with texture. The purple hue is caused by a reaction between acids in the dough and the walnut skins!
Tip: Old Town Bakery will deliver for free to all of Key West with a $5 purchase!
And of course we ate key lime pie. We ate so much key lime pie. But this post was getting really long, so we’ll save that for next. 🙂