Eating Key West

Normally, I review one restaurant or meal at a time. This past weekend, however, deserves a recap of its own. Since my cousin was coming to town and we have many of the same interests, mainly revolving around eating, drinking and a love-hate relationship with running, I planned the eating and drinking (and a little running) tour of Key West.

You heard about the Hog’s Breath 5K on Monday, so today I’ll just focus on the good stuff. We started with a trek from the mainland Friday morning, were especially careful over the Bahia Honda bridge and made our way south stopping at Geiger Key Marina for lunch. A full review is coming on Friday, but I will say this: it was good. Go.

Friday evening should have been an early and drink free night, as we were running a 5K the next morning. It wasn’t. We started with something from my book of several hundred cocktails, a whiskey sour with ginger ale. I’ll have to keep that one on hand for future use, it was amazing.

Next, we headed to register for the race and ended up stopping at the Smokin’ Tuna, which is in the place of the former El Alamo. There was a guy at the end of the street handing out menus and touting the dog-friendliness of it all. Naturally, Babka wanted to stop in for a sniff and a drink, so we obliged. After listening to Scott Kirby perform for a little while, we headed over to the Flaming Buoy for dinner. Amazing, as always.

You know the best part about having a third person at dinner? Dessert. You can order it without feeling the need to eat a lot, because there is someone else there to help out. We opted for the chocolate quesadilla.

Saturday morning we raced, beached and relaxed and then made our way to Salute! for lunch. I was delighted and insisted at the beginning the meal that we all share an ice cream sandwich, on homemade chocolate chip cookies, for dessert. I had been eying them for weeks and felt like my 3.1 miles deserved something. By the time we finished our fish salads and sandwiches (I even had a SALAD to prepare!) they were out of them. Next time, Salute, next time.

Our evening kicked off with friends coming by for drinks, followed by dinner at Santiago’s Bodega (mmmm…. grouper fingers, puff pastry with mushrooms, lamb patties and more) which is always good. That night the kitchen seemed to be in a rush and I had to ask our waiter to cease and desist with the fast and furious food delivery. Once they dialed it down a notch, the evening was great. We continued on to Vino’s for some (more) wine and after a quick stop at the Irish bar that used to be Bogart’s (and seems to keep changing names), we went home. Babka was happy to see us.

The eating tour continued on Sunday as we made our way to Azur for brunch. I had been craving pasta for days, so I had the pasta carbonara sans pancetta, topped with poached eggs. Decadent? You bet. Did I feel guilty for indulging in such fattening food so early in the day complete with a mimosa? Not even a little. Others in our party had the Azur Benedict with smoked salmon (delish), the steak sandwich, the hash and eggs (I heard no complaining there) and the brie frittata.

It was quite a tour. I am looking forward to doing it again soon. But first, a week – or three – of salads awaits me.

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