Restaurant Recap

End of US highway 1 in Key West, Florida
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After almost two years of writing this blog I have reviewed 57 restaurants in the Florida Keys, 44 of which are (or, in some cases, were) in Key West. During this time, I have revisited many of the places already reviewed. In most instances, the food and service have been consistent each time. In other cases, not so much. In a couple of rare cases, my opinion has completely changed. So, first the good news. The following is  a list of my favorite restaurants in Key West. You can find the link to the original review attached if you are interested.

  1. The Flaming Buoy. Ever since the New York Times wrote about this tiny place it has been increasingly difficult to get a table. But I persevere. The food and service are that good.
  2. Azur. The menu has gone through some changes over the past year or so, but it is all good. Consistently great food and friendly people keep me returning all the time. Well, that, and the awesome brunch, complete with 2 for 1 mimosas.
  3. Blackfin Bistro. Fresh fish, burgers and an awesome back deck are what keep this place going strong.
  4. Thai Life. It floats on a dock. They make food super spicy if you ask, and it is delicious. What more could a person want? since, I have moved it is farther away from my house. I guess I could want it to be closer.

Other places that I frequent and really like a lot include: Salute on Higgs Beach, Louie’s Upper Deck, Goldman‘s (yes, I think a tuna melt makes a superb breakfast), Santiago‘s and La Trattoria. On Stock Island, both Chico’s and Hogfish Bar and Grill are great.

Then there are the places that I tried and liked, but subsequently found that my first impression may have been a little inflated:

  1. Ambrosia. The food is great, no question. The service is usually good. The owner, however, has proven to be not so nice. (I told someone that worked there recently that this is the reason I do not go there and his reply was “yup, can’t argue with that”). Plus, Origami’s food is just as good, and they are nice.
  2. Abbondanza. Just bad service. I’m pretty sure that the time we were there and had good service it was a fluke. Oh well.
  3. Columbian Grace. The food is wonderful. It is unique in Key West. However, I take some issue with the owner and thus cannot support the restaurant. There are plenty of other places.

Finally, there are many places in town that people seem to love, but I just don’t get.

  1. Seven Fish. The food is great. The atmosphere is very New York (I think that is a good thing). However, the service norm is to rush you in and out in 45 minutes. I hate to be rushed. Yet, they always seem to be packed, so clearly other people don’t mind.
  2. Banana Cafe. I have not had good service there. I’d rather go to La Creperie any day, but again, people other than me seem to like it a lot.
  3. Camille‘s. The hour long waits are just annoying. My last experience there I left after being seated for half an hour with no sign of food or drink coming our way. Although, I do have a meeting there this weekend, so perhaps my opinion will change? We shall see.

I know I have missed some places (both good and bad) but they simply cannot all be covered in one blog post. What are some of your favorites? Do you think I got it wrong? Leave a comment and let me know.

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