I have been to the Village Gourmet a bunch of times, usually just for a quick coffee and maybe a pastry for the road. Last week we had the opportunity for an actual meal there. I like Village Gourmet for a number of reasons, but most of all, it is Babka-friendly. The owner often has his dog there, too. The food is always fresh and usually the service is friendly. I was ravenous by the time we got there, as it was about 2:30 PM and I had a slice of toast for breakfast at 7.
They typically have a bunch of specials, so we went with the Grouper Reuben minus thousand island dressing and a wrap with blackened chicken, rice and guacamole. The nose pierced woman behind the counter seemed bothered that we were there and completely put out that she would actually have to take an order then deliver it to a table ten feet away. Nonetheless, she muddled through and managed to get the order right. When I asked her if she had a little bowl I could put some water in for Babka, however, that was too much for her. She glanced over her shoulder and said “no, I don’t.” On past visits, when I was just there for a coffee, other people have offered bowls, water and pretty much anything else I might have needed. Sadly, not this time.
The food, however, is really great. The fish is always fresh. I could not get enough of that sandwich. The sandwiches come with a pasta salad, which in the past, when I have taken food to go, I have not enjoyed. It’s not really an eat-while-you-drive kind of side dish. However, once sitting comfortably in the restaurant, I was able to enjoy just how good the pasta salad actually is.
I would certainly go back, despite the lousy service last time, as the many times I have been there before it has not been an issue. It would be nice to see someone with a smile next time. I’ll let you know how it goes next time I am there, and we will see if this was a one time fluke or not.
Village Gourmet is located at mile marker 82.7 in Islamorada (82751 Overseas Highway) and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.