Blue Macaw, Key West

Bloody Mary Bar. Need I say more?
Bloody Mary Bar. Need I say more?

On the corner of Whitehead and Petronia Streets sat the empty Bahama Village Market for years. It was a sad sight, to be sure. Now it has been transformed into a brightly colored, music-filled outdoor dining venue, complete with a fully loaded Bloody Mary Bar. The new incarnation is Blue Macaw Island Eats & Bar

Summer has arrived in (almost) full force in Key West. Days are hotter than ever while nights still maintain a slightly  cool breeze. We strolled over to check out the new Blue Macaw and arrived hot, sweaty and looking for the coolest spot possible. In the shade, for sure.

The restaurant's bright colors are inviting.
The restaurant’s bright colors are inviting.

The full bar seemed like a place to start, and FKGuy ordered a glass of wine. I took a quick glance at the cocktail list and ordered a rum runner. I neglected to notice that it was actually a frozen drink list, and thought I would be getting something liquidy rather than slushy. It was a good mistake on my part, and I enjoyed a welcome brain freeze.

In addition to the frozen drinks, wine and array of other bar options, the Bloody Mary Bar offers patrons the ability to customize their drink with an assortment of vegetables, hot sauces, condiments, and even bacon.

Island passion salad, a bit odd, but tasty.
Island passion salad, a bit odd, but tasty.

The lunch menu offers salads, sandwiches, an array of fried things (onion rings, chicken wings), and a few unlikely suspects. We chose the Island Passion salad, tuna tartare and fish tacos. The salad is listed as mixed greens, mango, papaya, cucumber, queso fresco, plantain duo, passion fruit vinaigrette, and sounded delicious. Oddly enough, it is served more like a fruit platter than a salad, with each item segregated instead of tossed together. The large chunks of queso were strange, but it was still a tasty and refreshing salad.

Outstanding tuna tartare.
Outstanding tuna tartare.

Tuna tartare is all too common on menus, and often, mediocre. Not here. This version is fresh, flavorful and served with crispy wonton chips. It was delicious. I will likely order it every time I go back. Fish tacos are served three per order, and available either broiled or blackened. We chose broiled, and the tacos were served on browned tortillas with a delicious, non-mayo-based slaw and sides of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Fish tacos - fresh and tasty.
Fish tacos – fresh and tasty.

Service was friendly, and the atmosphere relaxed. Blue Macaw has live music in the afternoons, typically one performer at noon and another around 4 PM, during happy hour. Happy hour happens daily from 4 PM – 7 PM and includes $3 drinks. That is hard to beat.

Blue Macaw is located at 804 Whitehead Street, on the corner of Petronia, and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner starting at 9 AM. I am already looking forward to a return visit. (Note to self: must get firsthand knowledge of Bloody Mary Bar next time.)

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