I just got back from a super 10-day road trip to the beautiful Florida Keys. To shake things up a bit and add new flavor to my adventures I decided that instead of all my usual detailed & mucho time consuming research for restaurants I would make all dining decisions based on suggestions from locals. Eat like a local, yeah that sounded good. And wow - was it! I had some yum yum yummy meals at places that I wouldn't have known about or selected!
Here's what happened when I started asking citizens in Key West - the capital of the Conch Republic - "what's your favorite restaurant".
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In addition to leading to some interesting conversations -asking folks where they like to eat -also led to a great list of restaurant recommendations and some finger lickin' good meals.
Key West locals said eat at:
(list is in order of most recommended to least) (pink = I ate here) (ran out of time to try all but will definitely hit them on a return visit)
🍴 Santiago's Bodega
🍴 Banana Cafe
🍴 Thirsty Mermaid
🍴 Blue MaCaw
🍴 Little Pearl
🍴 Al Maidah (not by name but as "new Indian place")
🍴 Andy's Cabana
🍷 🍽 🍷 🍷 🍽 🍷 🍷 🍽 🍷 🍷 🍽 🍷
Banana Cafe. For breakfast! Everyone that suggested Banana Cafe said specifically to go for breakfast. And that's what I did.
Everything on the menu sounded so yummy but I finally chose the Belgium Waffle & Banana (pure maple syrup - caramelized banana - toasted almonds). So so, I mean so good! The folks at the table next to me had the Eggs Benedict which looked picture perfect and they said it tasted even better.
Banana Cafe is fun and casual. Definitely a great recommendation!
Being an oyster lover - I was instantly curious about the baked oysters. The deal was sealed when the server told me the oysters are shucked to order. Oh. My. Goodness. These oysters have to be in the top ten of my best bites EVER! They are cooked in herb butter and have a bit of lardon bacon on top. (I figured there had to be a technical word for that little piece of bacon so I called the restaurant and asked. And now I know a new cooking/food word - lardon.) (If I could shush up about the oysters I would also mention the oh so tasty umami butter that is served with the fresh hot bread loaf.)
I'll tell ya that getting to have these oysters for dinner could be motivation enough for me to take a six hour drive on a whim to Key West. Man o' man, they were good! (Because I was trying another restaurant this night too I only had the luscious oysters and a nice glass of wine at Little Pearl.)
Lobster BLT, dijon aioli. Once I read those words on the Thirsty Mermaid menu my mind was made up! I like me some potato salad so got a side order of this too as it is housemade. Entire meal was Delicious with an uppercase D! Look at that yummy lobster!
Come along with this southern girl on my fun travel adventures! I’m taking the tours; seeing the sites; trying out the hotels; dining at the restaurants; cruising on the cruise ships; and sharing the experiences on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my travel escapades and that they will be inspiring and helpful when planning your own fabulous adventures.