Sunday, September 30, 2012

Geiger Key Marina and Smokehouse - Big Coppin, FL

This place was recommended by someone at the Naval Air Station.  We didn't realize that they were a new project by the owners of Hogfish, but if we had, our expectations would have been high!  This is a great location with great views of mangrove channels and open ocean.  You sit on these beautiful picnick tables, in a wonderful thatched roof bar, and just watch the water.  Very peaceful!

Chicken and Ribs or Mahi and Shrimp from the barbecue both served with beans, rice and coleslaw are the two choices on a Sunday night.  Both are cooked perfectly and the ribs and chicken are served with a tangy barbecue sauce.  The tartar sauce and cocktail sauce for the seafood are clearly homemade and excellent.

Both entrees scored a 4.00

After dinner the waitress recommended that we follow the dead end road to the end, and then walk along an abandoned road between the Air Station and the ocean - this was a great walk!  After the road washed out, there was a giant driftwood hovel dug and built by someone with too much time on his hands.  Try to find it!

Geiger Key Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

Hogfish Bar and Grill - Stock Island, FL

We almost gave these guys the we'll be back tomorrow score for dinner, so we almost made it back the next day.  Instead, two days, for breakfast.  First decent cup of coffee in the Keys (though we didn't get it at some places that might have been expected to have good coffee.)  The bloody mary was good too.

The Eggs Benedict was made with country ham instead of canadian bacon, and I think this is an improvement.  The hollandaise was delectable.  The home fries were good, not great.  Overall a solid 4.25

The shrimp in the Shrimp and Grits were enormous, fresh, juicy and yummy.  The grits were made right and the sauce and peppers were a lovely comliment to the dish.  4.5

Hogfish iid Bumblechick's favorite restaurant in the keys so far.  This morning was even better because there were no lake puddles to drive through.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Marquesa - Key West, FL

Blue Cheese Gnocchi with Duck Confit Sauce.  The blue cheese really stands out in a complementary way to the amazingly rich sauce.  A winner of a dish.  4.5

Grilled Prime Shoulder Filet: Wonderful pan sauce that was peppery and delicious.  The shoulder filet cooced perfectly with a nice crust.  Delicious mashed potatoes with a deep flavor all its own.  4.5

Vegetarian Feast: Risotto with corn and saffron, sweet pea purses, stewed tomato, onion and garlic, rainbow cauliflower, green beans and a bunch of other unique and exciting bites.  4.00

Chai Tea Creme Brulee: Rich and dark with fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries on top.  The sugar was a little dark, but kind of complimented the flavor of the Chai custard.  4.00

This was a great restaurant that highlights a cerebral menu that takes you to new places with your palate.  This is a contrast to Hogfish (reviewed earlier) which excites you on a more visceral level.  Both are exhilerating food experiences in their own way.

Sarabeth's - Key West, FL

A renowned New York pastry chef and restauranteur allowed her general manager to open his own Sarabeth's in Key West in 2005.  We'll see how it holds up...

The four flowers juice was a light smoothie with orange, pomegranate and pineapple.  Quite refreshing and delicious.  Get this if you don't want alcohol from the various mimosas.

Kari had the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes which were served with wheatberries and strawberries.  They were amazing!  Lots of lemon flavor with a hint of tartness.  4.25

She also had the Turkey Sausage with Apple Butter.  These were okay.  3.00.

I had the Goldie Lox, scrambled eggs with cream cheese and smoked salmon.  Also excellent, do silky smooth and delicious.  4.5

This is a great place for breakfast.  We may come here again tomorrow, and anyone who knows us understand that we NEW places, so coming back to the same place on a three day trip is a big complement.

A Key West tip: On weekends the courthouse parking is free and pret ty available.  It's located on Thomas Street between Southard and Fleming.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hogfish Bar and Grill - Stock Island, FL

The guy at the pass and ID office on Key West Naval Station suggested this place and a bunch of people agreed.  We almost didn't make it since there were lake size puddles all along the route.  Luckily we were following someone braver than us so we could see how deep they were (you learn in Chucktown never to drive through lake sized puddles - google Charleston Market Flooding Kayak to see why.)

The menu said Havana Smoked Pork was a local favorite, so that's what I had.  I am so glad I did!  This was the best meal on the Florida trip by far!  The rice and black beans had a ton of flavor.  The pork was tender and delicious, author a bunch of add ons to mask the pork.  I even enjoyed the plantains!  This meal was easily a 5.00!

Kari had the special: Grilled Yellowtail with Chimichurri and Jerk Butter.  The fish had a lovely, crisp outside and was perfectly cooked and tender.  The rice was awesome and the green beans good.  4.75

Our first Key Lime Pie in the keys lived up to expectations, earning a 4.5.  It was totally different than any other KLP we've had - in a good way.

So far, Hogfish Bar and Grill is our favorite restaurant in the Florida Keys.

Island Fish Company - Marathon, FL

Great view of the harbor and the fishing boats cleaning their catch.

We just wanted a quick bite so we went for the Conch Ceviche appetizer.  The only conch we've had before were fritters, so we were pretty excited.

I don't know what out was supposed to be like, but the conch was firmer than we expected, but the dish was good.  It was like a llemony salsa with delicious fish flavor.  3.5

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Encore - Key Largo, FL

Another recommendation from the boat captain.  This is a sister restaurant to The Fish House and looking at their hours reminds you of the Key Largo uniqueness.  Some businesses close for a month at a time during the quiet season.  The Fish House is closed in September, but Encore is open - weird.

Kari got the Key Like Margarita with graham cracker on the rim.  It was strange, in a good way.

A lot of staff conversation going on within earshot of the customers.  I learned a lot about the inner politics of Encore.

Lots of cool Bogart movie posters on the wall: Key Largo, The African Queen, Casablanca...

Kari tried the Spiny Lobster, which is supposed to be a bit sweeter than it's cousin from Maine.  I thought it a bit tough but still great flavor.  The vegetables were zucchini and carrots sliced thin.  It also came with mashed sweet potatoes which were excellent.  3.5

I had Snapper Matecumbe, which is broiled and typed with onions, shallots, basil, capers and tomatoes.  This was awesome.  Truly a great way to serve a nice fish fillet.  4.75


A boat tour Captain told us this was a good place for good food with a good beer selection.  He was wrong about the beer, but the nachos were quite good.  Half tortillas slathered in beans and cheese.  Good enough.  3.5

Harriette's - Key Largo, FL

Fodor's sent us here saying the biscuits melt in your mouth and the benedict wasn't that great.  So of course, I'm getting the benedict.

But wait, it's only available on weekends.  So.....

It's Breakfast Burrito (3.5) for me and Mushroom and Cheese Omelette (3.75) for Kari.

Coffee isn't that great, but everyone's really friendly and helpful.

Biscuits were awesome - 4.5

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Capri - Florida City, FL

Pet peeve alert!  A server should be familiar with all draft beers, especially the local ones.  We asked about a local beer, Schnebly, and our server said they had Longhammer and Shock Top by them!  Also, don't serve it to me in a Bud Light glass.  And, as long as we're on pet peeves, he didn't do this wrong, but I hate when I ask about good beer and they start with Bud and Miller.

The actual beer was Big Rod Blonde Ale with coconut and vanilla.  Actually quite good!

The salad was peaked and small, with crappy lettuce.  See the picture.  2.0

Kari had the Delmonico Steak (ribeye) and it was perfectly cooked with a beautiful crust.  4.25

I had the Steak au Poivre which was awesomely peppery and also perfectly cooked.  4.00.

Banana Cream Pie was excellent but Kari was wrong about it going well with the beer.  3.75

Despite the pet peeves and the iffy salad, the meal and service was quite good.  The kitchen obviously had its act together (the salad looked pre-prepared by server staff.)

I would definitely come again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lobster Shanty - Cocoa Beach, FL

Trying mobile blogging to see if I can keep the blog going without it taking over my life.

Tried a beer from Key West Brewing, a sunset ale.  Pretty enjoyable beer for an evening of seafood.

Drunken Mussels were excellent, the beer was prominent and complimentary.  4.25

The blue cheese dressing with the salads was excellent.  Server was attentive and knowledgeable, as well as helpful with the local area.

Kari had Almond Fried Shrimp, which was good, served with a little over sweet amaretto sauce.  3.75

I had the Rock Shrimp, sometimes call effect the poor man's lobster.  It was my first time and they are very unique looking.  Also very delicious.  3.75.

The view is awesome both inside and out.  I would probably come back here again depending on what else in the area seemed enticing.