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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

More on Key West Food

Today I was pouring through the 640 pictures taken during our Florida vacation. Surprisingly there are less pictures of the foods we ate that I thought. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the food at the last two places we ate at in Key West. In fairness we arrived in Key West just after 9 pm on January 15 (Tuesday) and left at 10 am January 17 (Thursday) so there really wasn't a lot of time so I was obviously caught up in the excitement of seeing as much as possible in a short period of time.

Sloppy Joe's Bar

Sloppy Joe's Bar is on the corner of Greene and Duval streets. It has been in business since 1933 and has the reputation of being Ernest Hemingway's favourite bar. Of this author's works I have only read Old Man and the Sea but seeing his house and visiting the bar he liked somehow seemed just right.

Sloppy Joe's is really a pleasant place with open walls to both streets. The bar has a relaxing atmosphere with live entertainment starting at noon. They offer a nice menu as well. We ordered a quesadilla to share as a snack since we had enjoyed a substantial breakfast at Cypress House. The quesadilla was quite large, folded in half and cut into three pieces. It came with spicy salsa sauce and sour cream. The filling was simply melted cheeses, onions and black beans. Now my husband wasn't very pleased at the prospect of black beans but he tried them and ate a few of them. I really enjoyed the black beans. [I'm already thinking of ways to serve black beans at home!]

While sightseeing we made several stops including the southernmost point of the United States. We bought Key West Scooter Hot Sauce, Jolly Roger Hot Sauce that promises to bleach your bones, and key lime juice. The nice thing is I can purchase these products online if we run out before we get back to the area.

Rum Barrel

After an afternoon of sight seeing on the scooter we headed back to Cypress House to park the scooter for the night. Then we headed to the Rum Barrel for dinner. To the right when you enter there is a small dining room where we ate. One thing that quickly becomes apparent is eating heavy foods in Key West is not as appealing as eating snackier types of foods but that is likely because we came from a cold climate so had a bit of wanting something different or it could be we were too tired to eat a larger meal. I ordered the Creole Gater Bites [sorry no picture] served with Creole honey mustard for dipping and a side salad. My husband ordered a Real Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. The prices were more than reasonable.

The Philly Cheesesteak was quite large, filled with generous slices of thinly sliced beef and cheese served on a large bun. The garter bites were interesting and yes my husband even tried one. They came battered with the Creole honey mustard on the side in a dipping bowl. Be warned the honey mustard does have a bit of a nip to it. The alligator has a texture a little firmer and heavier than frog legs with a bit more chewy. It does not taste like chicken either! I would like to recreate this appetizer at home so will be looking for an online source for fresh or frozen alligator.

After dinner we moved to a table in the bar section under the Rum Barrel sign in front of the window closest to the meter except the windows were open that night. We settled in for the evening to listing to the live music of Jeff Clark's band. The band members and our mixologist autographed our daily specials menu. It was a nice way to spend our final night in Key West.

2 food lovers commented:

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog about Key West. We spent almost a week there a few years ago. What a lovely place and how we enjoyed the visit, especially the drive down from Miami. We visited many of the places you mentioned but the favorite for us was Mallory Square at sundown.
What a treat that vacation was. I hope your trip was as well.

Take a Taste said...

We spent almost a week in Key West a few years ago. What a lovely place and how we enjoyed it, especially the long drive down from Miami. We visited a lot of the special places you mentioned but the two we liked most of all was Mallory Sqaure at sundown and the boat ride out to the reefs.
This was one of our most enjoyable vacations. Hope you had as good a time as we did.