Frita’s Cuban Burger | Review

I have walked by this tiny little eatery, located at 425 Southard Street, many times. After seeing a movie the other night, my husband and I along with our friends, Erik and Dianne, decided to try it out for a quick dinner. We were able to park just out front, which was nice.  As we approached the establishment, we weren’t sure if we were supposed to order out front or sit inside. Apparently, you can do either. So after walking in and sitting at a makeshift table (a drum with a piece of clear plastic on top) we began studying not only the menu but also the shabby chic interior. Okay, so it may have been more shabby than chic, but it did have the neat feeling of actually being in Cuba.

Shrimp burger at Frita’s

We started out by ordering homemade sangria. After about ten minutes we still had not seen the drinks and we were wondering if the language barrier had caused out order to be lost in translation. Of course, as soon as I asked about the drink order, they were finally brought over. The staff makes this drink to order, which explained the delay. Sangria is different everywhere you get it, and I did enjoy this version, although it was much less sweet than what I am accustomed to.

When the proprietress, who did speak perfect English and was very friendly, came over to take our food order, we all got different things. My husband ordered the traditional Cuban sandwich, I ordered the shrimp burger, Erik order the confused Frita (Frita Confundita), and Dianne ordered the traditional Frita burger. We also got two orders of french fries for the table.

In case you were wondering, a traditional Cuban sandwich consists of roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on cuban bread which is then pressed and served warm. Steven ate his, but without much gusto. He thought it was a bit bland compared to the many other Cuban sandwiches that he has enjoyed in the past.

Burger at Frita’s.

My shrimp burger was a bit of a disappointment. It tasted fine, but it was literally a few fried shrimp on a big bun with cole slaw. I was truly expecting shrimp formed into a patty.

Erik’s confused burger was the Frita burger (beef and pork patty seasoned with garlic and spices, topped with onions, mojo pork, cole slaw, and crispy fried house julienne potatoes on a freshly-backed Cuban roll. After a few bites, he pronounced the burger interesting.

The fries were fresh cut, but they were soggy, not crispy.

For such a small place, their menu was pretty extensive. And I am not sure where they cooked it all as I could not tell where the kitchen was. I am not sure that I would come here again, but it was certainly a different experience.

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or the rest of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my other restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review sectionof this blog.

And to see what is happening on Key West during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

Easter in Key West – 2017

Island Genn and her sister Amy having Easter Day Brunch.

Island Genn and her sister Amy having Easter Day Brunch.

Easter Sunday is just around the corner now, and if you will be in Key West for this holiday, you are probably wondering where you can enjoy a nice Easter brunch or dinner. Below are a list of restaurants that will be open, some offering their regular menu and others offering holiday specials. Just make sure to call and make reservations!!

Restaurants
  • 2 Cents – 305-414-8626
  • A&B Lobster House – 305-294-5880
  • Antonia’s – 305-294-6565
  • Azur – 305-292-2987
  • Bagatelle – 305-296-6609
  • Banana Cafe – 305-294-7227
  • Benihana – 305-294-6400
  • Bistro 245 – 305-292-4320
  • Bliss Key West – 305-240-1281
  • Bruschetta Cucina Italiana – 305-517-6282
  • Cafe Marquesa – 305-292-1244
  • Cafe Sole – 305-294-0230
  • Doubletree Grand Key Resort – 305-307-9752 – Easter Brunch from Noon until 4:00PM. Menu items include eggs benedict, omelette station,bacon, sausage, pancakes, fruit, salad, Caribbean chicken, spiral ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and desserts. $25.95 plus tax per person with lower rates for children.
  • The Grand Cafe – 305-292-4740 – Offering a special Easter Sunday Dinner including a grand trio of smoked duck breast, beef carpaccio, and tuna tartare for $14.99, citrus baked ham with asparagus and mashed potatoes for $26.99, and chocolate mousse cake with whipped cream and a mango -raspberry coulis for $9.99.
  • Hot Tin Roof – 305-296-7701
  • Key West Harbour – 305-292-3121
  • La Te Da – 305-296-6706
  • La Trattoria – 305-296-1075 / 305-295-6789
  • Mangoes – 305-294-8002
  • Martin’s – 305-295-0111
  • Michael’s – 305-295-1300
  • Nine One Five – 305-296-0669
  • One Duval at the Pier House – 305-295-3255 – Eater Brunch will be served from 10am until 2pm. Cost is $42 per person and included a complimentary mimosa. Lower rates available for children.
  • Prime Steakhouse – 305-296-4000
  • Rooftop Cafe – 305-294-2042 – As an exceptional Key West restaurant, Roof Top Café is open during all major holidays, including Easter. Typically, our full dinner menu will be offered along with holiday specials. In addition to the regular menu, special multi-course menus are often available. Reservations on all major holidays are recommended.
  • Sarabeth’s – 305-293-8181
  • Senor Frogs – 305-404-8094
  • Southernmost Beach Cafe – 305-296-6550
  • Spencer’s by the Sea at the Casa Marina Resort – 305-296-3535
  • Casa Marina Resort – 305-296-3535 – Visit the Easter Bunny and join in the egg hunt at 11:00am! Brunch is served from noon until 4:00pm. Menu includes seafood, carving station, raw bar, mimosas, live music, and more! Price is $62 per adult and $30 per child under 12.
  • Tavern N Town at the Marriott Beachside Resort – 305-296-8100 – Offering an amazing East Brunch from 11:00AM until 2:00PM for just $45.95 per person.
  • Thai Life Floating Restaurant – 305-296-9907

In 2016, the following restaurants were also opened… We will keep updating for 2017 as the information comes in!

  • Hard Rock Cafe – 305-293-0230
  • Latitudes – 305-292-5394
  • SHOR at the Hyatt Resort will be serving Easter Brunch from 11am until 3pm. Enjoy bottomless mimosas along with fine cuisine. – 305-809-4000
Religious Services

If you are planning on attending mass or another a church service for the Easter holiday, we have many churches of different denominations that you could attend.

Activities
Fury Watersports is offering their special KEY WEST EASTER ULTIMATE ADVENTURE which includes reef snorkeling, jet skis, parasailing, and many other water sports. Leave all the work to the Easter Bunny, and enjoy your holiday with Fury Water Adventures! After an hour of snorkeling, we will head to Fury’s Island Playground for Jet Skiing, Parasailing, Kayaking and Water Park fun. When finished, cool down with complimentary beer and wine as we sail back to Key West. Our Easter Sunday Ultimate Adventure provides a special holiday menu and unlimited refreshments! This six hour adventure starts at 10:00AM and is priced at only $150 plus tax per person! Call us at 1-888-362-3474 to make reservations!
Happy Easter!

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West, be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our previous restaurant reviews.

And to see what is happening on Key West during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn

Key West Concierge

Lupida’s | Review

Lupida's Mexican cheese dip with chips.

Lupida’s Mexican cheese dip with chips.

Our office staff were all hungry today, so we decided to try a place that we had never been to.  Mexican sounded good so we headed on over to Lupida’s on Bertha Street, formerly home to B’s Cuban as we long time residents remember. It was a little too late for the lunch crowd, so we had the whole place to ourselves. We loved the Mexican music playing in the background, just loud enough to be heard and enjoyed  yet soft enough to be able to hear one another. It made us feel as though we were really in Mexico, or at least Mexico in Epcot!

As we were seated, We were served the obligatory chips with salsa. The chips were fresh and delicious and so was the salsa. The menu is huge so it was really hard to make a decision, but we finally settled! To start, we ordered the Mexican cheese dip and chips. It was a good sized portion, although a bit bland and very liquidy, making it difficult to eat. But, it did double as a good sauce on Tommy’s quesadilla.

Sopapillas as served at Key West's Lupida's.

Sopapillas as served at Key West’s Lupida’s.

Lila likes to eat dessert first, so she started with the sopapillas. These were very different from what I have had in the past. They were almost along the lines of a churro. The were crispy flour chips, for lack of a better descriptor, with a hint of cinnamon and topped with honey, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. They were tasty, and the portion was huge. Really enough for four people.

Lila followed up her dessert with the chile rellenos with chicken. Served with a side of rice and refried beans, this generous sized plate garnered an alright from Lila. The chile rellenos were fried crispy, and there was no sauce on them, or at least not enough to be noticeable. And other than the bit of cheese that topped the dish, there didn’t seem to be any on the inside of the peppers. The best part of this dish was the shredded chicken stuffed into the peppers.

Chile rellenos with chicken at Lupida's in Key West.

Chile rellenos with chicken at Lupida’s in Key West.

Tommy ordered the beef quesadillas. This was also a good sized portion served with a side of rice and refried beans. He thought that the quesadillas were acceptable, but not great. The ground beef was bland and could have used some seasoning to add some flavor to this boring dish to make it more memorable. He was able to perk up the dish a bit by pouring the remainder of the cheese dip and salsa onto his quesadillas.

I ordered the chicken enchiladas with green sauce. These were also served with rice and refried beans, and again was a good sized portion. The shredded chicken was flavorful and I loved the spicy green sauce that it came with which was the savior to the dish.

We did not leave hungry, but unless you got a meal with a flavorful sauce like I did, bland was the word. If we do come here again, I think that I should just order for everyone! And if I didn’t have to go back to work, I would have ordered a strawberry margarita to go with my meal, but I was being responsible.

Chicken enchiladas with green sauce at Lupida's in Key West.

Chicken enchiladas with green sauce at Lupida’s in Key West.

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or the rest of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my other restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

And to see what is happening on Key West during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

Ocean Grill & Bar | Review

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

I love eating at Duval Square because it is a comfortable atmosphere with great restaurants and (drum roll) parking in Key West!  Ocean Grill & Bar recently opened after the owners of the New York Pasta Garden, also located in the square, bought the space and opened a seafood specific restaurant. With friends in town, four of us headed down to try out this new eatery on Friday night. To be safe, we did make reservations, always a good idea when dining in Key West.

When we arrived the restaurant was still a little quiet, so we were able to choose indoor or outdoor seating. Since my little Maltese, Indiana Bones, was not with us, we opted to eat inside. The decor is sleek and modern, and the acoustics were good so we did not have to shout at one another to be heard! Right off the bat, the hostess and the wait staff that we met were all very friendly and they were all very good looking too; it was like we walked into a photoshoot. I am pretty sure that if our waiter, Shawn, could make a pretty good living as a model if he got tired of doing what he is doing.

Wedge salad

Wedge salad

Once seated, we ordered drinks all around. The guys ordered manly cocktails while us girls each had a glass of wine. And these were not your average skimpy glass of wine. The glasses were filled to the top and by the middle of the meal we were both just a little tipsy. I think that Shawn said that they do a 16 ounce pour with all of their wine servings!

To start, we ordered the lobster bisque, the shrimp and grits, the calamari, and the wedge salad. I did not have a favorite out of these as they were all stand out dishes.

The lobster bisque had a hint of sherry mixed with the rich and creamy tomato and lobster soup, topped with poached lobster; it was simply mouthwatering. I have been dreaming about this bisque ever since!

Lobster, shrimp and scallops over pasta

Lobster, shrimp and scallops over pasta

The shrimp and grits was one of the best renditions of the dish that I have ever had; there were four large local shrimp grilled with a chili lime butter and served over cheese grits with a roasted corn butter sauce.

The calamari was something that I think even people that do not like calamari would enjoy. This dish was not at all chewy, and the chili honey garlic sauce that it was tossed with mingled sweet and spice perfectly.

The flavors of iceberg lettuce topped with bacon, onions, cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese and a roasted garlic blue cheese dressing melded  together to make this simple wedge salad special.

After this we were all pretty full, but we decided to try a few other things on the menu. We followed up our amazing starters with a caprese salad, lobster, shrimp and scallop pasta, seafood risotto, and more shrimp and grits.

Seafood Risotto

Seafood Risotto

The fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, baby greens and basil with a balsamic reduction and olive oil made a delicious caprese salad.

The pasta dish was huge, and since we already feasted on so many appetizers around the table, we did have some left overs here. The pasta was prepared al dente and the seafood which included sautéed lobster, shrimp and sea scallops along with fresh baby spinach and sun dried tomatoes in a sherry tinged cream sauce and was very rich and very delicious.

The seafood risotto was also a very large portion, so we had leftovers here as well. The risotto was creamy and flavorful on its own. But served with perfectly sautéed lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic and topped with grated Parmesan cheese made this dish amazing.

Calamari

Calamari

I don’t even know what dessert options there were since we were ridiculously full after all of this. But I can tell you that we will be coming back again. There are some other dishes that I would love to try! Not to mention having a few of these other ones again. They also serve breakfast at Ocean Grill and Bar!

Before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or the rest of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my other restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

And to see what is happening on Key West during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge