Key West Restaurant Reviews

Listed here are the reviews I have made on the restaurants of Key West, Florida. Starting from the latest review first. I often revisit restaurants to take another look so come back often and check them out.

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

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

Bier Boutique Review

Island Genn and Lila having lunch at the office.

Island Genn and Lila having lunch at the office.

So, this is a bit strange for me, but today I am going to be writing about a delivery experience. I have driven by the Bier Boutique a bunch of times and I have been determined to try it out. Today, we decided to have them deliver lunch to our office for Foodie Friday!

About 40 minutes after placing a fairly large food order by phone, we got a knock on the door with a delivery driver from the Bier Boutique laden with bags of fresh, hot food. I have to say that the order was not cheap at $75 plus tip. Was it worth the price? Well…

To start, we ordered the beer candied bacon and the tater tots. As if bacon in and of itself was not good enough already, they candy it which transforms the bacon into a sweet and savory treat. The tater tots come two ways; the house-made tater tots are loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, Sriracha cream, and chives. And the coney tots are piled with their homemade chili, cheddar cheese, sour cream and chives. While I did like the tots, I would probably not order them again because I absolutely loved the fresh cut french fries that came with the sandwiches, and one fried potato side is more than enough for this girl. The Sriracha cream was tasty, offering just enough spice to give the tots a small kick. The chili was yummy; I could see myself ordering a bowl of this on one of our very rare cold Key West days.

Bier Boutique Big Salad with grilled chicken

Bier Boutique Big Salad with grilled chicken

Lila and Steven both ordered the Mad River TBLT which is a sandwich of fresh grilled turkey, candied bacon, tomato, onion, lettuce, baby swiss, and honey peppercorn vinaigrette on toasted oat nut bread.  This sandwich looked amazing and tasted pretty good too. Really loved the addition of the candied bacon for a different twist.

After shoving my face full or fried potatoes I tried to be somewhat healthy by going with the big salad with grilled chicken. My salad was loaded with spinach, nuts, cranberries, feta cheese, and a honey peppercorn vinaigrette. The chicken was skewered and simply grilled and served on the side. The salad was very good and made outstanding by the dressing that was the perfect combination of spicy and sweet. The chicken  on its own would have been a bore but with the salad and dressing was a nice addition.

For dessert we shared a decadent brownie that was chewy and rich, just as a brownie should be.

TBLT Sandwich ate Bier Boutique

TBLT Sandwich ate Bier Boutique

Now that we have tried a huge portion of the menu, I think we could narrow down the next order and eat a bit more affordably, probably for around $40 plus tip for three of us. We were all impressed by the food, and the fact that they deliver is certainly a bonus.

Now, you may have noticed that the name of this place is the Bier Boutique, yet I did not write about beer at all so far. That is because even though I do like a good cider once in a while, I do not drink at work. If I did I could promise you that I would never get anything accomplished! With that said, they do have a pretty extensive beer menu with several interesting craft brews. So you can enjoy a delicious meal with a cold one. Sounds like a pretty perfect pairing to me!

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