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

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

The Waterfront Brewery: Review

The chicken avocado salad at the Waterfront Brewery.

The chicken avocado salad at the Waterfront Brewery in Key West.

The Waterfront Brewery opened last fall in the building that had been the longtime home of the Waterfront Market. Currently, you can go there to enjoy food, spirits, and an ever-changing beer menu as well as games and a view. And soon the rooftop will be open for musical performances and other events.

My husband and I had dinner with friends here this past weekend for the first time. None of us really drink much, so I was a bit skeptical about coming here for food. I imagined us eating in a loud and crowded bar, but it was not at all like that. The building is quite expansive, so it is very open and uncrowded. You can enter from the boardwalk at the Seaport or from the parking lot on Caroline Street. We used the Caroline Street entrance and walked through a huge game room to get to the dining area located on the seaport side of the building.

The fried shrimp and scallops from the Waterfront Brewery in Key West.

The fried shrimp and scallops from the Waterfront Brewery in Key West.

To start we ordered pretzel rolls, Front Street shrimp, and fish dip. And even though the beer list was extensive, including several in house and local brews, we all opted out. (Sorry to disappoint on that count!) Our waiter who was really good (great personality and on top of things during our visit) had our appetizers out to us pretty quickly. Since we were hungry, I didn’t get a picture of the apps before we had torn into them, but they were all outstanding.

The pretzel rolls were huge, so I split one with my friend Pam. They were soft and delicious and the cheese beer dipping sauce was heaven in my mouth and probably hell on my hips. But it was definitely worth the calories. By the way, this sauce also proved to be amazing for dipping our fries in as well. Sinful!

The fish dip was tasty, served with some really good tortilla chips and sides of celery and carrot sticks. I would have liked to see some jalapeños or diced red onions served on the side as well because I like that extra punch of heat with my fish dip, but it was good all the same.

The Front Street shrimp appetizer was perfect. The fried shrimp were tossed with a thai chili remoulade which gave the dish a little heat without overpowering the flavor of the shrimp. And they were cooked just right, and even covered in the sauce, the shrimp retained their crispness.

Game area of the Waterfront Brewery.

Game area of the Waterfront Brewery.

The chicken avocado salad is huge, made up of a pile of romaine lettuce and topped with chicken, avocado, roasted corn, tomatoes, green onions, and tortilla strips, tossed in a citrus honey and peanut vinaigrette. The dressing was tasty and not overpowering, making this a really great salad.

The fish and chips and the fried shrimp and scallops were both delicious. Both came with a small side of cole slaw and a heaping serving of fries. When ordering fried seafood I am typically disappointed because restaurants tend to use frozen seafood that just isn’t as good as fresh. But this was all definitely fresh. The beer batter was tasty, but I peeled most of mine off just because it was a lot of extra on top of delicious seafood. And, the scallops, shrimp, and fish were all cooked to perfection. Nothing overdone or underdone. The cole slaw was good, but nothing standout. The fries were great, all of us being french fry connoisseurs in our own minds!

The peel and eat shrimp were awesome! Again, very fresh, perfectly cooked, and prepared with just the right amount of seasoning. Only wish some wet naps were also provided when they brought these to the table.

After an amazing meal we went to the game room where we played one another in pool, fooz ball, air hockey and skeet ball. We had a blast here as the room was uncrowded and we pretty much had our pick of games to play.

Portions were huge, so next time (yes, there will be a next time for sure!) we will probably not go with any appetizers, or we would at least cut down on the number of appetizers! And there are so many other things to try on the menu that we are all looking forward to our next dining experience at our new favorite low-key waterfront restaurant 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 too; 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

A&B Lobster House: Review

Ribeye steak at A&B Lobster House.

Ribeye steak at A&B Lobster House.

A&B Lobster House (short for Alonzo and Berlin) has been a fine dining staple in Key West since 1947. This elegant restaurant overlooking the water offers seating both inside and outside, so that you can enjoy your meal in the cool air conditioned dining room or outside where you have an amazing view of  the harbor and the gorgeous boats docked there.

My husband and I dined here this past weekend. The menu features tempting soups, salads, fresh local seafood, and steaks. In the past I have ordered the lobster bisque to start, and it is mouthwateringly good with that lovely hint of cognac. But this time we went with a simple wedge salad and steak; the ribeye for my husband and the filet mignon for myself.

One of the first ways in which I judge a restaurant is by the quality of bread that they serve. I absolutely love the bread here. It is nice and crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Yum! So we were off to a fine start!

Filet Mignon at the A&B Lobster House

Filet Mignon at the A&B Lobster House

What is there to say about a wedge salad? It is a pretty simple concept; iceberg lettuce, bacon, and blue cheese dressing. This one also added onions and tomatoes. It was a nice light start to the meal.

At first look, our plated entrees did not look overly impressive. The kitchen really skimped on the sides. Can you even see the mashed potatoes in the picture of the ribeye? But, the steaks were absolutely amazing. After the first bite my husband and I looked at each other and said at the same time, this is the best steak we have ever eaten in Key West. The Bernaise sauce served with the filet was delicious, but the steak tasted so good without it that I did not end up using it. The gorgonzola potatoes were flavorful with just the right amount of sharpness; they were the perfect pairing for the steak.

Cheesecake at the A&B Lobster House

Cheesecake at the A&B Lobster House

For dessert we each ordered coffee and we shared a piece of the cheesecake. The coffee was served in small individual pots; I was not expecting a great cup of coffee, but that is what we got. It was probably the best cup of coffee that I have had in a restaurant in quite awhile. The piece of cheesecake was small, but it was rich and creamy and not overly sweet.

The food is very good as is the service and the ambiance, but the prices are high ($30.00 – $70.00 per entree). So as much as I would love to eat here more often, A&B is our special occasion spot. However, the restaurant’s location is superb and free parking is available as well which in my opinion makes up for some of the cost of dinner. Reservations are suggested. Dress is casual.

You can also enjoy a before or after dinner drink at Berlin’s, their cocktail and cigar 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 too; 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