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Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

columbus, in
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Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

After a determined effort where I was "forced" into trying all the places that seemed essential to me based on awards, professional reviews, people reviews, restaurant rankings and forum chat, I have now completed my quest and these are my favorite ten breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. They are just my opinions based on my own taste and you are welcome to your own. Enjoy and, if you must, debate. LOL

Breakfast:

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14536-Key_West…

Lunch:

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14537-Key_West…

Dinner:

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14533-Key_West…

Land O Lakes...
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1. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

I enjoyed following your culinary tour. Thanks for sharing your final results...Great suggestions!!!

Kittery, Maine
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2. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Excellent Doug - what an outstanding review! You got my attention right off with your fave breakfast which I also love - that Menage a Trois is amazing!

I'm stuffed just reading about these wonderful dishes.

Danvers...
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3. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

I have been awaiting your always mouth-watering reviews and reccomendations from your recent trip. Once again you delivered a delightful read. I'm printing out your 3 'Ten Best' lists to take with me. THANK YOU!!

Syracuse NY
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4. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Meant to have this comment here --

Thank you for this wonderful gift!

Scranton, PA
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5. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Doug, this is a GREAT list! (And spot on according to my experience.) Thank you for taking the time to write this all down and organize your thoughts.

My very good buddy (also a former chef and lover of all things delicious) and his lovely wife are KW virgins and head down on June 1st. I'm sending him the link to this page. Nice job!

Dan

SDT
Key West
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6. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

These are great lists. Thanks for sharing.

With a place with as many options as Key West, there will always be some differences of opinions, but the one big omission in my humble opinion is 915. Not sure if you have tried it and perhaps did not like it, but it would definately make my top 10 for dinner.

I also think Chicos has far better Mexican food then Salsa Loca. Maybe since it is on Stock Island, it does not get as much press.

Thanks for sharing. If someone followed these lists they would have a great dining tour of Key West!

Key West
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7. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Oh my! That was a mouthful! Thank you for sharing that with us. I think I would have omitted El Meson de Pepe because they add on the tip, which we often forgot to notice, and I think their food is just average. 915, La Tratt, or Blue Heaven would have made my dinner list instead, but I never ordered what you had there. Your enjoyment of good food certainly comes through your report, and it's a must save for me as well, as there are several places that I have yet to try.

Limey

columbus, in
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8. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Thanks all. I have tried NineOneFive and liked it; Ruth not so much, and it was a member of my top ten until I revised it after this last tour. I think it suffered in her opinion in that we ate there our first night of our maiden Culinary Tour in 2007 after having had lunch at Santiago's. Santiago's blew us away so much that NineOneFive was less impressive than it would have been given a day on its own. I still would definitely recommend it. I left it off my list now despite its definitely having better cuisine than my last two choices: the moveable feast and the Mallory Square/ El Meson evening, because this list is about our favorite things to do, not just who has the best cuisine. NineOneFive is way ahead of my last two choices in that regard.

La Trattoria and the other Italian restaurants have not and will not be visited by me, solely because I have the opportunity to eat fine Italian cuisine at home and do not wish to eat Italian while visiting Key West.

Blue Heaven was considered for the list but as I told Donna at the Conch Tale Hour, my recommendation for it is limited to if you order their signature dishes only. I enjoyed the yellowtail snapper, the BBQ Shrimp with Jerk Seasonings, and am a fan of both Banana Heaven and their heavy on the merangue Key Lime Pie. If you order anything else though, I find them lacking. Ruth had the worse steak dish I have ever experienced on a plate where the sauce overwhelmed not only the steak but drenched all the sides as well. It was almost a soup plate. The same thing was true of my Sea Scallops which were drenched in a dark sauce that made the plate look more like beef stew than the normal delicate preparation of diver sea scallops I prefer at Cafe Marquesa and other fine restaurants. I did acknowledge that the sea scallops did still taste good even though the plate looked awful. Ruth's sauce with steak entree though was a disaster. The steak was also extremely tough as well as tasting like s..t. I, therefore, was hesitant to recommend dinner there at all, because even though I suggest to people what to order and that ordering that is what my reviews are based upon, I can't be sure that people will follow that advice and then order something else, and say that ybb guy doesn't know what he is talking about.

columbus, in
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9. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Oh, and another thing, SDI. I am not a huge fan of Salsa Loca. That is one reason I was so disappointed I did not get to have lunch at White Street Bistro. I fully anticipated that it would replace Salsa on my lunch favorites.

columbus, in
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10. Re: Key West Culinary Tour: the Final Results are In!

Sorry, to have to make another post, but I forgot a point there to all the people I know who are now going to scream that Salsa Loca is their favorite restaurant in Key West. I have three great Mexican restaurants at home, owned by Mexicans, with Mexican chefs, Mexican wait staff and authentic Mexican cuisine. My choices at home would knock the socks off of Salsa Loca.

It is similar to the argument here as to El Meson vs. El Siboney. There is no question El Siboney has the more authentic, wonderful Cuban cuisine and ranks high on my lunch list. El Meson is on my dinner list as being part of a pleasant entire evening experience, not solely for their food. El Siboney blows them away on cuisine.