Monday 15 April 2019

Taste of Key West

Late in the day I heard about Taste of Key West and I decided to go.  Well to say I am happy about that decision is an understatement!

It was a wonderful event - well ran (thank you and well done to all the bright yellow t-shirted volunteers) with a fabulous selection of quality food vendors and an impressive beer and wine selection.

We arrived and were able to skip the long line to buy tickets because our tickets were already booked and purchased online.  I chose a wine glass and my date went for beer. The wine tents were right beside us at that point (handy, lol, wink) so I sought out and FOUND a nice well rounded Argentinian Malbec (yay!).  We then moved to the beer tent where a Canadian beer caught attention - Unibroue.  And with that we were off to the food!

 I shall do my best to remember all the food - I think I remember what each thing was but alas my memory may be lacking when it comes to what restaurant it was from.  That would be the Malbec's fault oops.

Although we had planned on sharing plates/each taste, that went out the window when we saw the shrimp and lobster roll slider.  We got one each and sat down right beside the ocean to enjoy it.  It was actually a really good call (a) it was very very good and (b) we were both starving so it was good to eat a good base to take the edge off.
Next up was Paella from Santiago's Bodega and it was everything we could have hoped for from the best Spanish restaurant in town - and this from two people who have ate Paella actually in Spain many times.

Our third sampling was my favourite! Tuna ahi from Matt's Kitchen on Stock Island.  Big chunky cubes of thickly marinated tuna. topped with pistachio, peanut and coconut it was both sweet and savoury.  I also thought it was one of the best portion sizes for just 3 tickets.
Shrimp and rice from Hogfish on Stock Island - the shrimp was excellent, the rice just "fine" and in fact "just ok" compared to the earlier Paella.

Things went a little downhill with our next choice.  Lamb meatballs from NineOneFive were bland and boring. Very disappointing. Redemption came in the form of the following dish; pulled beef taco with honey and siracha aioli. Nice job  by the Casa Marina (Waldorf Astoria).

Next up was my choice.  Don't judge but I went for something from a chain, but a quirky chain! Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar was serving Shrimp and Grits and it was good.  It was good! Honestly!

Last up was an amazing gumbo.  I really wish I could remember where this was from, for the life of me I can't. At 6 tickets it was the most expensive thing that we tried, or even saw, most of the food was 3 or 4 tickets per serving.  The wine and beer were 3 tickets.  It was however, worth it in both quantity and quality.  Hearty and delicious, a mix of meat (sausage, chicken), seafood (white fish, mussels, shrimp and crab) with clumped white rice in a perfectly balanced soup.  It was a good end to the savouries!

A finish of key lime pie mousses - one from Lucy's (1 ticket) and one from the Kennedy CafĂ© (2 tickets) brought the night to a perfect end.  I preferred the Lucy's one btw!

Well done again to all involved in this wonderful event and I hope it raised lots of funds for a great cause A.H.Health and Housing, Munroe County.

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