Florida Keys – Post #3

Quick shot from our balcony before spending the day at Key West. While I didn’t exactly see the sunrise, I enjoyed some time watching the water and wildlife while others were getting ready.

Breakfast was pre-determined, by me at least. I had read about Blue Heaven and their reviews and was looking forward to some awesome pancakes. Spoiler alert – they were totally awesome. 🙂

The restaurant has been in existence since 1992 with the building being at least 100 years old and the first incarnation had them selling alcohol and spirts to Key Westers. The property has hosted cock-fighting, gambling and boxing.

The second floor has been a dance hall, bordello, art gallery and a playhouse. Although not used for the breakfast crowd I wandered around and got a few shots of the upstairs.

We had a 30 minute wait for our table and the ‘waiting area’ is across the street in an off-shoot of their business ‘Andy’s Cabana’. Adrienne and Eric started with a bloody mary. They both said their drink was a healthy pour of spirits. Another one of those and they would have had a different view of Key West. I ordered the coffee in the center.

Pretty much to the minute, we were called. Looked like one of their blue angels had a bloody mary……….

Their restaurant business began with (1) no money down, (2) some gardening tools and (3) mom’s church cookbook. The husband and wife team planned and executed a lunch soup counter. They eventually expanded into breakfast and lured one of their brothers to initiate a dinner menu. The rest they say is history.

We had awesome weather the morning we visited. The experience would have been very different if seated inside.

And YES, I ordered the pancakes along with a scrambled egg and their locally made sausage.

Eric was a copycat and ordered the pancakes with blueberries. He pretended to eat healthy by getting granola w/fruit and yogurt.

We had several visitors running around the area. Eric doesn’t look too thrilled with their company.

Which now kind of gives a reason for finding this grill outside of the restaurant.

I couldn’t resist this shot. Just part of the decor……….

We did a L.O.T of walking during our day in Key West. Ultimately we tracked 10 miles walking this day. One advantage versus driving is you really get the flavor of the area seeing the houses and neighborhoods.

Mid-afternoon we needed a break and snacks.

This building is one of Key West’s most impressive and historic – the birthplace of Pan American World Airways. The first tickets were sold out of this building in 1927.

Pan Am was the principal and largest international air carrier in US from 1927 – 1991, when they collapsed. Originally their business plan involved air mail and passengers serving between Key West and Havana, Cuba. The airline was credited with shaping international airlines with their widespread use of jet aircraft, jumbo jets and a computerized reservation systems.

It was a pretty cool place and they get decent marks for their menu. Like most places in Key West, majority of seating was outside.

We had some brews and snacks.

A bavarian pretzel, deviled eggs and fried jalapenos kept us going.

Adrienne had a few requests. She wanted to see the end of US 1, mile marker 0.

Which is also the beginning of US 1, mile marker 0.

Another stop to whet our whistle. This brewery opened in 2015 and was the largest brewery in the Florida keys.

One more request from Adrienne was to see the ‘Southernmost point of the continental USA, 90 miles to Cuba’. It was established as a bonefide tourist attraction in 1983 by the city. It is 18′ above sea level. Google says it is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in the US. Possibly that’s true – we had to wait in a line just to get a photo. Man – have these people be at Disney? The line was organized and self-owned – and it worked.

It was soooooo hot as we were waiting in line (really? really!) we needed something to cool off. Luckily there was this place: Southernmost Bar.

To close out our day in Key West dinner was at Conch Republic Seafood Company.

Another fish dip started our meal. By the end of the week, I can see us possibly getting tired of ordering fish dip – but not just yet.

Another bowl of conch chowder (Eric) – to quote him ‘It was the best he had during the trip’.

Eric’s meal was yellowtail snapper with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

And what did I get…………………..yep, grilled chicken caesar salad. I’d had enough seafood for awhile. I needed something a bit lighter and greener. It was a wise choice. While the grilled chicken was a bit dry…………bottles of hot sauce on the table remedied that situation.

There’s only one dessert to order when you’re in Key West – key lime pie. I really didn’t need more food, but who can resist this pie? At least we shared it amongst the three of us which took away some of the guilt – but not the over-stuffed feeling.

The phrase ‘Conch Republic’ was seen throughout Key West. Conch Republic – what is that? In 1982 Key Westers protested the US Border Patrol roadblock and inspection point on US 1, prior to driving into the keys. Vehicles were being stopped and searched for narcotics and illegal immigrants. When their complaints went unanswered they declared their Independence day on April 23, 1982 when they seceded and created the micro-nation for the city of Key West. Its turned into a tourism booster and one more quirky Key West thing.

I opened the post with a sun-rising photo and let me close with the sun setting while sitting on our balcony.

Ginny

2 thoughts on “Florida Keys – Post #3

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