Food & Drink – the building blocks for any vacation, especially for the Dardens!
Let’s start with Breakfast. Googling top breakfast stops in the FL Keys was not as plentiful as we originally thought. Darn good thing research was done prior to the trip or the possibility existed for some ‘Hangriness’ (hungry + angry).
First up Harriette’s Restaurant, Key Largo.
Established in 1982 it was originally a small two bedroom, one bath family home. As you can see on their menu front…………
……….they are the ‘Home of the World Famous Key Lime Muffin!’. Although we didn’t get one and quite frankly I never saw anyone order them – but hey! we were here for breakfast, maybe it’s something you get later. They had an extensive menus of muffins, 24 different flavors.
We were pretty boring ordering basic breakfast food: French toast, eggs w/hash and hash browns and bacon.
Then came the biscuit – huge! We guessed 5″ x 5″. One biscuit could have fed all of us.
Another breakfast stop was Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, also in Key Largo.
While the building was built in 1947, it wasn’t until one of the owners decided to use his mother’s recipes (Mrs. Mac) that it became the restaurant it is today in 1976. It is considered the longest running restaurant in Key Largo.
I went a little off-script getting a bacon, egg & tomato sandwich on pita bread, while Eric went for eggs, hash, hash browns and a biscuit.
You can see a theme – license plates are everywhere. It is considered a ‘locals’ favorite and famous world-wide’. There were license plates from across the planet.
Lunch was generally skipped and we held out for dinner. Now I’m not saying we didn’t have some snacks along the way (we had waaaaaaaay too much fish dip – just saying).
Sometimes in the keys, you get tired of seafood – hard to believe – I know. We wanted something a bit different mid-week. C&C Wood Fired Eats. It was a.w.e.s.o.m.e. It’s the only wood-fired oven in the Keys.
The founders have been locals for 30 years and they wanted to create a local hangout. They did with an upscale twist. The outside did nothing to prepare you once stepping inside. And by that I mean, why were we walking into this building. I wish we had a place like this closer to home. Our waitress brought our liquid refreshment fairly quickly while letting us peruse the menu.
We started with a cheese & meat plate and this is one of my worst photos – sorry about that. 😦 It came with three cheeses, two dried meats, accompanying munchies and the BEST bread. You had the ability to pick your edible selections for your board.
Then came the pizza – OMG. Crispy, smoky, authentically Italian, cheesy and then topped with delicious bits of tomato.
This is one place we couldn’t resist dessert: locally-made salted caramel ice cream. While I’m not a fan of salted caramel, this could change my mind. Adrienne had her own bowl and Eric and I shared one – we wanted more.
Eric had a restaurant request – The Fish House Restaurant & Seafood Market.
It is one of the establishments that purchase from local commercial fishermen and fillets all fish on premises.
Signs were posted both outside and inside for available fish. Select your fish, decide how you want it cooked and if you want a sauce or topping.
No fish dip, but smoked fish – great change by the way and much needed. The smokiness of the fish hunks with the mustardy & mayo dipping sauce was perfect for me.
My selection of yellow-tail snapper fillet is buried under the most awesome sauce – black & bleu – which was great for dipping my fries. The black & bleu sauce was cream sauce consisting of blue cheese, garlic, blackening seasoning and white wine. Man! Eric needs to recreate that at home!
Eric enjoyed his fried yellow-tail snapper – one of the few places you could get the whole fish. Not my thing. There wasn’t a lot of meat left by the time he was done.
No dessert – there wasn’t room.
Going to end with a few Keys brewery stops. Let’s start with the Florida Keys Brewing Co.
They had a great selection of beers and by rotating through seasonal and barrel-aged beers, they ultimately brew over 25 different ones.
The board at the top mentions the beer garden. We drank our beers outside and it was a great way to relax before or after eating while your food was digesting. They had little, shaded nooks with plenty of air movement for everyone to enjoy the Florida weather.
The last brewery we stopped at was Islamorada Beer Company.
Opened in 2014 as the only brewery and distillery in the Florida Keys.
Beers were tasty and we found another outside beer garden to enjoy. Yep, we ordered more fish dip.
Their webside said the following statement:
Islamorada Beer Company was founded on Islamorada Island to make quality, local, craft beer with the drinkability that complements the owner’s lifestyle.
I like it!
Right before leaving, Eric had one more sticker (Oyster City Brewing Company) to place. It’s a ‘thing’ to put brewery stickers in other breweries and most places have a designated space for this.
Last Florida Keys post is coming. We did a few things totally new.