Last night Mike and I made our annual pilgrimage to 7 Fish, one of the top-rated restaurants in Key West. When we arrived, the place was almost empty, but when we left? The place was packed with diners waiting outside the small restaurant for their chance to eat what we already know is sublime food: fresh, inventive and oh-so-tasty.
I admit it, I started with the tropical shrimp salsa, just like I did last year. What’s not to love about fresh chunks of shrimp, avocado, and mango served with tortilla chips? I snarfed it down while Mike ate his classic mixed greens with balsamic salad at a more sedate pace.
Next up? I wanted to try the fresh-made gnocchi with blue cheese; the only thing is that it came with a sauteed fish…and I don’t like fish. You might wonder why I would love a restaurant like 7 Fish when I don’t eat animals with gills. Well, it’s because of meals like this:
Chef graciously changed out the fish for plump sea scallops. The sauteed scallops were cooked perfectly and the gnocchi was tender. And the blue cheese? A great compliment to the dish.
You know how Mike and I have completely different taste buds? Well, he reinforced that notion last night with his choice of banana chicken with carmelized walnuts. Holy cow! Mike never lifted his head from his plate; I could barely get a word out of him, which told me he was loving his meal. He said it tasted like a banana split…only with chicken. Don’t judge!
It rained cats, dogs and gerbils overnight here in Key West. This morning it was still overcast and spitting rain. That left us only one thing to do: Go out to breakfast. We chose Pepe’s, a Key West institution, based on some poolside chit chat from yesterday. You see, one of my great aunts used to make homemade biscuits then would smother them in sausage and gravy, white gravy. On Tuesdays I learned that Pepe’s “special” is, you guessed it, homemade biscuits with sausage gravy.
Pepe’s, for lack of a better description, looks very , ummm, run down; but don’t let its looks fool you into walking by. The breakfast choices are wonderful. And the staff is upbeat and friendly. We sat in one of the inside booths; it was nicely cool and dimly, inviting in a vintage Evinrude boat motor kind of way!
Mike ordered a classic ham and cheese omelet; it was bursting with chunks of country ham. And talk about completely different taste buds between my husband and me: I got … wait for it … the homemade biscuit with sausage gravy. I’m going to show you a photo, but don’t judge the dish on its pale white presentation; it rocked chunks of sausage; the biscuit was light and fluffy; the gravy was just as my great aunt used to make. For me, it was a walk down my taste buds’ memory lane and comfort food at its finest. But I couldn’t eat the whole thing; it was that big!
Well, the rains continue here in Key West. I think a trip down Duval Street is in order. And the sunset sail we scheduled for tonight? Well, we’ll have to see whether weather permits.
Have a great day, my friends.