So Different, So Good: 7 Fish and Pepe’s in Key West

menu 7 Fish Key WestLast 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 nottropica; shrimp salsa 7 Fish, Key West 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:

gnocchi with scallops, 7 Fish, Key West

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.

banana chicken, 7 Fish, Key WestYou 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, Key West

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!

biscuit with sausage gravy, Pepe's, Key West

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.

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11 Responses to So Different, So Good: 7 Fish and Pepe’s in Key West

  1. Their menu looks delicious and I love how authentic the location of the restaurant is. I’m sure the seafood is fresh and tastes great.

  2. Pam says:

    I like hearing about this out of the ways (and not so off the beaten path) favorites. I am a big fan of sausage gravy so I would be all over this!

  3. Crystal C says:

    It’s usually the places that aren’t so “fashionable” on the outside that have the best food! Everything looks delish! We hope to get down to Key West at some point this year. I’ll keep this place in mind.

  4. Ohhh I love Key West… YUMM this looks like a great place to have dinner and hang out… totally hungry now. Loved your pictures and thanks for sharing; will remember this next time we hit the keys…

  5. Grace Hodgin says:

    Now I know where to eat when I visit Key West. How yummy this looks. I love seafood.

  6. Pingback: Key West: Tasty Buffalo Shrimp at Alonzo’s Oyster Bar | Adventures of a Middle Age Mom

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