Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009

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blue heaven
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2009/08/29 08:54:20 (permalink)

Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009

Well, we just returned from our much needed vacation in the Florida Keys.  Our first stop was of course the resort, Tranquility Bay, but were a bit early and our room was not ready so we headed out for lunch. 
 
Being that this was the Keys, all of our meals were waterfront - can't beat that.
 
Thanks to tips from the Roadfood community we decided on Keys Fisheries.
 

Front Entrance...Beautiful day, warm and breezy.
 

While perusing the menu we saw "Our Famous Lobster Reuben" and of course had to try it.  You ordered at a little window where we had to give the name of a famous criminal as our "Your order is ready" name.  It was on bakery fresh toasted rye bread and an ample amount of Florida lobster with just a hint of Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and melted swiss.  The french fries were excellent - crispy with touch a sea salt.  Great way to start the trip.
 

Here is the menu, the lady taking our order said it can be a bit overwhelming - so many good choices.
 
Our next stop was the Castaway restaurant which was off the beaten path but well worth the adventure.

We were a bit hungry and forgot to take pics of our meals but here is the menu.
 

These are the honey buns served warm with a pitcher of warm honey for dipping.  They were similar to italian fried dough and delicious.
 
Our last stop was on Stock Island, Key West where we ended up with the locals at the Hogfish Bar & Grill.  You had to work you way through a trailer park and industrial fishing area to find it - thank goodness for GPS.

 
Entrance to the Hogfish

 
Appetizer

Conch Fritters are as ubiquitous to the keys as Key Lime Pie but these were some of the best we ever had.  They were crispy on the outside, dense and moist on the inside.  Normally you get just a hint of conch but these were loaded with it.
 

This was the Killer Hogfish Sandwich.  It was a big piece of fresh grilled Hogfish with sauteed onions, mushrooms and melted swiss cheese.  It was served on fresh Cuban bread.  My husband loved the coleslaw which was rich and creamy with the added texture of celery seeds.
 

My husband chose the lobster and shrimp salad rolls.  The mayonaise based combination was served on a regular hot dog bun - it was an excellent choice and a lot of food for the price.  The french fries were crispy and prepared without being too greasy.
 
Here were the specials of the day

 
We wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions and tips.  This was our first attempt at a trip report so we hope you enjoy and would love to read your comments.
#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    Greymo
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 09:35:06 (permalink)
    The Keys are a great place to relax!  I enjoyed reading your report and your food photos are very nice. 
    #2
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 10:45:14 (permalink)
    Hi Blue Heaven.  So you finally went!  Great photos and descriptions.   I've been wanting to try one of those seafood reubens ever since I first heard of them last year.  I've seen online references to mostly grouper reubens; the lobster one you had is a first.
     
    Glad to hear that you had a good time.
     
    post edited by MiamiDon - 2009/08/29 10:47:12
    #3
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 11:38:27 (permalink)
    nice report, BH! What does Hogfish taste like?
    #4
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 16:29:17 (permalink)
    Beautiful, Blue Heaven!  This is one part of the country I clearly haven't visited enough.
    #5
    blue heaven
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 17:31:14 (permalink)
    Hi MiamiDon thanks for all of your tips, the lobster reuben was awesome not to mention it was and still is as you probably already know lobster season.  Bill Voss hogfish is my absolute favorite it is mild and moist and very white and flakey fish any way you prepare it grilled, blackened or fried  you can't go wrong.  It is always the locals favorite.  Thanks Nancy more pics to come!  This was our first trip report.
    #6
    paceflchick
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 20:04:01 (permalink)
    Awesome I must go back....I remember the sesame seered tuna with wasabi everywhere,,,mmmmm and a killer little place in the middle of the mangroves, on I think on grassy key...advertised as where the locals go...a hiden secret....I cant for the life of me remember the name...
    #7
    greypatches
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/29 20:49:59 (permalink)
    Great pictures! They made me so hungry though, and ready to head back to the Keys. The conch fritters are so delicious. Thanks for posting your report.
    #8
    sk bob
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/31 09:05:44 (permalink)
    good report BH, & more ideas for our winter vacation to the Keys
    #9
    paceflchick
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/31 09:24:07 (permalink)
    Be sure to swim with the Dolphins at the Dolphin research center Marathon Key
    #10
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/31 16:11:47 (permalink)
    Very nice report - thanks for sharing the pictures and details with us.  The conch fritters look really good, and I could see eating quite a few of them if ever in the area.
    #11
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/31 17:00:53 (permalink)
    blue heaven -

    Great start!  you'll be a veteran in no time with photos and locations like that!  Love the lobster rueben...gets me a thinking...been to long since I visited the keys!
    #12
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/08/31 19:22:12 (permalink)
    I'm taking notes since I've never visited the Keys.
    I've had conch fritters in the Miami area a few times and really enjoy them.
    #13
    BurghFeeder
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/09/15 12:06:11 (permalink)
    Blue Heaven, thanks for the great report!  The Key's are one of my favorite areas of the country to vacation and your pictures bring back some great memories.  I have to ask if you have ever been to your namesake restaurant in Key West.  It's my favorite place on the entire island.
    http://blueheavenkw.homestead.com/Blue_Heaven_Restaurant_Key_West.html

    http://burghfeeding.blogspot.com/
    #14
    AaronM
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/09/15 16:50:02 (permalink)
    I would LOVE to taste that Lobster Ruben.
    #15
    TnTinCT
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/09/16 09:24:18 (permalink)
    Nice - have never been to the keys, it's on my list of to-do's one of these days, looks great! Thanks for sharing the pics.
    #16
    RC51Mike
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2009/09/17 17:28:51 (permalink)
    We were at Hogfish Bar last year and loved it.  Had a hogfish sandwich and my wife had fish tacos and a few beers.  Some folks said it was more what old Key West used to be like.
    #17
    firecommander3565
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2010/01/08 19:55:52 (permalink)
    I want to say THANKS for all the tips on Key West eating. I just got back last week and ate at the Keys Fishery and Blue Heaven, both of which were awesome. I also ate at the Conch Republic for a dinner and was pleasantly surprised as well.

    Roadfooders always help make my trip the best!
    #18
    blue heaven
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2010/01/23 08:00:31 (permalink)
    Hi firecommander glad to hear you enjoyed some of our favorite places.  It truly is like being in paradise down here.  How was the weather when you visited?  I think that is when we had our cold snap!  It is warming up nicely this weekend.  Hope you come back soon.
    #19
    firecommander3565
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    Re:Marathon or Bust - Florida Keys Vacation 2009 2010/01/23 10:17:02 (permalink)
    Blue Heaven,

    We were there prior to the cold snap....  We were in Florida form Dec. 16th until Jan. 4th.  Some of the locals, espically in Orlando thought it was cold when we were there... mid 60's, but it was fine for us. The temps were generally mid 60's to low 70's. Early in the trip it was in the 80's for a couple of days.

    We are actually coming back in March for another couple of weeks. My wife really loved Key West and is even talking of moving there in the future. I look forward to a another trip to Keys Fisheries and Blue Heaven.

    I talked it up so much, my mom and her friend will be joining me and my family this time!

    Thanks.
    #20
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