Onward to Key West, land of non-stop Key Lime Pie, and many wonderful restaurants. (Continued from Part 1 – here.)
We actually took the next day off, with no Key Lime Pie. What was wrong with us?
The next day we had two – yes two – different types of key lime pie. I picked up an early dinner/late lunch for us at Sandy’s, a Cuban take-out restaurant inside a laundromat. Great Cuban sandwiches and good key lime pie. Followed by Sunset at Mallory Square, a family tradition of over 20 years, we watched the local street artists, people-watched and viewed the beautiful sunset. Then, we went to the Key Lime Pie Company, made famous by Marcus Lemonis, whose show The Profit, on CNBC, helped turn around this failing pie shop. The newly redesigned restaurant was improved and the pie was good, better than it had been in the past. The crust was very good, but the filling lacked the tartness we prefer in our Key Lime Pie.
The following day it was breakfast with the roosters at Blue Heaven. It’s been amazing to see this restaurant and the Bahama Town neighborhood around it progress. They have made good improvements to the facility, outdoor under the trees, to expanding the menu while increasing prices. Although, the value isn’t there any longer, the food is still wonderful. So why not follow breakfast (Shrimp Benedict) with Key Lime Pie? I’m not sure, so we did. The Key Lime Pie at Blue Heaven is wonderful, if not expensive at $9. See what I mean by no longer a value! The crust was marvelous, the filling very good and tart, and the meringue – Wow! The meringue was larger than the filling itself, but so good! Definitely a Top 3.
(As background, the very first time we went to Blue Heaven almost 20 years ago, our concierge told us it wasn’t safe for tourists to go to “BlackTown”, i.e., the Bahama Town section of Key West. I asked her if she had been, and she said of course. My good friend Pete asked their concierge about the restaurant, and she said to definitely try it. And we did; the food was wonderful and it was a great experience. By the time we got home to Minneapolis, the Sunday New York Times was on our doorstep. In the Travel Section, it named Blue Heaven of Key West, FL, the greatest new restaurant in America!)
The next day it was on to our favorite restaurant in Key West, The Half-Shell Raw Bar. Normally we dine there our first night and last night in Key West. That didn’t happen this year, and maybe that was a sign of things to come. The Key Lime Pie wasn’t as good as in the past. It’s alway been our #1 pie, but not this year. The pie lacked the tartness it had in the past. The crust was still very good and the whipped cream was definitely home-made.
On our final full day in Key West, we tried a new restaurant (to me) for brunch. Sarabeth’s is a NYC mainstay and apparently has been in Key West for several years. Brunch was spectacular, probably the best of the trip. So, what comes after brunch? You guessed it – Key Lime Pie of course. Sarabeth’s Key Lime Pie is unique and sophisticated, more of a tart than pie. But, nevertheless, really good.
Unfortunately, as with most vacations, it has to end at some point. On our way to the Miami airport, guess where my family stopped? You guessed it – Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo (MM99.4). It’s always a great way to end a trip to Key West, with a slice (or two) of our favorite Key Lime Pie.
Here is our summary and analysis of Key Lime Pies in the Keys:
Best Crust Best Filling Best Top Best Overall
3. Key Lime Pie Co. Key Lime Pie Half-Shell Raw Bar Sarabeth’s
2. Half-Shell Raw Bar Blue Heaven Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen Blue Heaven
1. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen Mrs. Mac’s Blue Heaven Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen
If you are in the Keys, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices. Try them all!