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catdaddy

Islamorada

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So I just found out I'm going to the keys 3/9-3/15.

Wondering if anyone has suggestions concerning where to get groceries and eating out. We like ethnic food, great atmosphere, and well prepared simple things.

All comments are welcome and thanks. Ian

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Are you staying in Islamorada the entire trip?

We have been to Islamorada and Marathon every year for the past four years. You will be in the keys during stone crab season, so crab claws are a must. You can get great claws with wonderful bayside views at Islamorada Fish Company at mile marker 81.5. For Cuban, make your way to Manny and Isa's Kitchen at mm 81.6 - oceanside. Their Key Lime pie is an award winner.

Islamorada Fish Company also has a fish market so you can buy what you want to take home to eat/cook. The Key West pink shrimp are tasty!

There are plenty of grocery stores in the Marathon/Islamorada area.

In Key Largo, you can get a wonderful breakfast at Harrietta's at mm 95.7 bayside. We also like the Crak'd Conch for fritters and conch chowder (mm 105 Key largo- oceanside)

In Marathon, gor to Herbie's MM 50 bayside for great conch chowder, very good mahi mahi or even a fish sandwich. Key's Fisheries is another place to buy either fresh or prepared seafood. We mail order our crab claws every year from here as well. marathon, mm 49 bayside at the end of 35th street.

Key West is close to a 2 hour drive from Islamorada, but it is certainly worth a trip down. There is a thread with restaurant reviews there.

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and we look forward, dare I say 'hungrily', to your report on your culinary findings in that area!

Have a great time and let us hear what the best and worst of the area turn out to be! :wink:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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As far as groceries: the pickings are slim.

There is a great Publix in Key Largo, a not so great Winn Dixie in Key Largo and Tavernier, and a not so great Publix in Marathon. There are several small locally owned stores that have small selections. Betty's Health Foods in Key Largo have some grains/frozen/refrigerated products as does Food for Thought in Marathon, but no produce. None of the stores have much of a selection of outstanding produce. I would stop in Homestead at Roberts is Here to get local in season produce.

Manny and Isa's closed a couple of weeks ago.

As far as restaurants, the new Island Grill in Islamorada is very nice. I also like to eat at Kaiyo (Japanese), the Islamorada Fish Company (casual outdoor dining bayside), Papa Joe's, Uncle's (great seafood, but I love the lamb with rosemary port glaze) and Lazy Days (down by the Hampton Inn). The best Cuban restaurant (IMHO) is at the Marlin in Key Largo. Ballyhoo's in Key Largo have an all you can eat stone crab claws special, and is very good. By far my favorite breakfast places are Islamorada Restaurant and Bakery (home of Bobs Bunz -- yummy caramel pecan sticky buns) and Mangrove Mike (awesome breakfast burrito).

Restaurants I wouldn't drive out of my way to eat at: Marker 88, Morada Beach Cafe (Morada Beach Cafe does have a terrific full moon party if you are here during a full moon), Big Fish Grille. But they both have awesome sunsets views. Drinks at sunset are great at the Lorelei, as they have tables waterside.

Let me know if you need any more info. Where are you staying?

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We have enjoyed lunch at the Hungry Tarpon, mile marker 77.5, next to Robbie's marina. Not open for dinner. We like the lunch better than breakfast.

Also like the Fish House in Key Largo. Good fresh seafood, and they also smoke their own fish for eat in or take out, it's really good stuff.

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Thank you to all . I will let you know what we find in a couple of weeks.

-Ian :biggrin:

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I am also planning a trip down to Islamorada/Keys this coming May. My fiance and I are scouting locations for our mini-destination wedding (we are leaning towards Islamorada Cheeca Lodge). I'd love any and all info you can give about Islamorada dining and atmosphere! Thanks!


-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

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I'd love any and all info you can give about Islamorada dining and atmosphere!

If you will scroll up this thread to my post on Islamorada dining, then simply click on the links, I know you will enjoy the wide variety of places described there ... take a look! :biggrin:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Thanks, Gifted!

Yes, I managed to check out that link and peruse the restaurants--but I was also looking for a visitor's impression on the atmosphere. The link was very helpful though! We're up in the air about Islamorada--we're also considering Sanibel or Key West. We're renting a car and hitting up the state to find the perfect location! I'm just a little anxious about wedding planning and was trying to get a feel for the area and firsthand reviews. Thanks again!


-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

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Thanks, Gifted!

Yes, I managed to check out that link and peruse the restaurants--but I was also looking for a visitor's impression on the atmosphere.  The link was very helpful though!  We're up in the air about Islamorada--we're also considering Sanibel or Key West.  We're renting a car and hitting up the state to find the perfect location!  I'm just a little anxious about wedding planning and was trying to get a feel for the area and firsthand reviews.  Thanks again!

I think you will find that Islamorada is a very low key place, time passes much slower there than it does in Key West or Sanibel. The restaurants tend to be a lot more casual and for some fun, Holiday Isle is just down the road with the real beaches. Season is coming to an end so your prices should be dropping. Personally, I love the keys. I have worked at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo 3 times in Culinary. The property is beautiful, but clubby. The food is clubby also. I have not eaten at Cheeca Lodge since Dawn Seiber was chef, but it always had a good reputation. There is a larger range of dining options in Key Largo, but it is not that far.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Catdaddy, I see the dates of your trip have passed, and am hoping to see your comments when you get a chance...

Links are helpful, but I also like to hear eGers' impressions, notice of closings and new openings, etc.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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