Monday, 26 December 2011

Key West - Liquid Food

For you non alcoholic beverage drinkers out there, you may wish to skip this post. All the food discussed here is of the liquid variety.

This is the reason many tourist come to Key West. This is Duval street.

It is one mile long and stretches from the Gulf of Mexico (A couple of blocks behind where the picture was taken) to the Atlantic Ocean ( In the far distance).  It is said that there are more bars in Key West per-capita than any other place in the US. ( The same goes for churches. A lot of "Sunday morning after Saturday night" I guess.) Most of those bars are right up this street.  Duval street is one the main things that brought us here at first as well. We love live music, and every one of those bars has great live entertainment.

Most of the cruise ship tourists never get much beyond this crossroad of streets. That is Sloppy Joe's on the left there at the corner of Green street. The Lazy Gecko is right beyond it. On the right down Green is Cowboy Bill's and Captain Tony's next to it. On up Duval on the right is Ricks. Behind the photographer to the right is Hog's Breath Saloon. This is all you need if liquid food is what you are looking for.

You cannot beat Hog's Breath Saloon for it's drinks, it's food, or it's music. It is mostly just a big tent with trees growing through it's top. There is a smaller inside area for wimps who require air conditioning. They have their own beer which is pretty much my favorite on the island. We have spent many good hours here.

We always spend some time at Rick's. It has the best Margarita's on Duval street. It seems like a pretty small place, but it has an upstairs. Unfortunately we have never been upstairs because as you can see from the picture it is closed.

It is always that way. It is to keep tourists out. Up there is often full to the rafters with locals and really cute girls who the stair guards let through. Downstairs there is always an often raunchy guitar dude who spends as much time messing with the tourists as singing. On the pictured night they were having a pub crawl where rowdy crowds would come in and drink until someone would blow a conch shell and then they would head for the next bar. The goal was to have at least one drink in every bar on Duval street. Many didn't make it.

Captain Tony's Saloon is a Key West legend as was Captain Tony himself. He came to town from New Jersey in the 50's and had many famous adventures until he passed on a couple of years ago. Everyone has a Captain Tony story. This building with its huge tree growing through it's center (they say it once was the town's hanging tree) was the first Sloppy Joe's. In 1937 the original owner bought the slightly larger present Sloppy Joe's location. They say one day he came in the bar and made all the drunks (including that hack Hemingway) carry the bar and all the furniture the half block up Green street to the new location.

There are a lot of other cool bars on Duval like Irish Kevin's with it's continuous risque Irish music and The Bull and Whistle with it's rooftop nudist bar. Up the street a ways you will find Margaritaville, very famous, but not a place we  often go because the prices are high and the food and drink are nothing special. I'm going to mention that to Jimmy the next time I see him.

If any of you want to get the feel of the music and fun of Key West bars, several places have bar cams you can watch on the web. Three that we often watch on cold winter afternoons are Sloppy Joe's, Hog's Breath, and Schooner Wharf.

Bon  Ton  Roulett  Y'All
Gene and Nancy

“I want to go back down and lie beside the sea there. With a tin cup for a chalice Fill it up with good red wine,”   ---- JB

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