Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Key West is Overrated

Down highway 1 on the pilgrimage to Key West I went, tongue lolling, belly grumbling. The highway looked like the tropics, palms, mom n' pop Cuban restaurants a sunny stretch as the abnormally cold climate bustled people around.

Now I don't know how the endless summer image was conjured up in my head, but I expected a big honking ocean with surfers and children swimming alike all askew with people swarming around the water like fruit flies to a rotten peach baking in the beating sun. Not so! When I say it was cold, I mean it was the coldest it's been for 130 years! If I couldn't have sun at least I would have a decent meal.

I was greeted with a pleasant old school tiled patio in front of a turquoise shack, and a host of locals chatting away and stuffing their faces happily. I knew by the smell that this was the Cuban food I wanted to try.

I began with my order to a guy with a paper hat, he answered with the patience of one who talks to the unknowing often. So I order, his eyes widening with every item after entree number three. Yes it's just for me.

Rubbing my hands together, I devoured the salad with camarones cocktail, a sort of watery salsa. The Cuban sandwich had a vegetable medley, spicy in flavor and came on a fresh Cuban white bread. Nevertheless, I'd glady order them up again. And let's be honest, when you're living on a dime, there's no better place (especially in the Keys) to fill up for under a five!

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