Category Archives: The Key West Chronicles

Green Parrot Spotted Cavorting With White Chicken!

The Green Parrot Bar on Whitehead Street in Key West is surely one of the world’s most famous bars, probably because it was Hemingway’s favourite boozer. His house was (and still is) only a drunken stumble away on the same road.

Here are a couple of pics I took back in January:

I'm not entirely sure why the parrot was balancing a chicken on its head that day...

I’m not entirely sure why the parrot was balancing a chicken on its head that day… nor am I in the know about the snivelling prohibition.

Bar sign

Green Parrot Sign

Hemingway’s other favourite hangout was Sloppy Joe’s – also a bar, surprise, surprise! I didn’t take a photo, but I do have a pic of one of its urinals. Hemingway pinched it while the bar was moving to a different location. His reasoning was that he had surely pissed enough money into the receptacle to claim ownership.

Urinal water fountain

Sloppy Joe’s urinal, turned into a fountain by Hemingway. It still gushes away merrily on the grounds of his house, where it serves as a giant water bowl for the descendants of his beloved six-toed cats. His wife hated it…

[If you would like to see a post on those lovely furry purry creatures, click here.]

Silly Sunday: Key West Public Art

Looks like that guy down there is having a ball, chilling and wistfully gazing up at these five frisky frolickers? In fact, one of them looks like she’s about to pay him some very special attention…

He’s got more in common with these buxom beauties than you might have guessed at first glance… he isn’t real either!

And neither is he!

And neither is he!

Princess Pugsy – The Star Of Key West

Two years ago, when my friends emigrated to from the UK to the US, Princess Pugsy made her way across the choppy Atlantic on the Queen Mary, because no aircraft carrier would allow her to travel in the only manner befitting her status, namely unsedated and as hand lap luggage.

She was well-received, not just on her new island home, but also when she cropped up in a couple of my blog posts before, so I thought I’d share these:

Pugsy basket

Cosied up at home

Ready to go out

Ready to paint the town red

Breaking the local laws

Breaking the local laws

Mummy's pride and joy

Mummy’s pride and joy

"Helping" Daddy with emails

“Helping” Daddy with emails

Key West is just crazy about dogs. See those übercool doggies I uploaded last month, in case you missed them.

Look Up Look Down: Key West Lighthouse

What on Earth, I was asking myself, am I going to do about travelwithintent’s Look Up Look Down photo challenge while stuck on an island as flat as a pancake?

Then I spotted the lighthouse. And for ten bucks, they let you go up there. So I did.

A window on the way up.

A window on the way up. Needed to catch my breath.

Zooming in through the window on one of those cruise ships. Looks like a toy!

Zooming in (through the window) on one of those cruise ships. Looks like a toy!

I'm at the top! The wind is nearly ripping my ears off.

I’m at the top! The wind is nearly ripping my ears off.

Strange how the sky in this direction is so completely different from the other side... very scenic, though

Strange how the sky in this direction is so completely different from the blue skies on the other side. I quite like the moodiness, though.

Sea view boat

Typical Key West house

Typical Key West house from above

This is Hemingway's house

This is Hemingway’s house

[I visited Hemingway’s house, and his famous six-toed cats. If you’re a kitty lover and you missed this post, click here.]

The Key Lime Pie Reviews: The Perfect 5* Pie

Oh boy, I sure got through a lot of Key lime pie in my four weeks in Key West! But it had to be done. After all, I was on a sacred quest for the perfect specimen. And I tracked it down (oh yes!) in a popular beach-side restaurant called Saluté.

And here it is:

Salute Key Lime Pie

Just take a moment to marvel at those perfect proportions…

Salute Key Lime Pie Side

And again, from another angle, coz it’s so pretty…

Now, to some of you who’ve drooled through all my Key lime pie reviews with a careful eye, this specimen may look suspiciously familiar. And you’d be right, we’ve had this one before.

Saluté sources its pies from Blue Heaven, where my friend (see pic below) bought me one of those heavenly creations in its entirety. If you remember, it was sold to us on the cheap for having some minor imperfections. One of its flaws was an uneven crust that was just slightly too thick in places.

As you can see, the slice above was not afflicted by this shortcoming. Or any shortcomings, for that matter. It was absolutely perfect, in appearance as well as in taste and texture.

The purists may feel compelled to sneer that a “proper” Key lime pie ought to have a piped cream topping and not a meringue edifice, but I personally prefer the latter 🙂

My rating: 5 out of 5 🙂

Salute Key Lime Pie Vicky

What a winner 🙂

Our view

Our view from the table…

A big thanks to all of you for cheering me on my torturous mission. I might even do it again someday 😉

Missed the other reviews? Here they are:

And if you want to know how my cake obsession started, click here. [Warning – contains hideous photographs of 70’s and 80’s fashion].

Silly Sunday: Key West

A random selection of vaguely amusing things I spotted during my stay in Key West.

Bottom Cleaning

I wonder whether their services include a ‘sack back & crack’…?

As opposed to dead ones...?

As opposed to dead ones…?

What?! You pressed the buttons in the wrong order??? Now it's time to PAY!!!

There are grave consequences to pressing the parking meter buttons in the wrong order…

These signs are all over the island... but, what else would you be doing at the launderette but loiter until your load is done?

These signs are all over the island… I can’t help wondering, though, what else would you be doing at the launderette but loiter until your load is done?

This strikes me as a far more creative, and, I dare say, effective strategy for keeping people off your turf…

I thought that people going to the shops like this was a thing of 50 years ago... clearly not ;-)

I was under the (clearly erroneous) impression that  going to the shops like this was a thing of 50 years ago…

Is he taking them to visit their relos...? (See blue sign top left)

Is he taking them to visit their relos…? (See blue sign top left)

21?! Sorry, I left my ID at home in my pants...

21?! Sorry, I left my ID at home in my pants…

The Key Lime Pie Reviews: Better Than Sex!

Now there’s an offer one can’t possibly refuse…! But did this Key West restaurant live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

Better Than Sex

As evident from above pic, Better Than Sex is strictly an evening affair, rather than a place where you might meet with a pal for an afternoon cuppa with a side of cakey indulgence.

The interior of the place does come up to scratch. It’s all dark and sensual inside; think velvet tones, glinting chandeliers and candles whose lazy flicker barely penetrates the obscurity. (The wait staff must have been selected for their superior night vision.) In short, the whole ambiance puts you in the mood for… dessert.

For any restaurant situated in Key West, a Key lime pie inspired dessert is a mandatory part of the repertoire. Here it is on the menu:

The place is too dark to read a normal menu card, so the menu is provided on a tablet

The place is too dingy for customers to read a standard menu card, so the menu is provided on a tablet

...and here's the description

…and here’s the description

Key Lime Pie

This is how it looked on my plate

The verdict?

Well… believe it or not, this was one of the scarce occasions when I didn’t manage to finish off a dessert! I mean, this sexed-up incarnation of a Key lime pie was pure fluffed-up cream. In fact, the texture was quite similar to clotted cream – a reference, I realise, that will probably only mean something to UK readers.

Flavour and level of tartness hit the spot, but after four mouthfuls I. Could. Not. Go. On.

As for the crust, I’m afraid to say, it was like cardboard – a total let down 😦

My score: 2.5 out of 5. (That half point there is for originality.)

Here are a few more pics of our Better Than Sex evening:

Drinks are served with sugar or caramel sliding down the rim of the glass

Chocolate lava cake. It was the eve of Vicky's birthday, if you're wondering about the tag.

Chocolate lava cake, ready to erupt… (It was the eve of Vicky’s birthday, if you’re wondering about the tag.)

What you see there in the centre is the cheesecake dip meant for dipping those delectable chocolate balls. They were slighly too sweet, but I totally fell for the almond-cinnamon flavour.

What you see there in the centre is the cheesecake dip for those delectable chocolate balls. Though they were slightly too sweet, I totally fell for the almond-cinnamon flavour combo and airy-but-firm texture.

There’s one more post coming up in this series, in which I shall reveal the *perfect 5* Key lime pie 🙂

Missed the other reviews? Here they are:

And if you want to know how my cake obsession started, click here. [Warning – contains hideous photographs of 70’s and 80’s fashion].

Key West – A Seafood Paradise

The US is not exactly known for being home to a nation of fish lovers. However, in some coastal regions and on its islands, such as the Florida Keys, fish and seafood dishes are as wildly popular as they are delicious. I took these pictures of some of what I gobbled up in various restaurants:

Salute

Blackened black grouper with mashed potatoes, black bean sauce and spinach

Yellowtail snapper

Yellowtail snapper salad with mango salsa

Rooftop cafe

Scallops on sesame rice with edamame beans

Shrimp Green Curry

Shrimp green curry

Ceviche

Ceviche (a marinated fish dish popular across virtually all of Latin America)

Horseradish-encrusted hog fish

Horseradish-encrusted hogfish on a mountain of salad

A crab cake starter

A crab cake starter

Fancy any of these…? 🙂