A recap of our quick weekend in Key West and all of the fun eats we discovered along the way!! No slow cookers involved 🙂
As much as I love being at home and in a routine where I can get stuff done, spend time making new recipes and cooking (which I love to do!) and cleaning up the kitchen (which I don't love) we set a new goal this year to really do some traveling. We tend to spend a lot of time working and since life is all about balance, it's time to set off on a few new adventures. Nothing to crazy yet, just trying to check off a few destinations I've always hoped to see, plus a trip back to our favorite yearly vacation spot as soon as school it out for the kids. I started off by taking (yes, a work related) trip to Austin a few weeks back for a food blog conference and plenty of fun and we quickly followed that up with a trip for just Shawn and I to get away for a couple days to a place I've always wanted to go.... Key West!!
As with pretty much everything else in our life, our trips pretty much revolve around food. When we are not testing fun and delicious new recipes at home, one of our passions is trying out local restaurants and food trucks, whether that's here in Kansas City or anywhere our adventures take us. I think somewhere deep down I feel a connection with those who are running their own small businesses that involve their love of food. When I cook at home it's all about showing my family and friends how much I care by making meals that I think they will love and enjoy and that we can all share together. I mean, is there anything better than sitting down and chatting and having fun over a delicious dinner? And even those of us that love cooking could use a night or three off, right? So what better way to enjoy that than with trying out the creations of other people who also share that passion for sharing love through food?!
So, off to Key West we headed via the Ft. Lauderdale airport and a 4 hour drive, determined to find only local and highly recommended spots to eat. First stop, Sharkey's Bar! Good thing for GPS, I'm not sure we would have otherwise found this place down an unassuming alley, but I'm so glad we did! We sat on the back deck and enjoyed what we would soon find out would be one of our only moments of sunshine on the trip. And the shrimp I ordered? So, so good! Huge, delicious beer battered shrimp and the best I've had. How often do we get to sit outside, soak up the sun and delicious seafood on a Thursday? Not often enough!
Our hotel was new and gorgeous. We stayed at Oceans Edge, which was about 20 minutes from the main spot in Key West, so if you want to just be able to walk everywhere, it may not be for you, but it is so quiet and so relaxing that we absolutely loved it. It has it's own marina that we enjoyed walking around when it wasn't raining and one morning we even got to watch the navy jets doing practice flights which was so cool. We never got a chance to swim, the only time it looked sunny and beautiful like this was when it was time to leave.
For dinner that night we stuck close by the hotel. Just few blocks away was this almost hidden yet totally hopping place called Hogfish Bar. Totally worth the 20 minute or so wait and of course I just had to try the hogfish! Delicious!! I wish I had a pic but it was dark by this point and I couldn't get one that would do the food justice.
The next morning, after plenty of coffee and a slow delicious breakfast of crab cakes benedict at the hotel plus a walk around the marina we were off to Key West's famed location, Duval Street. And what's the best thing you should do when arriving at a new location? Find someplace awesome to eat, of course! And in this case, someplace to have a delicious local beer as well. If there's a second place to finding local eats, it finding local drinks. Luckily, we were pointed in the direction of Waterfront Brewery where we were able to discover a new favorite beer along with some delicious seafood risotto (plus, such a pretty view!). The next day we headed back, not only to enjoy another delicious beer, but also to have a place to take shelter from the pouring rain!
In between downpours, we enjoyed shopping and people watching all up and down Duval Street. So many cool things to see and plenty of places to take a break. During yet another downpour, we stopped at a spot called The Porch, where we literally set on the covered porch and Shawn enjoyed chatting with the bartender about other local brews.
Does anybody know what's up with all the roosters walking around the streets in Key West?
So, while the rain may have ruined our chances for a trip to the beach and a sunset cruise, we did truly enjoy discovering local spots to sit and chat and even just sitting down for a quiet pre-dinner glass of wine at the outdoor (covered!) restaurant at the hotel. They had an amazing goat cheese appetizer, by the way!
Thanks so much for letting me document this fun break from regular life!! I wish I could say that tomorrow I'm bringing you a an all new Key West inspired recipe, but I'm just not that organized. Instead, I'm going to share with you an all new Slow Cooker Roasted Turkey Sandwich, but I think it's pretty darn good too!
Next up for travel? Well, we actually have a quick trip to Chicago, but after that, we are headed on our annual Dauphin Island trip. And this year I plan to share all about renting a condo, planning meals for the trip and our favorite recipes to make when traveling!