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The Conch Connection

Food Trucks - There & Back Again

Aug 15, 2017 9:30:00 AM / by Key West Express posted in Casual, Outdoor, Breakfast, American Cuisine, Seafood, BBQ, Events

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UNIMAGINABLE CUISINE AND KOOKY CULINARY CREATIONS 

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5 Best Places for Breakfast on Fort Myers Beach

Jul 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM / by Scott Schofield posted in Restaurants, Fort Myers Beach, Casual, Breakfast, American Cuisine

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Our Best Picks for that Most Important Meal of the Day! !

When vacationing anywhere, breakfast is a treat most ordinarily don't have time to savor in our busy day to day lives.

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Sloppy Joe's - A Key West Tradition

May 8, 2017 1:52:57 PM / by Key West Express posted in Walking Distance, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town, Bar & Grill, American Cuisine

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What is the first bar that comes to mind when you think Key West? Most likely Sloppy Joe’s,  the famous watering hole of Ernest Hemingway is a Key West tradition steeped in history.  Founded on the very day prohibition was repealed, December 5, 1933.  The bar actually went through a of couple name changes before Sloppy Joe’s was chosen with encouragement from the infamous Ernest Hemingway. 


Fearless rum runner/bootlegger & speakeasy operator Joe “Josey” Russell and his friend, customer and fishing companion Hemingway formed a special bond during the writer’s residency on the island. After the inevitable failure of “Operation Dry America” Russell found himself on the up & up as a genuine saloon keeper and business owner of a dump called the “Blind Pig” which cost him a whopping three dollars a week to lease the building. The pig was located around the corner where Capt. Tony’s Saloon still stands. (Fascinating history there too!) http://www.capttonyssaloon.com/ Built in 1852 the building served 2 important purposes. It was an ice house (very important due to the heat in Key West) and the city morgue (also very important due to the heat in Key West).

Thought to be haunted, the bar now houses the “hanging tree” where 16 pirates and a woman who took a knife to her husband and 2 children met their maker. Known as The Lady in Blue, (nicknamed for the color of her dress during the hideous killing spree and the color she turned during the ….)

In 1898 a telegraph was housed in the same building. Famous for informing the world during the Spanish–American War that the battleship Maine was destroyed, when the news came from Havana to Key West.

Over the following decades it housed speakeasies, a bordello, a cigar factory and an early gay bar. The Navy forbade their men from patronizing the establishment which was ultimately forced to close and remain empty for quite some time until Anthony Tarracino opened its doors in 1958 as Captain Tony’s.

Not long after Joe Russell attained the Blind Pig in 1931, the ratty ramshackle establishment added a dance floor and changed its name to the "Silver Slipper" where in addition to gambling, gossip and ten cent shots patrons could now kick up their wobbly heels.

 An Old Havana bar and fish market where Joe “Josie” Russell and Hemingway spent considerable time while in Cuba was owned by another friend, Jose Garcia Rio. Joe’s Cuban bar was ridiculed as being  sloppy due to constantly melting ice that made a big mess of the floors….. Hence Havana’s aptly monikered “Sloppy Joe's”.  One thing led to another….. and one drink led to another…. and the Silver Slipper became the now famous Sloppy Joe’s at the urging of Hemingway!

 

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives - Does Key West

Apr 5, 2017 4:02:10 PM / by Key West Express posted in Casual, Old-Town, Outdoor, Bar & Grill, American Cuisine, Seafood

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Roadside diners, vintage drive-ins and out-of-the-way "dives" are enjoying a come-back of hipness. Host Guy Fieri travels the country in search of the best greasy spoons. The restaurants he visits are well-known among locals and visitors looking for authentic area food joints and mom and pop kitchen’s. While at the locations, Guy interacts with customers and staff as well as the chef’s. The first episode aired on April 23, 2007 and the show has grown continuously in popularity.

Who doesn’t love a diner, drive in or dive. Steeped in tradition, aged with consistency and slathered in warm nostalgic sentiment these are a binding ingredient in communities across the nation.

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Wine Dine Key West

Aug 16, 2016 5:17:34 PM / by Scott Schofield posted in Luxury, Mexican, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town, Formal, Tours, Bar & Grill, Italian, Lunch, American Cuisine, Steaks

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Not sure what you want for lunch, dinner or in-between?  WineDine Key West is a month long event between mid September and the middle of October celebrating fine dining at an affordable price.  If you're looking for a great Key West excursion, in the cooler months, but aren't quite ready for Fantasy Fest. Well, this just may be for you.

Legendary Key West restaurants offer up three-course prix-fixe menus specially priced for you to experience what makes this islands food so special.  Want to know who's making what, when and where? Head on over to their Facebook page, below, and find out all of the info you'll need. 

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