Friday, August 7, 2009

Lazy Days

The plan was to spend a long weekend away from Key West as the new school year approaches and when my wife takes a road trip the days are going to be anything but lazy. However, owing to circumstances beyond our control we were forced to discover a new Upper Keys restaurant called Lazy Days hence the title of this post. I got back from work Saturday morning and we piled into the car for an early start on our drive up the Florida peninsula. That didn't go so well because by the time we got to Big Pine Key ten minutes from home I sat up bolt upright and announced I'd forgotten to turn off the garden hose after watering the plants so we turned around. Then, when we got up the road to Bahia Honda, twenty minutes from the house traffic ground to a halt. Three people had died in a wreck at the southern end of the Seven Mile Bridge and we weren't going anywhere, so we went home for a second time and took a nap. We finally left the house at noon but traffic was awful, looking like this...... and after three hours of crawling at twenty five miles per hour (40 km/h) we cried uncle and my wife called a colleague for advice on where to eat. This was the result:
It's at Mile Marker 79.9 in Islamorada and it turned out very well indeed. The building is a giant barn of a place, not particularly romantic but well set up to handle hordes of passing motorists and we soon found ourselves seated across from the well stocked bar:
When we don't know a restaurant my wife and I have a policy of ordering something safe from the menu, some item that is hard to screw up, just in case, and in the Keys a fresh fish sandwich is hard to get wrong. Our food arrived in remarkably short order, the food was on the table in minutes despite the crowded dining room. And it was good:
My potato salad was more potato than mayonnaise and my wife's fries were thick and chunky and crisp. The fish was excellent and my wife loved the kaiser roll it came on. The tartar sauce was just slightly spicy and the service was fast and cheerful. "We're coming back," my wife said between mouthfuls.Mercifully the TV was off and the management got points for sparing me the imbecile pronouncements of the idiot box while I ate. The tourists seemed to like the place too, there was a cheerful air to the vast room as plates of food sped out of what must be a well organized kitchen carried by capable servers identified by their uniform t-shirts:
We elected to eat indoors as this was the beginning of August and it's the hottest time of year, no matter how much sea breeze is blowing. For some people eating outdoors is the only way to go when visiting the Keys and Lazy days accommodates them with a very pleasant balcony with a view:And the views are what you might expect, looking south across the Straits of Florida. I would imagine the beach seating might find some takers at another time of year:
The restaurant seems equipped for the milder months of winter with what appeared to be a downstairs bar underneath the main dining room with direct access to the beach and views of passing traffic:
We were not alone apparently in our enchantment with this find along Highway One:
It is I must confess a bit irritating to be traveling the highway as much as we do without knowing much of what is available. Finding a spot like this will give us the option to pull over in our frequent headlong flights along the Overseas Highway and take a break. Judging by the first and only visit it seems likely we will not be disappointed.