Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lencho's Mexican Restaurant

When you haven't seen some friends for a while the best thing to do is invite them out for an explore. Lisa and Josh were ready to drive to Marathon to try some Mexican. So off we went yesterday evening.We had heard second hand that Lencho's might be worth trying. Long ago my California wife had given up eating "proper" Mexican anywhere in South Florida outside Homestead (home to a large population of Mexican agricultural workers). Mexican in Marathon? Worth a shot...Lisa and Josh are award winning teachers at Key West High School and have been submerged, just like my wife (she is out of the public eye and thus forgotten at award time) in Florida standardized testing. There was much to catch up on. The decor is Mexican all right but quite pleasant and inviting. I ordered a Negro Modelo, my preferred Mexican beer and I even got a frosty mug which is good for me as I like beer out of a glass. Everyone else got wine margaritas which they pronounced good enough for a second round...I wanted to test the menu so I ordered a chile relleno, a stuffed pepper, and I chose to have it stuffed with cheese rather than beef or chicken. I like my Mexican beans twice fried into mush but these came Cuban style and very good they were too. Josh fell silent as he layed into a plate of shrimp under a chipotle sauce...
... while Lisa faced the daunting task of polishing off a large chimichanga, a stuffed tortilla folded and fried. We tasted each other's plates and pronounced them good. Prices were reasonable, less than ten dollars a plate except for Josh's shrimp so a twenty dollar meal with a coke would be money well spent. The ingredients were in keeping with the prices. This isn't a top flight Mexican and it's not in competition with nouvelle cuisine but it's a short drive from my house, 25 minutes, and I look forward to going back and scratching the occasional Mexican itch. I don't think too many people would drive an hour from Key West to visit their sister city, the working class blip in the highway called Marathon, but if they did this would make a good turn around point for a little of something different.

Havana One

There is a new Cuban restaurant in Key West at the corner of Frances and Grinnell, and it seems to be quite popular.I wondered if there was room for on e more Cuban eatery in town but Chuck asked me to meet him there for lunch one day. His Cuban Mix sandwich was excellent and I enjoyed my piccadillo (Cuban ground beef) and I thought no more of it. Then I got an e-mail from Sandra in Roanoke Virginia. It seems the guy who owns the place, Juan, used to operate Roanoke's Cuban eatery in a popular shopping venue and when they closed for renovations they hatched a plan to move south to be closer to the homeland. The plan is to open Havana 2 in...Havana one day. I believe that is Juan doing what he likes. His artwork hangs on the walls of the restaurant giving it unique and cheerful decor.They offer changing fish specials every day but I ordered off the daily menu, a tried and true Cuban dish of roast pork. It was quite excellent, and tasted to me as would pork out of a Cuban barbecue box, a traditional metal lined box covered in coals frequently used at family celebrations in Key West.A Cuban friend of mine is not fond of El Siboney for some reason calling it the Dominican place, which I find rather odd but there's no arguing with people's taste. I had a good lunch mid afternoon, owing to a messed up schedule and look forward to taking my wife back for her opinion. $12 plus tip and all was well with the sunny world outside on Truman. I hope they make a go of it in a location that seems to change hands all too frequently.

900 Fleming

More colors of Key West, a rainbow flag adding a few stripes not found in nature.Sometimes when you walk around town you need to look up at the sky because you just don't know what you will see.Well, I know not everyone finds guttering fascinating but I do.Schippens Lane previously explored here: http://conchscooter.blogspot.com/2008/12/schippens-lane.html
And back on Fleming Street the setting sun stretches the shadows.


And all the typical Key West details.You don't have to walk far in Key West to find stuff worth looking at. The fun is in the details.

Riding In Paradise

A gaggle of visitors enjoying their scooters on Windsor Lane, and it looked like they were ready to have some fun Easter weekend in Key West. Renters for some reason like to sound their horns as they ride around town. I'm sure someone knows why but I don't. I remember talking to one guy who rides a motorcycle at home and he said when he rented a scooter in Key west he couldn't put sixty mile son it in a day. For some reason I rack up the miles even in town for an afternoon. Sometimes key west wheels make an artistic statement, and I thought these models on Fleming Street were looking longingly at these color coordinated bicycles.Seeing my Bonneville in a motorcycle parking spot always makes me glad I got to ride into town.If it weren't a Bonneville I really like the portly Harley Road King, which seems a lot of motorcycle for the Florida Keys.And then, after rolling through town and enjoying the sights, my Bonneville and I end up where all lives end up.
At work.