Saturday, February 8, 2014

Kiki's Sandbar

I have missed the old Parrotdise Restaurant on Little Torch Key since it closed abruptly and under something of a cloud, a question of closing wages I believe. It was never any great shakes in terms of cuisine but it was reliable, the bar was always popular and to me it represented the best of simple earthy Keys cuisine without concessions to tourist images of the Keys. It had great views across the channel and I enjoyed sitting at the window looking at the water and taking out of town guests for the same.

The Landrover on the rocks is still there as is the motorcycle parking but the new owners have built a tiki hut arrangement over the entrance stairs expanding the seating options to the great outdoors. Which may be a great idea, but as we shall see the kitchen is having trouble keeping up with indoor seated diners... The bar is also still there and popular it seems:

The window tables are now raised of which seating position on a high stool I am not a fan. They were all occupied so we took perforce an inside row table which was fine. The service was good to start with cheerful but not intrusive severs and prompt delivery of drinks. I miss the old draft beer selection which included Guinness and Smithwicks but they do have draught and bottled craft beers along with wines. Oddly the beers are quite reasonable while the wines seem quite pricey.

The Citizen ran an article on the place last month and judging from that future seems promising: Location, location, location | KeysNews.com however we had an inordinate wait for our food. My wife and I split a cheese and chorizo fondue appetizer which arrived promptly enough and was as delicious as it sounded served in a crock pot to keep the contents hot and molten. Then we waited and waited and of our main courses there was no sign. We had plenty to talk about with Robert and Dolly so the time passed but I was well into my second beer before the good showed up. I had a Funky Buddha Brewery Floridian white beer first, which was perfect but they ran out and I got the last one. It was a bit of a struggle to find a non hoppy and thus bitter alternative but I expect the Floridian will be back in full keg next time.

When it arrived our shared main course was about as perfectly cooked a piece of meat as I've had. I usually order medium well as I don't like bloody wobbly meat on my plate, and I live with the consequences. This steak cooked outside and pink inside full of flavor, and the sweet potato purée was a great accompaniment.

Robert's sandwich kept him quiet and he shared some fries with my wife who liked them as much as he did. Dolly as I recall had a salad with shrimp. Aside from the wait the kitchen was brilliant.

Like I said the service was just right and our server stepped in and offered free pudding and saved the evening. We had two brownies, excellent of course...

...and I had a surprisingly good berry tart. Even my wife remarked on it and she likes chocolate flavored desserts. They also offer Key Lime Pie of course, but I was reluctant. Parrotdise had the best, tartest, most perfect Key Lime Pie in the Lower Keys, made I was told by a local resident, and I was not ready to try anything less at this particular location. Now I'm thinking they may have that under control too!

I'm glad this place is here, Parrotdise may not be back but I'm encouraged to think this may be better. When I get used to those damned high chairs...

Key West Diary: Parrotdise, a bit of history.