Shannon asked me Saturday night where did I suggest she might want to go with her parents when they visit next week. I thought about it and because she wanted to take them on a road trip, which is to say drive them well outside the city limits of Key West, I started by suggesting Sparky's Landing in Key Colony Beach, well out of range for people who think 50 miles is beyond the pale...No Name Pub? Been there... Square Grouper? Done that...Kiki's Sandbar? Huh? Well I said it's new so its clean, as her mother is germ-phobic, but it has a nice Keys atmosphere and pleasant water views...Whatever she decides I wish her luck. I hate giving advice so I wish her well on her trip.
As it happened we had a lunch date Sunday at No Name Pub where we haven't been for a while, but it isn't far from our house so it was a short drive with the roof open on the wife's Fiat 500 convertible. This is the first convertible I really like so the drive at 10 minutes was rather too short and as I had to work that evening I couldn't order Yuengling draft to wile away the time we had in hand waiting for our key West friends who got hammered by the gruesome winter traffic on Highway One. I drank a lot of iced tea instead.
I guess it really has been a while since we visited No Name Pub as I had never previously seen the outdoor seating, and very nice it was too. We got the last table open when we walked in; the place was packed as usual. Stacey and Steve made it in good order, complaining as my wife and I frequently do that traffic on the Overseas Highway all too often just crawls along.
Three of us got fish and chips which included the dollar fries, round slices of potato instead of the usual French fried contraptions while Stacey got a calzone that appealed to her native New York nature. A lifetime spent in Syracuse was rewarded by a giant football of pastry filled with molten cheese.
This sort of life is why people move to the Keys and Steve has retired after a life of teaching law at the university in Syracuse, a life he enjoyed but whose famously harsh winters tired him. However they are neither of them willing or able to leave New York behind completely. This summer they will return back north leaving those of us that live here to enjoy the tranquility of low season.
We dawdled over lunch for a couple of hours I think and eventually we dragged ourselves away from the wreckage, fifteen dollars apiece with drinks and tax etc...and made our way back through the inner sanctum of the venerable pub. In summer when its not packed on hot humid weekdays the dark cool interior will be welcome but Sunday was not the day to be packed indoors like a sardine.
A pleasant change for us to come here, even as we read of continuous never ending snow and storms Up North.
No Name Pub is not high class eating or innovative food or spectacular beer lists. Its just a nice place to hang out and enjoy the weather and the relative peace of distant Big Pine Key. Its really not that hard to find.