Friday, February 12, 2016

420 Lounge

I was skeptical when I heard that the famed Square Grouper was opening a tapas bar upstairs. Mind you the Square Grouper needed a refresher, even though it is packed every day the menu isn't really eclectic any more. the 420 Lounge upstairs, known as My New Joint, has changed that completely.
My New Joint, Cudjoe Key
Robert and I saw a movie which he liked a lot and I quite liked even though Quentin Tarantino plays a lot for effect when he makes a movie. The Hateful Eight was clearly a joke at the expense of the Magnificent Seven and the continuous use of the hated N word referring to Samuel Jackson's character was an effort to strike a blow for...something? Equal rights for racists, perhaps? Authenticity in post Civil War relations in the Western States of America? It got tedious to hear characters refer to him constantly in that provocative way. And then there was the blood, lots of it and equally authentic we got to see heads explode, projectile blood vomiting and dismemberment. Be warned as if you needed any warning where Tarantino's name is involved. Actually the plot held together and the sets and the scenery were quite enthralling. The music by Ennio Morricone was a take off of the vast canvases spread by epics of the 60s and 70s and effective nonetheless. Another boy movie under my belt. Now back to movies with subtitles and gentle plots.
Square Grouper 420 Lounge
We ordered appetizers as you do and it turned out the menu was quite interesting MENU LINK. Check out this absurd and delicious soft pretzel Robert  ordered. Three dipping sauces and the ability to tear chunks like savages made this a particularly satisfying shared dish.
My New Joint, Cudjoe Key
They use blackboards like they do downstairs. And downstairs was so busy on a weeknight there was an hour's wait. Winter sucks in the Florida Keys if you don't like waiting in line. The whole 420 thing does indeed refer to what you think, just as the name of the main eatery Square Grouper refers to the old time name for bales of marijuana smuggled in vast quantities into the Keys, once upon a time.
Square Grouper 420 Lounge
We stuck to more mundane food, sliders, and a rather decent soup which foods have become popular with this prolonged cold spell giving us cold nights and warm dry days.
Square Grouper 420 Lounge
It's a nice spot and people waiting for the main dining room downstairs are encouraged to come up here to spend time and money. Frankly I'd rather go to Bella Luna for a sit down dinner and come up here for assorted small plates. And that big bad pretzel.
My New Joint, Cudjoe Key
And as always there is a tip of the hat to the fishing past.
Square Grouper 420 Lounge
That's the real fish, actual grouper maybe not the square ones. Not legal now nor likely to be in my lifetime in Florida.

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