I noticed the Can Am Trike, a machine that purports to appeal to people who ride motorcycles, and it was parked in the handicap spot in front of Kiki's Sandbar on Little Torch Key. It could just as easily have parked in the motorcycle parking space even closer to the restaurant. Thus as far as I'm concerned this photo is the definitive proof that Can Ams are not motorcycles, at least not in the eyes of this owner.
That aside Kiki's has remained pretty much the same and I am glad of that. The views over Niles Channel haven't changed since this place was Parrotdise:
They have a bunch of window seats perfect for out of town guests. Or locals...Maybe when it's warmer we will try the outdoor seating downstairs where they now have an outdoor bar, very Keys style. But frankly I prefer the upstairs view across the channel while chowing down on some first rate seafood and very decent beer.
We tried the conch fritters mostly out of curiosity as we had recently been asked about where to get decent ones. Mostly conch fritters are corn balls that taste more like hush puppies than anything remotely seafood-related. These came with a spicy mango habanero sauce and there was a good bit of crunchy conch meat in them too. We rated them pretty darn good. And yes, we were a bit surprised.
Kiki's has kept the same format as Parrotdise, bright cheerful decor, lots of servers, a decent wine and beer list and a solid menu. It's not fine dining nor does it pretend to be but I thought it was pretty good value for money. The fritters, the calamari and the fish tacos all got the thumbs up. I really like the blackened mahi tacos, three to an order for $13 were a good meal.
The smoked fish dip is always good here and if you like fried oysters these got general approval. I have to say the appeal of oysters eludes me. People tell me I haven't had a "good oyster" if I don't like them as a species. But even wrapped in breadcrumbs and fried they still have the texture and taste of -forgive me- snot. People love them. Weird.
If you don't know what beer to order and you don't like battery acid special IPA beer then go for the Funky Buddha Floridian on draft. I mean to say you can have a very pleasant afternoon at Kiki's and they have TV if you need that, but it doesn't intrude beyond the bar into the restaurant. They also sell caps and t-shirts and other dust catchers. Oh and they are also advertising Brunch everyday at eight o'clock with some interesting look food. Might have to check that out.