Friday, February 9, 2018


We had reservations on the 12:45 boat to Sunset Key.  I watched them eat in silence and text in silence and I was glad to be making a production out of lunch.
 As we pulled away we left Key West behind, the chickens, the crowds the noise and all that. 
And five minutes later we were at Sunset Key with it's own crowds and clean perfectly manicured lanes and its golf carts and ... it's own tourists.
Latitudes is the sole restaurant on the island and it is as far as you can walk when you come here to eat. The rest of Sunset Key is private so unless you rent a place there or get a beach pass all you get to see is the restaurant which is on the water:
 The path to the beach with the rental cottages behind:
Have no fear  Sunset Key is blanketed by the same wireless connections that cover Key West just across the water and distracted pedestrians can be found here too:
The sort of public beach with the usual imported Bahamian sand:
The main drag leading to the interior. I have traveled around Sunset Key, in a previous life I delivered furniture and what a caper it was. We had to load the truck onto a landing craft at Trumbo Road and chug across the harbor to the vehicle landing dock on Sunset Key, where the garbage truck comes as well. 

Driving the box truck was actually quite simple as the streets are quite wide. The houses are in the Key West style made famous by Truman Annex. The big difference here is the absence of life and color and commotion. Come to Key West and drain the life out of it.  
 Latitudes at night is eye-wateringly expensive but lunch isn't so bad. Prices have risen since I was last here, no surprise, so you can figure about  15-20  dollars  for a sandwich and up to 30 for one of the three main dishes on offer. So if you consider the boat ride is free it's not a bad deal for good food in lovely surroundings in place that takes you out of yourself. 
Elly our visitor from hip Asheville was delighted and she really enjoyed her fashionable vegan dish of tomato sauce, hummus and pita.
I laid into my Latitudes favorite of  fried fish tacos and I have to say the food is good. It would be easy to rely on the ambiance but this place offers truly friendly service, efficient and attentive but not intimidating, and the food is good value. If eighteen bucks for three tacos seems like a lot remember Key West prices are absurd compared to much of the rest of the country anyway.  It was tons of food.
The outdoor tables are set on wooden platforms in the sand and at night you may pay a hundred bucks a head but for a special date this is the place to be, tiki torches and all under the stars...
We caught the 2:30 ferry home back to the city and with our validated parking ticket we left the car for free at the Margaritaville parking structure. All very simple and efficient.
 The interior is a nice as you might expect,
 With tributes inevitably to Papa Hemingway, of whom everyone wants a piece:
We passed a group of  freshly arrived renters looking forward to their slice of paradise in the forbidden zone:
 And so back to the dock.
 How people get in the water when it's below 80 degrees baffles me but they seemed to have fun:

We passed under a cruise ship at Mallory Square and were dropped off back at the Margaritaville dock to drive home and sleep it all off.