Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Barbecue In Key West

Feel free to call me obsessive but I still miss Finnegans Wake, the Irish pub more authentic than any other with a superb Irish food menu that used to occupy the space at 320 Grinnell. Other places have come and gone since then, and the last occupant Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar has moved to the three hundred block of Duval. That departure left room for the weirdly named barbecue joint that seems to be quite popular in this its third week, and now appears to be doing a good job of filling the space.
They have  a stage for live music and a full bar and they even offer three unusual and enticing vegetarian plates in an effort to cover all bases for a modern clientele, which gets a thumbs up from me.  Vegetarian Sloppy Joe barbecued pineapple as I recall and a home made bean burger that they describe as a cut above what you are used to in bland frozen mass produced patties. I have to say I was tempted just to put them to the test yesterday!
I confess I miss the atmosphere of Finnegans and the Irish beers and so forth but we have to put the past behind us and I have to try to march to the tune of a new drummer. They do have only a  couple of TV screens so I was able to position myself out of the line of sight of those nasty attention grabbers, so thta was a huge plus for me.
In the rear they have a giant smoker which bodes well... 
 ...and appreciation for the blues which is apparently the preferred music of the brothers that own and run the place. Nothing wrong there.
I ordered a sausage with a side of mac and cheese and George did the same side with an order of tenderloin. It took an absolute age to get the food order in and despite numerous apologies it took a correspondingly long time to get the food. Do not come here on your lunch break as you will never get in and out in less than an hour. If waiting interminably for food, even good food, stresses you out this place will jangle your nerves.
Luckily neither George nor I were in a hurry so the wait just made our tummies rumble and they did bring me refills of the Diet Pepsi I was drinking. I had just come from noon Broga  so I was hot and thirsty. I am not drinking much alcohol at all these days since my Catastrophe and even though George enjoyed  adelicious looking pint I wasn't tempted for some reason.
Here's the thing, and I've said this before: I am useless at do-it-yourself. I hate eating in places where you have to assemble your food on your own. Even Subway stresses me out and I leap in a fog of panic and ask for a sandwich they assemble. I can't stand Sinz where you have to choose ingredients while standing in line to build your own burrito or bowl. My friend Gary posted a picture on Facebook of himself and daughter eating breakfast in Tennessee at a do-it-yourself griddle in the middle of the restaurant table. He loved it; I think it's weird. The point is here you get bread and meat and it's up to you to sauce the food. Stress city for me. I smeared the buns with ketchup and mustard and made a puddle of habanero mango sauce on the plate and hoped for the best. The smoked sausage tasted okay but I had the nagging feeling I short changed myself in some way. I would need to come back with my wife because she loves to make sauces and stuff at the table. However not on her lunch break when she is teaching in Key West as it takes too long to eat here for a working person. Grr. Before a movie maybe with plenty of time in hand.
Above you see my indulgence of an order of beignets, New Orleans doughnuts, half a dozen, far too many for five bucks. They were delicious and I took three home to share with Herself.
George collected two free cups to take home to his family and I retrieved my Burgman 200 scooter from the motorcycle parking lot across the street. Then I came across my sister's favorite kind of vehicle: a classic Land Rover so I stopped:
I paused for a few pictures and sent them by Internet magic to Ullapool in Scotland. She got them immediately and replied such is the blinding speed of modern technology!
Pretty cool all round. Broga - paid for as a gift by the same sister!- was great. I am stronger than I think which is nice to know, but also I feel like I am restoring myself to my full life and that is excellent. I don't commute by scooter yet as eight hours at work wears me out and I want to be alert for the drive home in the morning. But I am riding to town for exercise classes and chores when I don't have Rusty and that feels like another step back to normal.