I love Thanksgiving just as much as any regular meat eater around. I just like it a little differently. While it is the perfect time to carve a turkey and dive into a plate of ham, for me, fish is the perfect dish to accompany my collard greens, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
This year, my family and I took the 6-hour drive down to Key West to enjoy the holiday with palm trees and water surrounding us. During our time there, we had some amazing food. Of course, my mom made a great Thanksgiving Day dinner, but the small island also offered some great food hotspots of its own.
Here are some of my food highlights, in no particular order:
Key Lime Pie from Blue Heaven
It was absolutely heaven. Let me first say that I was a bit hesitant. The restaurant is located right in the middle of “tourist-ville”. I really don’t believe that great restaurants can be found where the tourists roam. I enjoy finding the little places on the outskirts that only the locals know about. I am happy to say that Blue Heaven proved me wrong. We only went there for the key lime pie, so I can’t vouch for any of their other food. But I will say that if they put as much care into their key lime pie as they do into the rest of the food, I can’t help but believe that the rest of the menu is also amazing. Now, back to the key lime. It was so heavenly. The lime filling had the perfect tanginess and was beyond creamy, and yes, the graham-cracker crust was a thick and buttery as it looks. Now, I have to admit that I was not a fan of the large pile of meringue that was plopped on top of it. I could have done without it. But this gets a 10 from me across the board!
Hogfish from Hogfish Bar & Grill
I had no earthly idea what or who a hogfish was. To be honest, I still don’t. What I do know is that Hogfish Bar & Grill makes some amazing dishes with it! Unlike Blue Heaven, Hogfish is not in a tourist area. It has some not-so nice surroundings. While its backdrop is beautiful, blue water and small fishing boats, the front is lined with overgrown greenery. But, that didn’t deter us. It never does. The Hogfish menu is made mostly of a variety of hogfish dishes. Here’s a preview: hogfish sandwich, fried hogfish tacos, and they even had hogfish fingers — which we tried. We ordered two appetizers: lobster egg rolls and hogfish fingers, a play on chicken fingers. Both were really good, and were accompanied by sauces that set them apart. But it was my entree that really made me a hogfish believer. My dad and I shared an order of hogfish stuffed with crab on top of a bed of rice with a side of fresh green beans. This dish was probably the best thing that I ate while in Key West. The fish wasn’t actually stuffed with the crab. There was, what seemed to be, an actual crab cake atop the filet of hogfish, which made me a happy girl. Hogfish is very, very light in flavor so the crab gave it a much needed punch. I have very fond memories of this dish.
The Blueberry Scone with Orange Marmalade at Sarabeth’s Kitchen
The morning we lucked up on Sarabeth’s was our first full day on the island. Everyone had woke up that morning after a long night of driving with breakfast on the brain. I went on a hot Google and TripAdvisor pursuit to find the best breakfast place Key West had to offer. Sarabeth’s made it to the top of our list. The restaurant is located in the cutest little cottage-like building on Simonton Street. I ordered one of Sarabeth’s signature breakfast items: the Goldie Lox, which is a smoked salmon scramble with cream cheese and a side of potatoes. It was good. But the freshly made blueberry scone that came with it was amazing! My entire family ordered a scone and everyone loved it. It was exactly what a scone should be: a little crispy on the outside by softer on the inside. The marmalade topped it off beautifully.
Wait! I have more pictures from my trip below. Take a look at my room with a view and the Thanksgiving dinner that my mom made. Enjoy!