by Hayley Snow from Lucy Burdette’s Key West food critic mysteries
Hey everyone! I’m Hayley Snow, the main character in the Key West food critic mysteries. Some of the other characters in AN APPETITE FOR MURDER are complaining because I had a chance to talk last time. But I thought you might be hungry to hear about some of the best food in Key West—and for that, I’m your (wo)man! I’d love to cook for all of you, but we don’t have a lot of room on our houseboat and my roommate Connie might flip. So here are some recommendations for dining out.
First rule of thumb: Don’t stick to Duval Street!
One of my favorite regular haunts is called Seven Fish, about four blocks from Duval down one-way, residential Olivia Street. You’ll know you’ve reached your destination when you stumble over knots of hungry would-be diners sipping wine on the sidewalk. But don’t be put off by that unusual introduction—once the first bite of dinner melts in your mouth, you’ll never mistake Seven Fish for a tourist trap. To start, don’t miss the sautéed grouper rolls—a mélange of sweet fish, buttery avocado, and sauce-absorbing rice, all wrapped in a tissue of seaweed. Or choose the fish tacos, accompanied by shredded red cabbage and a spicy cilantro salsa. For main courses, try the curried yellowtail or the grilled mahi-mahi, but make sure to leave room for dessert: strawberry whipped cream pie in a chocolate graham cracker crust, for one amazing example.
Oh, I’m making my own stomach rumble! If you want something quicker and lighter, no need to go to a fast food restaurant. Some of the absolute most mouth-watering food in Key West gets carried out of Bad Boy Burrito in a paper sack. You might like their fish tacos too (oops, can you tell I have a thing for fish tacos!?)—crunchy shell, crisp cabbage, flash-fried grouper, with just the right spicy zip. Heaven. Or sample a Kobe beef burrito with black beans, rice, and pico de gallo or verde sauce and sour cream. How can you not have a soft spot for a place that recommends jalapeno peppers on everything because of their high vitamin C content?
That’s it for now—gotta go score some lunch. I’ll be back with more recommendations next month unless my mother horns her way in. Or that horrible Kristen Faulkner…I still haven’t heard a word about whether I landed the food critic position. Fingers and paws crossed everyone!