A four-day trip to Key West from the Midwest–two days of which include travel–might seem a little silly. But with that whole Eeyore situation, it was a brilliant, fortuitiously timed gift from My Favorite In-Laws (MFIL).
Hot Plumpster (HP) and I woke up (at some ungodly hour involving a number that comes before my usual 5 a.m. alarm time) to get the travel part of the first day over with. We’d be landing by noon and sipping fruity beach drinks by 1. That was the master plan.
Of course, my master plans never work. The cosmos must remind me on a regular basis that I am not, in fact, in control and that I do not, no matter what I actually think, always have THE. BEST. IDEAS. There will be days when the crosswinds are far too strong to land a 737 on the shortest runway known to Delta Airlines. Days when you get so close to Key West that you can see it from the plane window just long enough to wave goodbye as you head back to Miami. Days when the best idea any Delta folks have is to call two Greyhounds to bus a planeful of people from Miami to Key West (which will delay said passengers’ arrival a full four hours). It just so happened that I was on a 737 headed to Key West on one of those days.
Epic travel fail, right? Nay. Nay, I say! It was more like a clandestine moment of God knows better.
For those of you unfamiliar with blue on a map, that’s all water. And here’s what all of that blue looks like from a bus window.
So the trip really started with four glorious hours of sight-seeing. When I wasn’t looking at this, I was appreciating quirky little street-side bars and shops and ogling pelicans, seagulls, ducks, and manatee-shaped mailboxes.
The other book end of our trip–and probably my favorite meal of the long weekend–was our accidental lunch at B.O.’s Fish Wagon. Yes, it is called B.O.’s, and yes, I really do love it. It’s true. I had lovely (award winning) stuffed shrimp and at Conch Republic, fish nuggets and chips at Hog’s Breath, fantastic queso dip and sangria at a little place down by the southernmost point, and shrimp and asparagus pasta at A&B Lobster House, but nothing touches the food at this place:
We only arrived there accidentally. MFIL had said they’d never been as we passed on our way to the art fair one day, and on our last day there, HP and I had a couple of hours to grab lunch and get showered before we headed to the airport, and B.O.’s is where we ended up.
At the entrance, HP ordered a fish sandwich with fries and a soda, and I ordered the shrimp and chips with a Key Limeade (“Excellent choice” the order dude said.). Keith, the rough-around-the-edges construction worker in front of us, was buying lunch for his buddy. His lunch total was $42. And even after the guy operating the cash register ran the numbers again (because Keith was clearly not impressed and was ready to use his calloused hands and tool belt if necessary), the total was still $39.
B.O.’s is not inexpensive.
HP and I found a table and sat, taking in the writing on the walls, on the tables, on the ceiling and hanging buoys. I read all about what year L.D. and O.D. visited. . . then got married. . . then, I’m judging by the strikethrough, got divorced. I enjoyed that all of the visitors had agreed to leave one another’s chalk postings alone. There was a gentleman’s agreement, apparently, not to mess with someone else’s marking. That was nice. I appreciated being in a place where a same-sex couple could be just as affectionate as HP and I without worrying about stupid reactions. I liked watching customers freak out when they realized that their $23 oyster sandwiches did not, in fact, come with fries.
But then I got really hungry, and our food still had not come. And everyone who knows me knows not to mess with me and my food. Alvin, who ordered behind us, even got his sandwich. His name was Alvin. I was hungry. I contemplated walking up and just taking his sandwich. His name was Alvin. I could’ve taken him. I didn’t, though, so we waited some more.
B.O.’s is not fast.
B.O.’s is, though, some good eats. Key Limeade really is an excellent choice–not so acidic that it hurts to drink but not so sweet that it tastes like soda either. The fish sandwich is a MUST. I stole at least three bites of HP’s. Not only is the fish really great, but B.O.’s Key Lime mayonnaise (a yummy tartar sauce creation) is heaven. The shrimp was cooked perfectly–not chewy and overdone. And HP and I agreed that the just-made, just-cut fries were yum. B.O.’s also makes cocktail sauce, which is more saucy than pasty with a healthy kick of horseradish. It and the Key Lime mayo are so stinkin’ good that I dipped my fries in those instead of catsup.
Delicious. Delectable. Desofreakinfantasticyou’llwantitforeverymeal.
When I have more days next time, I’ll do more off-the-beaten-path eating in Key West. But I will always go back to B.O.’s and I will always order a fish sandwich, fries, and Key Limeade.