Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Walking #Foodie Tour of #KeyWest @LucyBurdette

First, winners of yesterday's Readaholic mystery are Kristopher, BJ English, and Kaye Kilgore. You should email your snail mail addresses to LDiSilverio at comcast dot net. Congratulations!

LUCY BURDETTE: Ever since seeing the city of Adelaide, Australia early this winter on a foodie walking tour, I've become convinced that walking and eating is the best way to see any city. So when I learned of a new food tour in Key West, I signed up. Oh sure, we already eat plenty of good meals in town, courtesy of the research I must do for food critic Hayley Snow. But I was intrigued by the possibility of new places, and always in the back of my mind, plot threads for another book.

I met our tour guide, Analise, and two visiting couples in front of Camille's restaurant on Simonton Street. Camille's is an old time island staple, always busy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our guide seated us at the bar for our first taste of Key West, infamous conch fritters. While we waited for bites to be served, we heard about how Key West natives became known as conchs, and how a new baby's sex was announced according to the way a conch shell was placed on the porch. The fritters came out hot and fresh, with a zesty lime remoulade on the side. I will never be a huge fan of conch fritters, but these were pretty darn good.

Stop two was at Anna's Cuban Café, a small takeout place very near the Southernmost Point. The roasted pork with white rice and black beans and a small fried plaintain was delicious. (Remember on this kind of tour--you don't have to eat everything, though you will work some of it off:).)


Afterward, we all enjoyed a little shot of strong sweet Cuban coffee, a.k.a. colata.


The tour proceeded past the Southernmost Point with a quick stop for a coconut milk. I've seen hundreds if not thousands of tourists carrying green coconuts and drinking out of a straw, but I've never tried it myself. 

Verdict: even though coconut milk is all the healthy rage, let's just say once was enough.


Analise then took us into the Bahama Village, formerly a segregated area for islanders of Bahamian decent. I learned new facts here, such as the existence of a white horse that walked up and down Duval Street to keep black faces from crossing into white territory. We also admired a new home renovated by Habitat for Humanity. The decorative latticework was designed in the shape of the trumpet to celebrate one of the home's former jazz playing residents. 


We enjoyed a fish taco at Andy's Cabana...


And a mini- key lime pie at iconic Blue Heaven. (LOL, this is the maxi, not the mini!)



Our last stop was Flamingo's Crossing, for a mamey flavored ice cream. This tropical fruit is the national fruit of Cuba and especially popular in milkshakes and ice cream. Although I never would have chosen this flavor on my own, we all agreed it was quite tasty--like strawberry mixed with orange.


Analise was the real star of the tour, a conch herself and full of interesting facts about her town.

Where would you like to go on walking foodie tour?

SEEING REDS: Where you can find us


Saturday 4/4 @2 PM Brookline MA Public Library with Roseanne Montillo
Monday 4/6 @7 PM Weymouth MA Public Library
Tuesday 4/7 @6:30 PM Buttonwood Books Cohasset MA with Holly Robinson
Wednesday 4/8 @7:30 PM Sweetser Lecture Series Wakefield MA
Thursday 4/9 @7 PM RJ Julia Madison CT
Friday 4/10 @12:15 PM Bank Square Books in Mystic CT

Monday, 4/6 @7 PM Brookline Booksmith interviewing Michael Sears, Brookline MA
Tuesday 4/ 7 @7 PM Newton Free Library Newton MA
Thursday 4/9 @7:30 AM Habitat for Humanity North Central MA "Women Build" Breakfast, Keynote Speaker Sterling MA
Saturday 4/11 Maynard Library Book Festival with Archer Mayor and Norton Juster
Sunday 4/12 @9:30  AM, Lyceum at First Parish Church, Bedford MA  Keynote Speaker

Wednesday 4/8, Belmont Library, Belmont, CA 


  1. I'd never really thought about a walking food tour until you told us about your tour in Australia; this Key West tour also sounds delicious.
    Where to go on a walking food tour? I think I'll dream big and choose Paris.

  2. Oh, yum! My son and his girlfriend did a walking food tour of Boston's North End once that I've always wanted to try. But I'm going to copy Joan and dream big: Venice, Italy.

    Can't wait for the next Key West book, Lucy!

  3. Venice, Italy has many fine restaurants, but go off the main docking area to the smaller restaurants. their food was good and decently priced.

  4. I think Key West should use the bar crawl model and have a key lime pie or conch fritter crawl. It might be fun to sample the deliciousness of the variations.

  5. This blog is making my mouth water. This sounds SO fabulous. We took a foodie tour with our daughter Molly of the Mexican town where she's living for a year, Rio Carillo Puerto.

    We got fresh mamay from the back of a roadside truck - it's a brown hairy thing with a bright orange inside (more like sweet potato than melon.) Empanadas in the open market. Paletas (ice pops)of passion fruit and spicy chamoy. Donuts. I could go on and on and I WILL! In a future blog post.

  6. that sounds wonderful Hallie! and Joan, Paris would be perfect. Choosing the stops would be the most challenging!

  7. Edith and Linda, Venice would be great--there's so much interesting architecture and history there too...

  8. Laurel, count me in for the key lime pie crawl, but I'll have to skip the conch fritters:)

  9. Well, now I want to take one in Key West! Which is a place I've never been, anyway. Also, fish tacos are a favorite.

    Lots of other places: Boston; Charleston, SC; San Francisco; Chicago; Miami; NYC, here in the US. Also, London (bring extra cash); Florence; Munich; Rome; Paris; Lima; Bangkok. The world is a wonderful, diverse place, still, thank goodness!

  10. From my visit to Key West, Key lime anything was top on my list. I agree that Conch anything was out. Charleston or Savanah would be nice for walking tours.

  11. I am FULL just reading this!!! HOw do you DO it?

    And yes, I know it's research...yeesh.

    All I can say is: Paris. Paris Paris.

    Or anywhere in Italy!

  12. Karen, there are a lot of great fish tacos to be had in Key West!

    BJ, Charleston and Savannah are excellent ideas!

  13. San Francisco, Quebec, Rome (as long as it includes the Via Margutta), Barcelona, Dublin....

  14. Well, I'm always up for a Key West foodie tour with all of its amazing places and dishes. Camille's is a favorite place of mine, with the Sunday brunch being the best. Blue Heaven, another place you all stopped, is a place everyone should experience that goes to Key West. Right, Lucy? When I mention that the chickens and roosters wander around a bit there, I can judge someone's fun factor by whether they grimace at that or smile. And, Lucy, I can't remember if you said you'd been in Firefly on Petronia to have the chef's Key Lime Cake. Please, if you haven't, treat yourself and your husband to this most delicious dessert I've ever eaten. It's the chef's grandmother's recipe that he shares with no one.

    I would enjoy a walking food tour in New Orleans. I haven't been there, which I still find hard to believe, but I plan on attending Bouchercon in NOLA in 2016. Wouldn't it be great to have something like a walking food tour during that time, maybe combining it with a ghost tour.

    Hallie, your Mexican foodie tour sound most interesting, and it reminded me of the shrimp trucks/buses on Oahu's North Shore. My daughter and I (daughters are just the best to experience such things with, aren't they) found the shrimp trucks to be our favorite place to eat.

    Lucy, thanks for a delicious post today. And, now I am even more eager, if possible, to read the next Key West mystery.

  15. I'll toss in with Hank and say Paris. History, beautiful architecture and French food - heaven! Another wonderful food tour would be through the historic samurai districts of some Japanese towns: Kakunowate and Kanazawa are supposed to be brilliant, and the little bites of Japanese cuisine would be perfect for in-between.

    And if we're talking about little bites, let's throw in a food tour of Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia combined with tapas and plenty of sangria to wash them down - I'd sign up for that in a minute.

  16. Rome--in an instant! Barcelona too, great thought Julia. We went there because our son was doing a semester abroad. We did a little food tour, but my memory tells me we mostly ate chocolate:).

    Kathy have been to Firefly, but not had the cake. Must try!

  17. Oh -- that neighborhood for Bahamians would be a great place for a story -- with echoes of the past!

    My daughter did an Ethiopian food walking tour in Washington DC.