I love Key West for many reasons, including the phenomenal weather, the relaxed atmosphere and the famous bar scene with live music everywhere you turn. Now, just returning from my most recent trip, I can add the tremendous selection of gluten free food options to that list- you just have to know where to look.
My husband and I love to travel, and we use a wonderful app called Find Me Gluten Free to help us find the best restaurants. This gem led us to a few fantastic finds over the course of our short stay in Key West- we would never have found these off the beaten path restaurants without it!
Our first morning in Key West, we rolled out of bed for a lazy brunch at La Creperie, and we were not disappointed. With a full menu of gluten free crepes, omelets and paninis, it was difficult to choose just one thing. We compromised on the buckwheat crepes- I ordered the savory “La Specialite de la maison”, which was filled with melty goat cheese, cheddar cheese, avocado and greens, topped with a runny egg oozing on top. Phillip ordered the “La Red Velvet” crepe with raspberry coulis, chocolate ganache, vanilla ice cream, Chantilly cream, fresh berries and almonds.
We barely said a word as we inhaled these incredible confections. The crepes were perfectly cooked, the fillings were gooey and decadent and we left feeling completely satisfied and full. I went back once more before we left (and we were only there for three days!)
The following day, we found Square One for lunch. Thankfully, we arrived ravenous, and found so many tempting things on the menu that we couldn’t just pick one. The highlight was the 90 mile benny: pulled pork, feta cheese, poached eggs and an adobo hollandaise sauce served on top of a corn arepa. The flavors were OUTRAGEOUS!
We also couldn’t resist the Shanghai Style Fried Calamari with peanuts, scallions and cilantro, doused in a chili-honey-garlic sauce that was perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
We also ordered the sweet potato waffle fries with homemade adobo ketchup (consumed before a photo could be taken), and the amazing Chalkboard Salad with roasted red and golden beets, baby kale, spinach, apple, spiced pumpkin seeds and green goddess dressing topped with kale and beet chips (we needed some veggies, after all!) And the salad was just as delicious as everything else- the kale and beet chips added the perfect texture, and the dressing was so flavorful, I would have dipped anything in it! Once again, we left feeling full and Phillip didn’t get sick (we always worry when something tastes that good!)
These are just some of the culinary highlights from our trip- I won’t bore you with the details of every single thing we ate. I will, however, give one last shout out to The Rum Barrel– we stopped there every day for gluten free pizza (we loved the buffalo chicken and margherita) and the Loaded Cannon fries, with the signature Rum Barrel cocktail (or two) to wash it all down. All of the staff at every place we visited could not have been more helpful and sensitive to Phillip’s allergy, and he went the entire trip without getting “gluten-ed”. Who knew hard partying Key West could be a gluten free paradise?