by Shayne Benowitz
Brunch has long been a wonderfully informal, free form meal to be enjoyed at almost any hour of the day with a cozy group of friends. It’s the best way to get together after a long night out and truly enjoy the weekend to the fullest. Fortunately, in Key West there are dozens of options for a delicious gourmet experience.
This Manhattan transplant is a brunch staple on every side of Central Park. In Key West, it is located on a sunny corner of Southard and Simonton Street in a spacious pastel cottage. Opt for a patio table under an umbrella in the sun and indulge in their signature sweet breakfast items such as lemon and ricotta pancakes or pumpkin waffles. If you prefer something savory, try one of their fresh omelettes or the classic club sandwich. The chicken apple sausage is a delicious addition to any item. Of course, mimosas and bloody marys are standard brunch cocktails, but if you prefer something sans alcohol their delicious four flowers juice is not to be missed.
Perhaps the most popular breakfast and brunch spot on the island, Blue Heaven is loved by locals and tourists alike. Its tropical and rustic back patio creates the perfect scene for a lingering brunch in the warm sun. For a little bit of everything, go for the Rooster Special, which includes eggs any style, bacon or sausage, grits or homefries, and pancakes or a special bread. If you’re taste is slightly more refined, opt for the famous lobster benedict or surf and turf benedict with both lobster and filet mignon adorning your toasted English muffin and poached eggs in holandiase sauce. The bloody marys are strong and spicy.
With a new location just one block further up Duval Street, Banana Café has long been a popular spot for breakfast or brunch. With a copious menu of standard French fare, you can keep it simple with a croissant, baguette, and café au lait or sample one of their delectable crepe breakfast treats. When in a French café, you might as well drink as the French do. Order a glass of champagne or try their bellini with peach puree.
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer working on her debut novel. For more travel stories and a daily dose of what’s cool around the globe visit her Wanderlust Website at http://web.me.com/shaynebeth.