Armchair photo tours: Three dining experiences in Key West

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Dogfish for dinner at the Southernmost Beach Cafe in Key West, Florida

Photos by Cheryl Landes

Key West has a wide range of dining options, but if you’re looking for some delicious seafood, you’ve come to the right place. And there are some unusual places to treat yourself. We’ll explore one during this armchair photo tour.

Southernmost Beach Cafe

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Southernmost Beach Cafe is located at South Beach, and it’s part of the Southernmost Beach Resort.

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The cafe has a casual atmosphere with covered, open-air seating so that diners can enjoy the ocean breeze and views. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available.

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The cuisine consists of a blend of Caribbean and Asian, along with fresh catches of the day. I ordered the fresh catch, which was dogfish served with capers and roasted vegetables.

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The dogfish was dense and meaty, without a strong fishy flavor. It was cooked perfectly for me, which means cooked through.

Better Than Sex: A Dessert Restaurant

I’m always curious about eating places with quirky names, so when I saw Better Than Sex display as a dessert restaurant on Google Maps while looking up directions to another place in Key West, I had to go. The restaurant is open only in the evening and serves desserts and drinks.

So, after dinner at the Southernmost Beach Cafe, I walked the six blocks for dessert and coffee. When I found it at 916 Simonton Street, it appeared dark from the outside, so I wondered whether it was closed.

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While debating whether I should try to go in, I saw a couple leave and decided to do it. When I walked inside, it was almost completely dark, except for a light at the hostess stand. She grabbed a small flashlight and led me to a table. All of the tables are in booths with high-back seats. Each table has a glass vase with a lighted candle.

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After I was seated, the server gave me a menu on a tablet, so I could read it without shining another light on it. The menu contains drinks and desserts with playful names, such as Between My Red Velvet Sheets Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Perversion, Cookie Nookie Crisp, and The Morning After.

I ordered a cake that’s on top of a layer of pudding, similar to what you’d find in a lava cake, and topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. The cake was the consistency of a brownie. The ice cream was made with real vanilla beans. I also ordered a cup of coffee, which contains a touch of espresso, so it’s very rich.

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The dessert was among the best I’ve ever eaten.

I expected to see mostly male-female couples, but most people seemed to be tourists who came out of curiosity. When my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw a party of four sitting across the aisle—a man and woman with their two grown sons. A man sat at the table behind me, and two women sat at the table in front of me.

The Key West Better Than Sex restaurant is the original location. When I was here in May 2018, there were two other locations in Orlando and Savannah, Georgia. Since then, they’ve expanded to St. Petersburg, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Plano, Texas.

La te da

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My last meal before heading home was at La te da, a hotel and restaurant at 1125 Duval Street. I ordered a latte and the catch of the day, which was mahi smothered in macadamia cream sauce, topped with sundried tomatoes, and served with a small side salad.

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La te da serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has live entertainment at night. The restaurant has a combination of outdoor seating with umbrellas over each table in a courtyard and covered, open-air seating.

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All three restaurants provided prompt, friendly service. I would return to them again during future trips to Key West.

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