“A great place … if you can find it” The tagline says it all. This local’s favorite seafood “shack” is tucked away in a small, safe harbor, way off the tourist path, but definitely worth finding. Truly, there are four road signs within the last quarter mile to keep you on track and convincing you that you are on the right road and there really is a restaurant at the end of the journey.
We stumbled onto the location midafternoon when we were looking for a fresh fish store that had closed down. I jumped out to ask them about the fish store and they told me it had moved to a new location.
I liked the looks of the restaurant – a large, open air eatery, filled with funk and not pretentious. Someone had told us we definitely needed to eat there and seeing the restaurant confirmed that we definitely would be back for lunch or dinner.
Hogfish has a great menu. There were a number of items I would like to try but what immediately caught my eye was the fresh, local, pink key west ‘peel and eat’ shrimp cooked Maryland style (with Old Bay seasoning). YUM! Excellent, sweet and tender morsels. We ordered a half pound as an appetizer but you could easily just eat shrimp all night and be very happy. I had the Hogfish with blackened Scallops dinner and Michael had the Hogfish special which was stuffed with crab meat. The Hogfish was good but I thought it could have had better, more pronounced spices. The blackened Scallops were unbelievably good. This is the third time we’ve had Hogfish so I think I’m done for a bit since I can always count on Michael making his fabulous recipe at home.
The atmosphere was fun. Lots of good energy, fun art and memorabilia, families with kids, dogs, chickens and a cat roaming the perimeter – Key West is really all inclusive. Everybody was having a good time. Food comes quickly from the kitchen. The next time I’d stagger the appetizer and dinner orders to have a little more relax time. The restaurant is right at the end of a working waterfront and, next time, I’d like to take a stroll down and check out the boats.
Other interesting sounding food included a Lobster BLT, Baha style tacos, Bahamian Conch Chowder and Lobster Pot Pie. These were the unusual items, there were a lot more regular favorites that also looked wonderful. We never even got to the dessert menu. Or to the large Bar area which also looked interesting.
We drove back watching a great sunset unfold. The sky was luminescent both in the west AND the east; it was kind of wild. If I hadn’t known which way was west, it would have been hard to tell which direction the sun was setting. I’ve never seen that before.
If you want to get your tropical fever running check out the Hogfish Bar and Grill website for fun pictures and an outstanding menu.