Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Hour - Alonzo's Oyster Bar

I can't count the number of times we've walked past A& B Lobster House and Alonzo's Oyster Bar, on our way to someplace else. In the last year, Mark had suggested dinner a few times, but the word Lobster always made me leery of prices.  And then, a couple of days ago, he pointed out that the two were separate entities and suggested happy hour at Alonzo's.  Oh yeah. There's that word bar at the end of the sign.

Alonzo's is located in a great spot, on a corner of the pier in the Key West Bight,  next to where they feed the Tarpon everyday at 4 pm.  If you've never watched a swarm of Tarpon (many topping 150 pounds), fight over super sized chunks of fish, you're missing one of the best shows in Key West. Occasionally, you'll spot a Nurse Shark or Manatee gliding through the scene. Feeding starts promptly at 4, so arrive 10-15 minutes early for a good spot. After the show's done, at about 10 minutes after 4, turn around and hit Alonzo's.

There wasn't room at the bar, so we asked if we could get a table for happy hour. Some bars in Key West won't honor the happy hour menu unless you're at the bar, so it's always good to check. Alonzo's didn't mind and we were seated at an inside table after about a ten minute wait.

Happy hour is from 4pm - 630pm daily with all appetizers and drink specials half price. Mark went with a mojito, his favorite, and I jumped onto a key lime martini.  The mojito wasn't as perfect as Bahama Bob's mojito over at the Rum Bar, but he thought it was pretty darn good.  My key lime martini was the best, by far, that I've had on the island. It was sweet and creamy with the traditional graham cracker rim. Some places skip the graham cracker rim which violates all sorts of happy hour rules and thusly nullifies their ability to call their monstrosity a key lime martini.

More importantly, it's a direct violation of the Key West By-Laws,
Rule 4, sec 4,
For a drink to be declared a "Key Lime Martini", said drink must have graham cracker crumbs around the rim.  A drink without graham cracker crumbs, can, however, call itself a Lime Martini but must omit the term "Key" from the name.  

Just like every sports bar in the world has buffalo wings, every eating spot in Key West has their own versions of fish dip and ceviche.  Since we're fans of both, we had to order one of each and neither disappointed. The fish dip was on the mild side, light on the spices, and topped with capers and chunks of red peppers. It was served with 3 different type of crackers. The ceviche was a excellent with onions and peppers with the conch meat, giving it a decent kick. Still hungry, we ordered the fish fingers and were a bit disappointed. They were okay, as far as fish fingers go, but the sauce was basic tartar and there was really nothing that stood out about the dish.

In the end, my fears of an expensive bill were unfounded. We ordered two specialty drinks, two sodas, three appetizers and the bill was only $30.  On our next visit, I'll request an outside table for some people watching. A true spectator sport here in Key West.

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