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Restaurants & Bars 9

Islamorda, Upper, Middle Keys

Sean | Mar 6, 200305:02 PM

I've been using to determine where we should dine while spending time on Islamorada and environs. Our group is, unfortunately, a meat-and-potatoes crew (with one vegetarian), so our primary focus is *sigh* not seafood restaurants. I, however, hope to eat fish every damn meal I'm there. What we'd like to find are restaurants that offer great, fresh, local seafood, as well as good meat dishes, and ideally some vegetarian pastas or something.

This may come out sounding snotty, but we definitely opt for quality over quantity, so "all-you-can-eat" joints or establishments whose claim to fame is "huge portions" are not quite what we had in mind... I'm just hoping other chowhounds understand where I'm coming from.

From what I can research though, the following are supposed to have good food and diverse menus, so we're considering dining at:

Bentley's - I've heard the seafood is top-notch, how 'bout the meat and pasta?
Pierre's - Is it as expensive as they say? What are the average entree prices? What's the dress code?
Snook's - Is it worth the trip to Key Largo or should we just stay on the purple isle? And I've read the wait is terrible...
Squid Row - Seafood's great, I hear, How's the meat and pasta? Vegetarian friendly?
Old Tavernier - Is this anything more than a diner?
Morada Bay - It's listed as Carribbean/Latin... what's that mean? Jerked chicken and cuban sandwiches?
Senor Frijoles - We all looove Mexican, but is this noble Senor worth it?
Whale Harbor - Tourist trap worth avoiding?
Atlantic's Edge - It's new, I hear, and expensive. Worth the price?
Barracuda Grill - Sounds awesome. If we drive the 30 miles, will we be disappointed?
Marker 88 - I've heard the seafood is top-notch, how 'bout the meat and pasta?
Little Italy - This doesn't sound as though it's worth a 20 mile drive.
Lorelei - Took it on the chin in Zagat's (15 food), but other chowhounds recommended it earlier. Can my bible be wrong?

If we were going to eat only 5 meals in restaurants, on budgets of $40/person (including wine, dessert, etc.), where MUST we dine?

Additionally, are there restaurants further away that they are SO good, it's worth trekking all the way from Islamorada/Key Largo? We're on vacation to be lazy.

Thanks for reading this whole thing through.

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