Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Name Pub

Located on the outskirts of Big Pine Key, No Name Pub has been serving people from all walks of life since 1931. No Name Pub started as a general store/bait & tackle shop when the owners decided to add a small room for an eatery. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when No Name Pub became a full restaurant and bar. As we walked in I was amazed at how many dollar bills were hanging from the roof and walls. Our server told us it was a No Name Pub tradition since the mid 70’s.

The menu is pretty extensive, providing everything from tacos to seafood baskets, massive sandwiches to their world famous pizza, which has been made the same way for over 40 years. Not to mention a full bar which is essential to have in any Keys establishment.
For an appetizer we ordered the chili cheese fries and the nachos for one. Both were sizable and very good. When it came time for the main dish I went with the Pub Burger, a ½ of Black Angus with your choice of cheese, fries a pickle spear and like always, I added jalapenos. The burger was cooked to a perfect medium and the meat was very juicy. I wish the bun was a bit more cooked but other than that it was perfect. It was, by far, the best burger I've had in the Keys! My friend went with the chargrilled yellowfin tuna. I myself did not try it but I heard no complaints. Don’t ask me how, but we also ordered a Royal Pub Pizza, which wasn’t the best pizza in the world, but very enjoyable to eat.
When it comes to service, I mean, what can I say, it’s the keys. Our server wasn’t the friendliest, but she kept our drinks coming and was nice enough to give us a little bit of history about the place. I mean they say it themselves, “Friendly people, lousy service & great food.”

I highly recommend No Name Pub. Whether your visiting the Keys or live there as I sometimes do, it’s a must try. About ten minutes after passing the 7-Mile Bridge, stop in on your way to Key West. With seating inside and out, a beautiful private garden, and great food, how can you go wrong?

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kitchen 305

 Located in the lobby of The Newport Beachside Hotel in Sunny Isles, we decided to visit Kitchen 305 on Thursday night for their “Karaoke & Burger night." We arrived around 8:15pm and the place was almost empty. The hostess was very friendly and sat us right away. The place was very clean and the bar was gorgeous. I decided to take a walk around and I realized how small it is. I have no clue how they hold so many nightly events. The place must feel like a zoo when it’s packed!
It took a while for the server to get to us, which had me wondering how the service must be when the dinner rush ensues. Burger night at Kitchen 305 consist of 10 burgers, each 10 oz. for $10. This is a good deal considering the prices on their menu. I went with the Texas BBQ burger. It came with pepper jack cheese, chipotle bbq sauce, onion rings and crispy bacon. After the first bite I fell in love with the burger. The meat itself had a great smoked flavor to it. The bacon was great, and the onion rings on top added a good crunch. My companions went with the Santa Fe, 305, and Whole lotta lovin. All of them felt the same way about their burger and really enjoyed it. Besides one burger being a little too over cooked, the meal was virtually perfect.  After, we decided to order some dessert. It took less than thirty seconds before I heard, “$8.50 for ice cream!!! Who do these people think they are Serendipity 3?” As much as I love and wanted ice cream at the time there is no way I’m paying 9 bucks for it! Finally, between two of us, we ordered the $10 crem brulee and to our disgust they were out of it. How do you run out of crem brulee? Sadly we left without any dessert.
Our server was friendly but didn’t come around as much as he should have. However, he was on top of the affluent appearing patrons next to us like white on rice. Trust me when I’m getting thirsty there is a problem. One thing I would like to add is that my friend had something in his wine glass, and our server without question took the glass and brought another right away. He told us it was Kitchen 305 policy to bring a new glass/drink if there is something wrong with it, no charge.

Overall it was a good experience, but there is nothing fancy about this place. Sorry, I just can’t call a place fancy or "high class" if it holds a bikini contest in the same room where I eat. Besides a few appetizers the menu is way overpriced. Seriously people, the economy is bad. The burger was damn good but you won’t see me ordering a steak there any time soon. If I'm going to dine at a place where I'm gonna pay $34 for a T-bone or rack of lamb & $35 for filet mignon you'll find me at Red, The Steakhouse or Prime 112. I do however plan to make a return trip, I want my crem brulee.