Key West in Miami Restaurant Isn't Kidding Anyone

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Once upon a time, there was a seafood restaurant on Douglas Road and Flagler Street. People came from all around to sample its fresh and delectable seafood dishes. Then one day, the wicked stepmother put a curse on the lovable owner of Fico Key West Seafood making him move his much loved restaurant to South Beach.

That shrew must have also cursed the spot where Fico used to be, because now -- instead of a great seafood restaurant -- there is Key West in Miami Restaurant--a place that tries to pass off mediocre slop as food.

Let's start with the appetizer, and we mean appetizer in the loosest sense of the word. The pasta de pescado ($3.10), described as a fish paste to eat with crackers, did not taste as if it had any actual fish in it. But to Key West's credit, there did seem to be paste involved. We think Elmer's. This "appetizer" was also the size of an acorn.

The entrées were no better. We ordered the two most popular menu items, and then spent the next half hour trying to decipher who's favorites they actually were. The filete de pescado al horno ($6.95) was huge and fresh--we'll give them that--but, flavorless and overcooked. We could also swear that it wasn't made al horno (in the oven), but rather fried. The arroz con mariscos ($10.45) was completely bland--at first. My dining companion requested that it be cooked some more, as the rice was underdone in her opinion. Upon its return, the arroz con mariscos was swimming in a puddle of water and tasted as if a shaker of salt had been emptied into it. Now while this was all slightly irritating, with the next Key West faux pas, we just had to laugh perhaps because of he paste we had consumed earlier.

The maduros served with my partner's arroz con mariscos were room temperature. Now, my partner that day happens to be a sweet plantain aficionado, and there was no way that she was going to eat them that way. So she sent them back. When they returned, they were in fact hot, but one of the maduros was also missing -- the same exact piece that my friend had tried before. I asked if the maduros had simply been refried, and the server insisted that she had peeled the plantains herself. I pointed out the relevant maduro with its missing corner. She said that "sometimes bananas come out like that." I started laughing.

Man, that was really good paste.

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