Review by: Michael Stern
Memorable | One of the Best
Flavor of The Florida Keys
Just off Cow Key Channel at Mile Marker 4.5 at the entrance to Key West, you will find Hurricane Hole restaurant at Hurricane Hole Marina. Arrive by boat or by car (or bike or moped) and dine waterside under the sun. Here you have an eating experience all about the Florida Keys.
A blackboard in the al fresco dining area lists the fish that’s in that morning. Get it grilled, fried, blackened, cornmeal- or panko-crusted. Ask for lemon caper sauce or a spicy Buffalo treatment. Or have it blackened as the basis of fish tacos. If the featured fish doesn’t float your boat, take advantage of the “You hook it, we cook it” policy. Bring what you’ve reeled in that day (already filleted, please). The kitchen will prepare it the way you like. They then serve it family style with cole slaw and a side dish for $12.95 per person.
When I visited, yellowtail headlined. Fine and flaky, milk-sweet, it needs nothing more than a sprinkle of spice to attain Caribbean wonderment. Like all house flatfish, it comes with yellow rice, black beans, and a square of freshly-baked cornbread.
You always can get shrimp. Have them fried or as a featured attraction in jambalaya. In the latter, they harmonize with chicken, andouille sausage, and vegetables.
Red Meat, Too
Despite Hurricane Hole’s extreme nautical ambience and fish-focused menu, red meat eaters can find happiness too. They cook 10-ounce behemoth burgers to the degree of doneness you specify and dress them however you like. The Cat 5 Burger outdoes everything else. It comes topped with fried jalapenos, pepperjack cheese, Conch turbo sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Crisp-edge, hand-cut fries accompany burgers.
Stock Island is Key West, so mention must be made of the drinks menu. Of course, bartenders will make any familiar cocktail. They also create such tropical libations as a Thirsty Pelican (Southern Comfort, vodka, lime juice, fruit juice, etc., etc.), an Island Splash (which promises “the feeling of enjoying the sandbar at Snipes”), and a Sunburn (“Take your margarita to a whole new level”).
The name of the restaurant comes from the fact that deep, narrow, tree-lined lagoons on the property are good places to moor a boat during a hurricane. Down here, they call such safe berths hurricane holes.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|