TERRY’S PICKY PALATE / A Willie, Willie good meal at Willie T’s on Duval Street

BY TERRY SCHMIDA
I’ve always had a soft spot in my stomach for Willie T’s Restaurant & Bar, at 525 Duval St.
Where else in Key West can you people-watch on Duval Street, listen to some of the town’s best live entertainment, AND eat an honest-to-God Surf and Turf entree?
I’ve been frequenting this fun-loving watering hole and restaurant for years, and never had a bad meal or a bad time.
I was lucky enough on a recent visit to eat a meal featuring a few menu items that I’d yet to sample.
I started out with a bowl of Willie T’s Conch Chowder, followed by the Seafood Quiche dinner special, and finished up with a Chocolate Lava Cake.
In keeping with the spirit of the place, I ordered a virgin Mojito, from the bar’s wide selection of variations upon this classic Cuban cocktail.
The Conch Chowder, made in the creamy New England style, with roasted corn, red peppers, potatoes, and plenty of Caribbean conch, was wonderful, and was served with crisp flatbread. I much prefer this “white” chowder, to the red Manhattan variety, and Willie T’s is one of the few places in Cayo Hueso that seems to serve it it anymore.
Next up was the yummy quiche, which was served with a fresh Waldorf salad. I really enjoyed this main course, which was huge, and contained plenty of Key West pink shrimp, jumbo lump crab meat, and sea scallops.
I was pretty well stuffed at this point, but couldn’t resist tucking into the tempting Chocolate Lava Cake, with a side of ice cream, and some sliced strawberries. This rich and moist dessert treat was the perfect finale to a repast you’d never expect to be served at an eatery with such as casual atmosphere.
The Mojito was great, too, even sans alcohol.
Next time I drop by Willie T’s – and there will be a next time – I can’t wait to order one of their sizzling steaks, fresh-from-the-boat seafood options, or maybe even one of their delightful thin-crust pizzas.
Stroll on up to Willie T’s. You won’t be sorry!
Willie T’s is open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Credit cards are accepted.
For more information, call 305-294-7674, or visit www.williets.com