TERRY’S PICKY PALATE / Shrimp and Grouper Cakes and Homemade Lemonade at Salute!

BY TERRY SCHMIDA
What a view!
It’s rare to find a restaurant where you’re enjoying yourself even before your server comes by to take your order. Salute! On the Beach – 1000 Atlantic Blvd., at White Street – is just such as place.
During lunch and dinner the outdoor patio at Salute! is the perfect place to people-watch. With smiling volleyball players, tanning beach-goers, and cycling families speaking French, Italian – you name it – as they ride on by, it’s truly one of the best locations in town to get a feel for what Key West is all about.
And while some eateries may bank on a terrific location to please their patrons in lieu of quality food, Salute! is home to splendid eats, and great service to match the splendorous surroundings.
During my lunchtime visit General Manager Holly Shea suggested I try the Shrimp and Grouper Cakes, a special that she said is frequently offered due to its popularity with guests.
I can understand why. The two oversized cakes were slightly crispy on the outside, brimming with plump morsels of local grouper and Key West pink shrimp within. The cakes, crafted with love by Salute’s veteran chef, Danny Hatch, were served with a delightful chipotle remoulade and a fresh green salad dressed with house citrus vinaigrette on the side. A superb lunch for a day at the beach!
I don’t drink alcohol, so I washed down my meal with a tall glass of fresh-squeezed Lemonade, that wasn’t too sweet, or too tart. For those who do enjoy their spirits, my server, Monique Mackey, suggests accompanying the cakes with a Hendrick’s Cucumber Wonder. This specialty drink blends cucumber- and rose-infused Hendrick’s Gin with muddled cucumbers, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and soda water.
“I think it’s just the perfect drink for this environment,” she said, gesturing towards the beach.
Whether you’re in the mood for a light meal, somewhat more substantial fare, or just a leisurely cocktail, as you revel in the cool ocean zephyrs, you can’t go wrong at Salute! On the Beach.
Salute! On The Beach is open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for dinner, seven days a week. The bar is open for drinks from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The restaurant will be closed from Sept. 11 through 17, reopening on the 18th. Credit cards are accepted.
To make a reservation, or for more information, call 305-292-1117, or visit http://www.saluteonthebeach.com/