A Short Story
A really long time ago one of our favorite stops in the Keys was the Islamorada Fish Company. It was actually a fish market on the Gulf side of Islamorada. There wasn’t much in the area and behind it were docks where fishing boats unloaded their catches for the market. The docks also had a number of picnic tables and grills and we usually timed our visits near sunset if we could, so we could eat as the Sun went down. They offered lobster, fish, scallops and shrimp – nothing fancy and always cooked on those grills and served on a paper plate with a Greek salad. The Keys just didn’t get any better than that.
We introduced friends and family to this gem and every visit was memorable. On one visit there was construction beginning on the lot just north of them and on the next trip we were amazed at the size of the building going up. A number of months later we returned and Outdoor World was now open on that lot next door. Parking was hard to find and we had to park down the road and walk back. Once we got there we realized there was a line next to the market and we were told that the wait would be over an hour for a table. We never went back to those docks again.
Fortunately you can still find places like the original Islamorada Fish Co in the Keys. Places where the seafood is fresh and the grilling straight forward. Hurricane Hole just north of Key West and Ship Wreck in Key Largo are two.
A couple of years later an Outdoor World opened in Dania Beach, Florida not far from where we were living and the large attached restaurant was The Islamorada Fish Company. We have eaten there a few times before we left the area and the food was always good but not exactly fresh catches right on the dock. Today in Islamorada it is a large restaurant attached to Outdoor World* and I would expect that the food, while never as good as what was served on the docks is also probably good.
*Actually there are over a dozen Islamorada Fish Company restaurants inside Outdoor World locations.
Nothing ever stays the same…