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It’s not all grouper and key lime pie in the Florida Keys—not that we couldn’t happily get by eating both. Here’s Forbes Travel Guide’s list of the best places to eat in the Keys:
1. The Flaming Buoy Filet Co. The Flaming Buoy is a Key West neighborhood gem, where the on-site owners are friendly and welcoming. Featuring fresh local seafood, everything is prepared to order. Specialties include lobster macaroni and cheese, fresh catch with banana salsa, and for dessert, a spicy chocolate quesadilla.
2. Azur Restaurant. Azur is wonderful for brunch, lunch or dinner when in Key West. If you can’t get enough key lime pie, order the French toast, which is stuffed with it. Dinner includes tasting plates, “almost entrees” such as roasted beets and gnocchi, and heartier dishes including seafood risotto and snapper.
3. Sparky’s Landing. Located in Marathon in the Key Colony Beach Marina, Sparky’s Landing is a fun place for drinks and has a huge menu featuring everything from fish tacos to burgers and pizzas. Try the gratinee appetizer filled with fresh fish, cream sauce and cheese.
4. Pilot House. It is well worth the effort to find this out-of-the-way restaurant in Key Largo. The food is fresh and delicious and prices are reasonable. Combine that with a water view, glass bottom bar and live entertainment in the evenings and it can’t be beat.
5. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen. Mrs. Mac’s recently opened a second Key Largo location nearly across the street from the original, license-plate-covered one, but kept all of its popular foods. From salads to sandwiches, everything is fresh. The menu is huge and there is something for everyone. Try the TJ style fish of the day topped with stewed tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeños with black beans and rice.
Ace Hotels — mostly because I like the feel urban and raw but they're also very comfortable. The first one I've ever stayed in is in Portland, Oregon. And after that, I stayed at the one in New York. I enjoyed both of them very much. I prefer hotels like Ace. I'm a very simple guy and I don't need a lot of attention. It's nice for me that it's comfortable and I need something it's there but I don't need to be doted on, you know.
Every city in Japan has a special dish, one that comes to define it, one that lures visitors from around the world. Here are five such specialties that draw foodies to Kyoto:
1. Kyoto is famed for its tofu (soybean curd), thanks to the city’s excellent water and large population of vegetarian Buddhist monks. Tofu here is a fine art, and can be found in a variety of preparations, from deep-fried to skewered and grilled.
2. As a byproduct of the city’s tofu production, yuba (tofu skin) is another popular item you’ll find in sushi and on ryokan menus in Kyoto. During the boiling of soy milk, a chewy film, or skin, is formed on the surface. It can be eaten fresh, as steaks or even in donburi.
3. Kaiseki, or traditional multicourse Japanese dinners, is taken to another level in Kyoto, where chefs have transformed this into a true art. This meal, derived from the elaborate and highly structured tea ceremony rituals of the 16th century, uses fresh, local and seasonal ingredients in a series of perfectly plated small courses.
4. You’ll find Japanese green tea and, more specifically, the finely milled matcha version, all over Kyoto. Made from shade-grown tea leaves, matcha boasts a distinctly green color and is most often used in traditional tea ceremonies. It’s a higher quality green tea, often whisked into a frothy drink.
5. Yatsuhashi is a cinnamon-flavored, triangle-shaped sweet made from glutinous rice flour and sugar. When baked, it’s similar to senbei; fresh, it has the texture of mochi and often filled with red bean paste.