Author: Jesus Soto

Key Lime Colada is pure heaven in the Florida Keys

Key Lime Colada is pure heaven in the Florida Keys. If you like Pina Colada’s and really don’t care if it rains, the best one can be found in the Florida Keys and the Key Lime Colada is heaven. In the Florida Keys, it’s all about fresh seafood, conch fritters, and Key Limes! Key lime pies can be found from the tip of Key West to the Northern tip of Key Largo and just about everywhere in between. Yet if you want to enjoy the best of both worlds, you need to heat to Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar. It is here that you will find the best Pina Colada, excuse me, the best Key Limcolada anywhere in this great big world. Located at Milemarker 12 on the bayside in Islamorada, the small restaurant is home to great food and more importantly, the Limecolada. Thicker than most traditional Pina’ Coladas, the Key LimeColada tastes like heaven. It is sweet like the key lime pie and the rim of the glass is dipped into a pie crust crumble. The drink itself is smooth as silk and tastes like a pie. To think that someone had the idea to blend a key lime pie without the crust and add alcohol is pure genius. Could you make it at home? Maybe. Grab a pie from the grocery store, scrape it off the crust and blend it with rum and give it a try!  But on your next trip to the Florida Keys, make sure you stop for the real deal. Lorelei’s is a great restaurant with extremely affordable prices, a friendly wait staff, and a beautiful view of the water from the outside tables in the back. There is even seating near a small beach that isn’t used for swimming. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner but the draw for me was the Colada.

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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Restaurant

My husband and I love trying out dishes in restaurants, something we can’t do better at home, so we choose a restaurant based on this. How Do You Choose a Restaurant? How do you choose a restaurant? Will the occasion itself shape your choice? Or, is food a major factor? Aren’t service, ambience and location important, too? Or, do you go for Michelin stars? Whether we are conscious of it or not, we have our reasons for choosing a restaurant. Choosing a Restaurant Which Restaurant to Choose? When you take the time to choose, oftentimes, you are rewarded with a great gastronomic experience built around the ambience of the restaurant and the attitude of the staff serving you. In choosing a restaurant, one faces many considerations. Word of mouth or reviews is useful. They give you an idea of what the restaurant is like. Especially from people who had been to this place several times. That would be a vote for the restaurant. But why not take the risk and try out something new each time? This, too, could result in gastronomic surprises. Will You Choose This Restaurant? What Is Your Top Criteria? Street Restaurant in Hanoi aesta1 In choosing a restaurant, what is your top criteria? Tips in Choosing a Restaurant aesta1 Best Guide in How to Choose a Good Restaurant Sometimes, all we want to do is get a table and eat. But once in a while, to make of our eating out an experience is quite enjoyable. Some of us know exactly what to look for. But for those who have not much clue in making your restaurant visit a memory to cherish, here are some tips to a great restaurant experience. Barcelona Restaurant aesta1 1. Location of the Restaurant Choose a restaurant you can walk to. When you want to have a great time, driving afterwards can pose a real problem. So, get a restaurant that is close by where you can easily walk or where it is easy to get a cab. Another 50 bucks for a cab to go to a restaurant adds unnecessary expense. Of course, it is different when the location is truly superb: a lake, seaside, riverside or a spectacular view of the mountain or an architectural gem. But food must be excellent to enjoy a $50 cab ride value. A Neighbourhood Restaurant? Beautiful Restaurant in Istanbul aesta1 2. Ambience Matters […]

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10 Best Local Food in Florida Keys and Where to Find It

Genuine local restaurants in the Florida Keys give you the chance to eat the best dishes originating from this southern region in the USA. Visiting the sun and sand in the Florida Keys can make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a tropical paradise that you can’t find anywhere else in the mainland United States. With that drastic change in scenery comes a whole new array of food to enjoy, with local cuisine taking influence from a variety of sources not commonly found further north. The primary focus is seafood, but you’ll find extensive variety even amongst the seafood alone. Here are the best local restaurants in the Florida Keys. Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar Waterfront dining with live entertainment Good for: Couples Food Known as The Pulse of Islamorada, Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar is one of the most popular restaurants in all of the Florida Keys. Not only is the food and drink selection incredible, but you can sit back and enjoy breathtaking views of the sunset over the water from its waterfront tables. There’s even live entertainment just about every night, allowing you to enjoy both dinner and a show. Don’t worry about dressing up for the experience either. While there’s much to offer, the atmosphere is casual overall, so you can relax in your shorts and T-shirts. Location: 96 Madeira Rd, Islamorada, FL 33036, USA Open: Daily from 7 am to midnight Phone: +1 305-664-2692 Pierre’s Experience top-quality American cuisine with stunning views to match Good for: Couples Food At Barefoot at Pierre’s, you’ll find beauty at virtually every turn. The restaurant itself is located on the beach with palm trees towering overhead and walking paths decorated with vibrant and colorful tropical flowers. The architecture of the building mimics that of a plantation-style house, and all of that can be enjoyed before you even step foot inside. Once you sit down to eat, you’ll find a fine dining experience with high-end, contemporary American cuisine that specializes in seafood with a hint of fusion. Location: 81600 Overseas Hwy Islamorada, FL 33036, USA Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday from 6 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 6 pm to 11 pm, closed on Mondays Phone: +1 305-664-3225 Chef Michael’s Enjoy flair at Chef Michael’s Good for: Couples Food When you dine at Chef Michael’s, you can expect only the best when it comes to your cuisine. The chefs in the kitchen have extensive experience working at some […]

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Delicious Florida-Based Chain Restaurants You Have to Try

Florida restaurants are killing it these days! Many of Florida’s cities are being increasingly recognized as major food meccas, with new restaurants that are getting international attention. Some of the best of those restaurants have become larger chains, available throughout the state. These are some of the Florida chains that are currently expanding and making the biggest waves in Florida’s food scene. Find them in your city, and if they aren’t there yet, they might be there soon! Domu Domu is a rapidly growing ramen restaurant that opened it’s first restaurant in Orlando in 2016. After taking Orlando by storm, they expanded to Jacksonville and are planning an additional restaurant in Orlando’s Doctor Phillips area later this year. Nothing on the menu at Domu disappoints, so try something familiar or venture outside your comfort zone, either way you’re sure to be impressed. They offer delicious dinner, brunch, and a stunning bar that will make you more than happy to wait a while for your table. Maple Street Nothing kicks off your morning right like southern comfort food and biscuits cooked to perfection. That’s what Maple Street does better than anyone. Come for the spectacular food, stay for the friendly atmosphere. The first Maple Street opened in Jacksonville in 2012, and dozens of additional restaurants have opened in North and Central Florida since. They’ve also expanded to Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, with further expansion planned for the future. So if there’s not already a Maple Street in your neck of the woods, there might be one there soon. Columbia Restaurant Celebrate Florida’s Spanish heritage at the state’s oldest restaurant. The first Columbia opened in 1905 in Ybor City, Tampa. It has been owned and operated by the same family ever since – 5 generations! You can now find Columbia in several Tampa Bay locations as well as Orlando and St. Augustine, all with the same historical ambiance. But history isn’t the only reason to love Columbia Restaurant; the authentic Spanish food also makes it more than worth a spot on your bucket list. Don’t leave without trying their Sangria! Jeremiah’s Italian Ice Jeremiah’s Gelati is practically a way of life in Central Florida. Layers of ice cream combine with layers of Italian ice (available in dozens of flavors) for a sweet treat children and adults love in equal measure. The first Jeremiah’s opened in Winter Park in 1996. Pushcarts found at community and school […]

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Florida Keys Beach Bars – The Lorelei Cabana Bar, Islamorada

The Lorelei Cabana Bar and Restaurant in Islamorada is a must stop for any Florida beach bar lovers. Located bayside at mile marker 82, it’s just across the street from Guy Harvey’s Islander Resort so you can’t miss it. It’s a favorite of the folks at floridabeachbar.com who give it a maximum five out of five pink flamingos. With its sunset views, nightly music and available dinner tables on the beach right next to the water, it’s also one of my favorite beach bars in the Florida Keys and should not be missed on any visit to the area. Beach Bar Bums Related Links Youtube Flickr Get Social Facebook Foursquare Links To People Who Know More Than I Do Yelp Trip Advisor Road Trippers – “This big old fish house and bar, with excellent views of the bay, is a great place for a snack, a meal, or a beer. A good-value menu focuses mainly on seafood; in season, lobster is the way to go.” About Lorelei Cabana Bar and Restaurant: “”The Pulse Of Islamorada”, The Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina features some of the best seafood in the Florida Keys… the perfect place to sit back, order a tall, cool drink and let yourself be enchanted. Enjoy breathtaking views of our world famous sunsets. Sunset Celebrations Nightly! Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner… dinner specials, kid’s menus, delicious food, beach and waterfront dining. Large groups welcome. Special events and weddings available. Look for the mermaid at Mile Marker 82, Bayside, Islamorada Florida Keys! Come By Land Or Sea!” Map Meet Lorelei yourself Got a hankering for the Keys and some awesome sunsets? If so, you can contact me via Beach Life Travel, the travel arm of Beach Bar Bums. For more information, email beachlifetravel@yahoo.com. Because a beach life is the best life. Share the love (or “strong dislike”): Have you been here? If so, let me know what you think in the comments. Since it’s impossible for me to visit every single beach bar I post about on the site, the comments from readers like you allow others who are interested in checking out these beach bars hear from people who have actually been there and let them read unbiased reviews. Kind of like the Trip Advisor for beach bars!

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The 9 Most Popular Restaurants in Islamorada, Florida

With plenty of popular restaurants located in Islamorada, deciding where to dine can become a difficult decision. But have no fear, outlined below are 9 of the most popular restaurants in Islamorada to choose from and help ease that all-important decision-making process. Of course, Islamorada eateries focus on the local seafood menu, but many other questions exist, such as Where should I watch the sunset? Are any local restaurants famous? Which restaurants are best for cocktails? Or even other questions such as Where should I go if I want to eat something other than seafood? Again, we have you covered, along with which mile marker (mm) each restaurant is located at too. Now let’s review nine of the most popular restaurants in Islamorada. Cocktails First Vacations often translate to celebrations and there are plenty of places to celebrate in Islamorada. Here are two of the best places for cocktails with dinner. 1 Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar (mm 82) The Lorelei, perhaps the most famous of any Islamorada establishment, remains the place to go for a festive sunset celebration complete with cocktails. Sunset dining with classic keys seafood dishes occurs nightly, but the bigger emphasis seems to be on happy hour-energized crowds. Both live music and local magician shows entertain tourists, but the highlight of any evening here is when everyone toasts the sunset to celebrate another day in the islands. Not up for cocktails? The Lorelei also offers breakfast. Enjoy the same water views with surprising morning zen at this nightly party place. A cup of coffee and a delicious order of shrimp and grits here is a great start to any day in the Florida Keys. Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar (Photo via their Facebook page) 2. The Square Grouper Islamorada (mm 80) A relative newcomer to Islamorada expanding up from its original location in the lower keys, this “dinner-only” restaurant offers delicious food with a creative cocktail list. The bartenders show pride in making a properly crafted cocktail and their efforts are applauded by the patrons. Located on the end of a canal on the water, it provides both outdoor and indoor dining and has quickly become a must-go place in Islamorada. Square Grouper (Photo via their Facebook page) Famous Local Places Every destination seems to have certain places everyone loves, places visitors return to year after year thanks to their history and consistent quality. Islamorada is no different. Here […]

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Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar

Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar 81924 Overseas Highway Islamorada, FL 33036 (305) 664-2692   Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar Sunset Hours: 7:00 a.m. to midnight Location: On the water Drink: All Your Favorites Eat: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Music: Wednesday through Sunday Parking: The parking lot Boat Access: Yes Unique Feature: All open air Overview Lorelei is a popular place at all times of the day and especially at their nightly sunset celebrations. We have been to Lorelei many times. Sometimes we go for breakfast and sometimes for lunch. But our favorite time to visit is for dinner and the sunset celebration. You can enjoy dinner, drinks, live music, and sunset. Perfect. Lorelei is an open-air bar and has no permanent walls. That means plenty of places to sit by the water. Their bar area is nice and everyone is friendly and chatting with each other. But it gets even better. There are tables and chairs on a small beach where you can put your toes in the sand and enjoy your favorite food or beverage and get a front-row seat to the sunset. This little beach even has its own tiki bar. The Lorelei was wiped out in Hurricane Wilma, but it is now rebuilt and charming. Maybe that is why they left out the walls. Makes it easier for a hurricane to blow through. The band plays in yet another little tiki in the area between the beach and the main bar area. . This Florida beach bar has Wednesday through Sunday and sometimes twice a day. And sometimes a magician. We have gone to the Lorelei and made friends with other patrons. Being a dog-friendly bar, we have even made some 4 legged friends. Sharing Florida beach bar time with your 2 legged and 4 legged friends is very special. The food is good at this Florida beach bar and they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try the two mini-burgers. We called them mini cheeseburgers in Paradise. Most days the bands start at noon and that makes this is one great Florida beach bar. Add it all up, and this is a great place to enjoy island life on Islamorada. Where To Next? All Florida Keys Beach Bars Beach Bars by City Top Beach Bars All Beach Bars

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HOW TO GUARANTEE CUSTOMERS WILL COME BACK POST-PANDEMIC

HOW TO GUARANTEE CUSTOMERS WILL COME BACK POST-PANDEMIC In a post-pandemic landscape, one might assume that it would be easy to get customers to come back to restaurants. After all, they’ve been stuck at home, cooking their own food in their own kitchens for more than a year. But consumers’ priorities have shifted; some are apprehensive about safety, while others may simply enjoy getting takeout more than they do dining in. For operators, drawing diners back to the dining room is key for business success; guests may order more food when they dine in versus when they order takeout or delivery, and they also may stick around for multiple rounds of drinks, which can add up quickly to benefit the restaurant’s bottom line.   So how can operators guarantee customers will want to come back post-pandemic? There are a few things to consider. 1. Highlight safety In Technomic’s 2020 Future of FSR: Family Style & Casual Dining Consumer Trend Report, consumers shared the factors that would encourage them to dine in at a restaurant. Topping the list are some expected factors, such as that the restaurant is following government safety guidelines, as well as the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, 37% of consumers said that they’d like for the restaurant to go above and beyond government safety guidelines—that is, even if distancing is no longer required, some patrons may appreciate a more spaced-out dining room. But safety isn’t the only factor that will get customers in the door—about a quarter of consumers said that special deals and promotions for dine-in visits would encourage them to do so, and about one in five said new or unique menu items being offered would encourage them to dine in. 2. Promote innovation Unique menu items and promotions are going to be crucial for enticing customers to come to dine in. Try introducing a couple of LTOs and showcasing game day promotions such as happy hour deals. Operators can also consider partnering with distributors or suppliers to feature a certain brand of drink, for instance, as another way to get people in the door. Get creative—learn about current food trends, including better for you, plant-based and comfort foods, to inform menu changes and LTO plans. 3. Leverage entertainment and sports Finally, leverage entertainment as a way to get customers excited to dine in. Sure, watching the big game at home surrounded by friends and […]

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REMEMBERING LORELEI

REMEMBERING LORELEI Born in captivity, she was known for her gentleness   Lorelei was nearly 43 years old when she passed away on April 23, 2018.Recently, we received the sad news that Lorelei, one of the manatees in our Adopt-A-Manatee program, had passed away peacefully on April 23, 2018, at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. She was nearly 43 years old. Lorelei had the distinction of being the first manatee conceived and born in captivity in the state of Florida. She was born on May 3, 1975, to her parents Romeo and Juliet at the Miami Seaquarium. Because Lorelei was born in captivity, she was not considered a good candidate for release. Lorelei was originally brought to the park, which is located at the headwaters of the Homosassa River, in 1986. Lorelei also spent six years at The Living Seas at Epcot/Walt Disney World in Orlando before returning to the park in 1994. She lived there for the rest of her life, along with other manatee residents Amanda, Ariel, Star, Betsy, and Electra. Lorelei gave birth to three calves during her lifetime before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a policy of keeping male and female manatees separated in captivity. One of her calves, named Hugh, currently resides at the Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. Known for her gentleness, Lorelei was also fairly social. She was often seen resting with Ariel, Betsy, and Electra, three other manatees living at the park. Lorelei will be greatly missed by park employees, volunteers, and visitors. She was also a favorite in the Save the Manatee Club’s manatee adoption program and had many admirers from around the world. “We can honor Lorelei’s legacy by ensuring the protection of warm water springs because protecting this vital manatee habitat is one of the most effective ways to protect manatees,” said Patrick Rose, Save the Manatee Club Executive Director. “We can help by increasing public awareness about the importance of protecting Florida’s beautiful freshwater springs, rivers, and coastal waters, and we can all do our part to keep the waterways clean for the benefit of both wildlife and people.” A memorial adoption for Lorelei is available for new and renewing members, and the proceeds of her memorial adoptions will go to help protect all manatees. For more information, contact Save the Manatee Club by phone at 1-800-432-5646 or by […]

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Drink in the Island Life at Lorelei

“Another perfect day, on this island town.” It was impossible to argue with the guitar-strumming duo who sang those words as the sunset over Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina in Islamorada, Florida on this 76-degree May evening. My wife and I were stuffed from a fantastic dinner at the world-renowned yet refreshingly casual, ocean-side restaurant as the musicians crooned up on stage, but that didn’t stop us from devouring our frozen key lime pie. As we indulged, it occurred to us that the only way to improve on the accuracy of the song’s refrain would be to add the phrase: “at this perfect bar.” “Perfect” is a cliché, but spend an evening at Lorelei’s outdoor restaurant and you’ll quickly see why it’s the first word that comes to mind. You’ll also see why Lorelei, recently named one of the top five “after-fish restaurants” in the world, attracts folks from all over the planet. The restaurant feeds over 1,500 people throughout a busy day, with live music every night, a massive marina home to hundreds of boats and 33 fishing guides, and an ideal view of the sunset. But most importantly, Lorelei possesses a vibe all its own––a fun-loving fellowship shared by its staff and guests alike that embodies the spirit of the Florida Keys. “We have fun here,” said John Maloney, the restaurant’s general manager. “We get good musicians every night and we offer very affordable prices so people want coming back.” Maloney knows a thing or two about coming back. The Islamorada native has failed at retirement twice, returning several times to manage the restaurant he’s helped operate since 1989. Lorelei is the place the locals go––along with the tourists, of course––so when Maloughey walks along the west-facing deck, he’s stopped by handshakes, smiles, and fishing tales from friends. His down-to-earth nature is commonplace at the restaurant. He sat down at our table to shoot the breeze with my wife and me, sipping on lemonade while we enjoyed rum runners from the restaurant’s extensive happy hour cocktail list. “I still work about 80 hours a week, but when you love what you’re doing and you don’t necessarily need the money anymore it’s a lot different,” Maloney said. “We have a lot of staff who’ve been here for years, and that makes it nice.” Our waiter that night, Sean, was a classic Keys man. His home floats; a boat he shares with […]

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