Based on how often Dick and I are in the “Mermaid,” it is not even close. And our endorsement is not meant as any negative for the always marvelous Louie’s Backyard or Latitudes at Sunset Key.
The Thirsty Mermaid comes out of the box with a huge jump: The oyster purveyor is Island Creek in Duxbury, Massachusetts, far and away number one in America for oysters. We always go for oysters from Mass when they are on the daily blackboard menu. Oysters from Maine are a close second.
Owners Tommy and Ryan are friends, and blue-chip staff members Nataliya and Tito, both from Bulgaria, and Molly are among our favorites.
Much of the menu, not surprising, is seafood oriented–a Snapper sandwich, the green Gazpacho with a large grilled shrimp, or the great fried (pan, not deep) oysters. Mermaid’s menu is rounded out with a certified Black Angus burger, a not-to-be-missed grilled cheese, and a locals’ go-to-choice of shrimp/scallop Caesar. There’s always ceviche, tuna poke, and conch, as well as Florida Stone Crabs on some lucky days.
You’ll love the draft beer selection if only for the amusing names. The small wine list is the best in Key West, the undisputed home of miserable wine lists. Check in with our buddy Mark’s shop, next to the “Mermaid,” for what good wine is to be found in Key West, especially his awesome Cote Roti from the northern Rhone wine region of France.
Kick off your fabulous subtropical stay in Key West by making The Thirsty Mermaid your first stop when you hit Old Town. And have a great time.
Debbie & Dick