Monday, February 25, 2013
MISSING GEIGER KEY ALREADY
If your ever down Key West way you want to pay a visit to Geiger Key Marina Fish Camp Restaurant & RV Park. Geiger Key is about 10 minutes north of Key West and it is the real deal if you want to experience the laid back Key West lifestyle that is now elusive in Key West as a tourist destination. Geiger Fish Camp is where the locals go to hang and it is a trip back to what Key West was like 40 or more years ago. Quite a mixture of folks ... tourists with trailer folks with a few fisherman covered in fish blood standing at the bar. There are other good fish houses like the Marathon Fish Company and the Bass Pro Fish House, but none that have the unvarnished back in time ambience of Geiger Key.
The Marina is not fancy, it is on the water in an area that is fairly remote and lots of mangrove sprouting everywhere. There are a handful of seasonal trailer sites that fill up a year in advance. No fancy yachts here – just a few dozen fishing boats. The restaurant is open air with a large thatched roof traditional Tiki bar that free pours many cocktail concoctions. The beer is ice cold. The fish is caught locally and brought right to the dock. The prices, like the ambience go back twenty years in comparison to Key West prices. The friendly but aggressive waitresses fly around like crazy trying to keep up with demand. The kitchen has attitude and the cooks duel back and forth with the servers. There is no loud music, just happy people at the bar and eating at picnic tables.
The food is to die for. The fish is as fresh as you’ll ever find it and it is cooked the way you like it. I recommend a blackened Hog fish sandwich which comes with fries, homemade coleslaw and dill pickle. Chase it down with a cup of Conch Chowder. The beers go down more than smoothly in this hot humid climate ... but remember there is nowhere to sleep here, so you have to drive back to Key West (unless you get adopted by one on the trailer park folk). Best to have a designated driver and spend a lazy afternoon lunch that might even stretch into dinner hour where you get to do it all over again. Pace yourself, take your time and soak in what Key West was like in the 1960’s.
I’m missing Geiger Key already and it would be one of my primary motivations for planning to go back to the Keys. The marina is also a pick up point for deep sea fishing charters.
Come early before noon to snare a seat at the bar www.geigerkeymarina.com