Morning! So Mr. Foodie and I are on a staycation of sorts for a long weekend in Marathon Key just up US-1 from home. We are staying a chain hotel which is not my preference (especially in the keys where you can often find quaint little “resorts” and b&bs), but we had points so free nights = awesome. Plus, look at our view!
We got here late last night because of work, so all we really did was crawl to the Tiki hut restaurant near the hotel property, have dinner, read, and then pass out. We did not have terribly high hopes for the restaurant Tarpon Creek Bar and Grill because it looks like giant tourist trap and it is right next to a bunch of hotels, but we were pleasantly surprised by some things.
We ordered an appetizer of Cuban rice balls which were probably the best thing we had – the rice-bean mixture inside was spicy and creamy, the fried outer shell was perfectly crisp and the sauce was tangy and delicious. It was altogether a great pairing with our pale ales and the ocean breeze.
Mr. Foodie ordered fried catch of the day (mahi mahi) and fries. He reported that the fries were good (I can confirm), but that the fried breading on the fish tasted burnt – someone needs to change out their fryer oil. The mahi itself was cooked well. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and plantain chips mostly because of the promised key lime sauce that the menu mentioned. The sandwich was indeed good and so was the sauce. The chips were also good if a little bland. We decided that it was a little steeply priced for what amounted to pub food, but the water view was pleasing, our waitress was attentive but mellow (perfect for two exhausted diners), and the beer was cold. All in all, a good evening.
Luckily Marathon is teeming with restaurants – I believe a bartender I was talking to a few days ago said 72 restaurants in total on the island, so we will have no shortage of good eats while staying here. We already raved about the cuban sandwhich shop down the road, so I have high hopes for this place.