Welcome to my backyard--the Florida Keys! I'm a travel writer, blogger and photographer with a passion for all things Florida, especially the Florida Keys. These islands are so much more than Duval Street and Jimmy Buffet. They are rich in history, culture, cuisine, nature and events--all surrounded by pristine waters teeming with wildlife. Whether you're a local or a visitor, the Conch Republic has many surprises in store. Let me be your guide.
Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, the Key Largoeatery known for its license plate walls and scrumptious Key lime pie, opened a second location this week on U.S. Highway 1 at mile marker 99 -- a half a mile down from the original restaurant. The new Mrs. Mac is larger with twice as much space and has comfy brown booths, a shell-inlaid full bar and an outdoor pet-friendly butterfly garden. Owner Angie Wittke gave me a pre-opening tour, and I was enchanted by the whimsical Keysey interior created by local artist and sculptor, Kim Brandell. Organic sea-themed murals cover the floors, and a tall metal palm tree stands amidst the four-tops. An octopus chandelier lights the hostess desk and its gold treasure sculpture.
In a nod to the décor of the original Mrs. Mac’s, lamps made from license plates hang over the booths. Highlighting Florida Keys history, the tabletops are shadowboxes filled withold postcards, photographs and maps. The original menu of comfort-food classics regulars love was expanded to include new upscale dishes like Americana Fresh Snapper, a pan-seared snapper topped with champagne lobster cream sauce, and the Fish of the Day in a Blanket, a prosciutto-wrapped fish topped with a citrus hollandaise. The coral exterior of Mrs. Mac’s 2 makes it easy to spot the restaruant set in the median. Look for the logo, “Eat Well, Laugh Often, Live Long,” along the top of the building. Open for lunch and dinner. 305-451-6227.