Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

We have a friend in our tiki bartender in Key Largo. Her name is Iris and to hear her tell the story, she came to Key Largo, from New York City, on a 4 day weekend and never left. That was 11 years ago and she hopes the Big Apple has quit looking for her. I say she's hiding in plain sight.

I have had the pleasure of being served by Iris, regularly, since I came to Key Largo in March. Every restaurant we have explored in the Keys came off a recommendation from Iris and every place has been first rate. We hit a new high tonight and Iris joined us.

Snooks Bayside is a beautiful waterside gem that we will absolutely share with any of our friends/family who come to visit. First off, like the best places in the Keys it's strictly "come as you are." Swim trunks, tank tops and crocs meets the standard of being dressed to dine. The indoor dining room is quite upscale with tablecloths and gorgeous centerpieces. They host many seaside weddings here, with photos of many nuptiuals proudly posted inside.

The bayside patio is where we were seated, with the Gulf waters to one side and the live music of Jimmy Ray on stage to the other side. We haven't enjoyed live music since leaving Pleasant Harbor and this was terrific. Jimmy Ray, who could easily be mistaken for Eddie Murphy, plays an electric guitar and is accompanied by digitally recorded band instruments as he covers everything from Elton John to John Legend. He was born in Guyana and brings a distinct island flare to the vocals. It's sort of where smooth jazz meets reggae rock. He did a fabulous adaptation of Phil Collins "Another Day in Paradise." It was AWESOME!!! A google search shows he had a disco hit under the stage name Kat Mandu. He really looks like Eddie Murphy when he smiles.

Dinner, like the music, was super. Iris had hooked us up with some free drinks since she is known and loved by many in the Keys. As we were finishing dinner, an amazing thunderstorm moved in about a mile off shore. The winds picked up to about 25 mph when suddenly we were treated to a blast of cold air. The temperature must have plummeted 20 degrees in an instant. I became slightly concerned because I know that cold air over warm water can trigger waterspouts or tornados, but not to worry everything was fine and the rain passed us by without a drop.
During the stageshow Jimmy Ray called out to us and asked where we were from. I told him we had moved here from Phoenix and he announced we were officially members of "The Rock." I'm not sure what that meant, but I think he was welcoming us as locals and that made us feel good. The people in the Keys are so happy you think they're hiding something.

Whatever it is, I think we found it.

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