Saturday, January 08, 2005

From the New York Times, 1/9/05

How to Stay Wired

(20) Coffee Plantation, 804 Whitehead Street, (305) 295-9808, www.coffeeplantationkeywest.com, is the newest and most accommodating Internet cafe in town. Log on for 20 cents a minute (free WiFi with laptop). Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Where to Eat

Though many of the old favorites - upscale Louie's Backyard for dinner, scruffy Blue Heaven for brunch - are still alive and well (and delicious), a handful of newcomers are shaking up the scene. (4) Salsa Loca, 918 Duval Street, (305) 292-1865, with a patio in back, is among the most festive, drawing effusive crowds with its affordable and top-notch Mexican food - tangy chilaquiles (tortilla chips in red sauce), rich mole poblano and lots of fresh veggie options. While it looks like a no-nonsense storefront (jazzed up with bright yellow walls and strings of red chili-pepper lights), the dishes are full of complex flavors. Try the alambre - sliced beef with peppers, onions and a layer of melted cheese ($12.95) - or the rich sincronizada, a grilled tortilla sandwich stuffed with peppery chicken, cheese, jalapeƱos and avocado ($9.75). Dinner for two, with Mexican beer, about $40.

Vegetarians are rejoicing over the town's newest veggie place, (5) the Cafe, 509 Southard, (305) 296-5515, a sunny luncheon spot by day and sultry, votive-lit dining room by night, where diners can choose from just a dozen tables or a handful of stools at a bar. The menu offers clever takes on herbivore favorites: tofu parmigiana with pasta ($11.50), veggie burgers ($7.50) and a range of stir fries. Nonvegetarians can order such options as pan-seared yellowfin tuna, with a honey-wasabi sauce ($13.25).

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