In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Grant Portier, the owner and chef of Poké In the Rear, an Asian-themed restaurant in its open-air backside bar in the famed Aquaplex.

We talk about where he came up with the idea for the restaurant, and how he is taking a grassroots word of mouth approach to marketing.

More on Poké In The Rear

Some like it a little, others like it a lot! Poké, Naan Bread Pizza, Wings, and things…

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pokeintherear/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pokeintherear

Website (coming soon): http://www.pokeintherear.com/

504 Angela St, Key West, FL 33040
tel: +1-561-254-6798

Hours:
11:30 AM – 12:00 AM

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Square Grouper creator and owner Lynn Bell.

We talk about how they got started, their expanding location plan, and how they are navigating the restaurant business in a new COVID-19 environment.

More on The Square Grouper Bar & Grill

The Square Grouper Bar and Grill is located at MM 22.5 Oceanside on Cudjoe Key, Florida. One of the Florida Keys most popular destinations for unforgettable fresh & local seafood, with an emphasis on consistency and quality.

Lynn and her staff have a dedication to excellence paired with a focus on detail which has defined the Square Grouper Bar and Grill as a must-visit restaurant.  Come visit for a large selection of innovative small plates, ever-changing specials, homemade desserts, a boutique wine list, and a rotating selection of microbrews. The restaurant emphasizes being environmentally friendly and “green”, and all paper products and straws are made from corn products.

Website: https://squaregrouperbarandgrill.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squaregrouperbarandgrill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squaregrouperbarandgrill/

Address
22658 Overseas Hwy MM 22.5 Oceanside, 
Cudjoe Key, FL 33042 

Phone
305-745-8880

Email: [email protected]

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Steven, the food and beverage director for Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar and the Salty Oyster Dockside Bar & Grill at The Perry Hotel.

We discuss how these two restaurants get all their amazing food, the incredible brunch deal, and what the heck a fishmonger is ;).

This episode was recorded many months ago and I’m happy to say that the brunch deal is still going on!

More on Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar

At Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar, the ingredients speak for themselves. It’s American Coastal Comfort Food—simple, comforting, and delicious in a way you’d never expect. Whether you bring in your own fresh catch for us to prepare or come in to order just a few dishes, you’ll want to try everything on the menu. Plus, our gift cards make the perfect present for your favorite foodie

Website: https://www.perrykeywest.com/eat-and-drink/matts-stock-island

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mattsstockisland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattsstockisland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattsstockislan

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Paradise Restaurant owner, Christian Velez.

This was recorded before the pandemic shut down, and I hope they get as busy again as they were during this interview!

This is one of the shortest episodes I’ve ever done because Christian was not only working the bar but helping take orders, serving food… this guy was really doing it all!

More on Paradise Restaurant

Website: http://www.restaurantparadisekw.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paradise_restaurant_keywest/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paradiserestaurantkeywest/

It began with two brothers born in Miami, FL but raised in their family’s homeland in Medellin, Colombia. Christian Velez and Julian Velez, now 25 and 30, respectively. While living in Colombia, their family decided to move to Miami with hopes of building a life that included their dreams and visions. Once reaching the USA, their parents placed them in a soccer program known today as Kendall Soccer coalition, making great teammates that eventually turned into family along the way.

This was the beginning of their soccer career and as time passed, they were granted the special opportunity to continue playing soccer at a university level with a scholarship. From Kendall Soccer Coalition to Florida Gulf Coast University, it was looked as a giant step with goals of making it professionally. Unfortunately, things took a turn when everything seemed so great when hardships and internal family matters broke up the unity amongst the Velez family. While Christian remained in school to complete his degree, his brother left to Colombia.

Over a span of 5 years, the brothers were distant but remained in close communication with hopes to one day create a legacy together to honor the family and everything their parents sacrificed for them to be where they were today. Together they planned to move out of their comfort zone all the way down to Key West. Working counted hours and sleepless nights, they saved onto eventually open their one gift shop “Life in Paradise.” They recognized the amounts of visitors who showed up next door to their neighbor’s side, known as “Juan loves Lucy.’ A very popular restaurant that ran for more than six years. After years passed, they planned to one day envision a restaurant next door to accompany their citing store. A restaurant that encompasses the culture they’ve been able to ___? in Colombia and the melting pot up in Miami, they wanted to create a place for everyone and anyone. And so they opened an international cuisine for tourists from all over the world to have a taste of a variety of dishes ranging from Colombia, Cuba, Peru, USA, and Mexico. Today what you see is the work and labor that brings stout the restaurant, known as Paradise. For behind every storm, be sure to know there is a paradise waiting for you. We gladly welcome you to ours.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Casey Arnold of the Conch Republic Seafood Company.

We talk about the history of the historic building, all the food options, and their infamous happy hour.

Take note that this was recorded before the COVID lockdown, be as of June 5th, the bar at the restaurant will be open for business 🙂

More on Conch Republic Seafood Company

Experience true dock-to-dish dining as you enjoy the incredible views of the Historic Seaport inside our fully open air restaurant! Often, you’ll see our very own fleet of boats unloading their catches of fresh fish, stone crab and Caribbean Lobster!

Website: https://conchrepublicseafood.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/conchrepublicseafoodcompany/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConchRepublicSeafood/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConchFarm

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with chef and co-owner Babeth to discuss how the business was affected during the COVID-19 shutdown, how this family-owned business is surviving, and some tips on doing the same.

This is my first interview back after the shutdown and we laughed, shared stories, and I ate… a little too much!

More on La Grignote Artisan French Bistro

Website: http://lagrignotecafe.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lagrignote/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/La-Grignote-170784603348283/

OUR STORY: A FRENCH COUPLE LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM

La Grignote cafe is family-owned by Joel and Babeth, a couple in life. After falling in love with the island on his first visit to Key West in 1995, and spending a year there, it took Joel 20 years to fulfill his dream to move there permanently. In the meantime he met Babeth, a french baker aspiring to open a bakery in Florida, and they opened “La Grignote” in September 2016.

“We decided to make everything from scratch with high-quality ingredients. We also want to be a part of the neighborhood, the community not just cater to tourists.”

Today, we are recognized as the best bakery, place to eat by the whole community.

We have gotten so successful that we opened another bakery called “La Petite Grignote” located on 517 Fleming street in Key West.

La Grignote Cafe
1211 Duval Street
Key West, FL, 33040, USA

La Petite Grignote
517 Fleming street
Key West, FL, 33040, USA

Phone: 305-916-5445

NOTE – Here is another pre COVID-19 episode. I am happy to say that Frita’s is back open and serve their delicious food.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with the owner of Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe, Marcia Weaver.

During this episode, we danced, we sang (well Marcia does) and I ate one of their famous Cuban Burger!

More on Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe

Website: http://fritascubanburgers.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fritascuban/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fritas-Cuban-Burger-Cafe-301558923350863/

Fritas Cuban Burger Cafe opened in 2014 with the goal of bringing the Cuban flavors of the “Frita” to Key West, Florida.

Just steps from the famous Duval Street, Frita’s provides a variety of tastes and experiences. Relax inside the Cafe where, along with our signature Fritas, you’ll enjoy delicious traditional Cuban and fusion sandwiches as well as tacos. Complete your meal with our homemade pastries, scoops and shakes made with locally crafted premium ice cream. Cool down with a glass of sangria, or take one to go!

The Frita is a heavenly burger with origins in 1930’s Cuba where they were considered a native street food. Frita’s exclusive recipes were developed slowly and lovingly with visits to Cuba and assistance from Cuban friends. They are a mouthwatering blend of beef and pork burger seasoned with Spanish spices and topped with a special sauce and crispy fried julienne potatoes, all sandwiched on a Cuban bun. Salty, savory, sweet and crunchy.

Fritas Cuban Burger Cafe is the brainchild of entrepreneur Marcia Weaver who also owns and operates Boston Cigar Factory, proud purveyors of handmade cigars rolled in the Cuban tradition.

Contact Info:

425 Southard St
Key West, Florida 33040
Phone: (305) 509-7075

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Aaron Pearlman, the General Manager of Prime Steakhouse Key West.

We talk about the restaurant’s history, how they stay upscale, but with a relaxed island vibe, and how they keep their food consistently amazing in our tiny island paradise.

A Message from Prime Steakhouse

Finally a light at the end of the tunnel! ☀️With the latest update this Friday we will be reopening our doors to our island friends & family! We will be running our September locals specials as well as half price stone crab claws 🦀 Indoor & outdoor seating will be available so reservations are recommended but not necessary. If you’re looking to celebrate a missed birthday, anniversary or would just like to have a sense of normalcy again, we would love to serve you! Our doors will open at 5:30pm. Take out & delivery will still be available as well 🥩 🦞 🍷•

More on Prime Steakhouse

Website: https://primekeywest.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/primesteakhousekeywest/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrimeKeyWest

Address: 951 Caroline St, Key West, FL 33040
Phone: (305) 2964000

Since opening in 2005, PRIME has quickly become the premier steakhouse in the Florida Keys. Impeccably prepared prime beef is the star at PRIME, cooked to perfection in ovens nearing 1,000 degrees.

Under the supervision of the executive chef, there’s more to Prime than just great steaks!! Locally caught lobster tails, daily fresh fish specials from Key West fishermen, nightly pasta special, or whole yellowtail snapper, deep-fried and cleverly seasoned are just a few of the treats that await the non-carnivores. Chef Kim Quach has been pleasing palettes in the keys for over ten years and has brought his creativity and passion to PRIME. Jumbo lump crab cakes, carpaccio of filet mignon, or garlicky escargot are just a few starters that locals rave about. And don’t forget the Truffled Mac and Cheese, PRIME’S signature side.

Whether you prefer steaks or seafoodwe’ve selected wines from Italy, France and the USA, that will pair perfectly with your dinner.

Whether you choose to dine al frescoe on our terrace or in our intimate dining room, you will enjoy a superior level of service that will make your dinner at PRIME extraordinary!!

**NOTE** This episode was recorded in December, 2019.

During the Coronavirus crisis, the Cuban Coffee Queen is open from 7AM – 3PM for takeout and still delivering all of Key West up to Cow Key Bridge.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with head barista and manager, Irena Dalton at the iconic Cuban Coffee Queen.

We talk about how the brand began, and how they are keeping locals and Key West tourists caffeinated on a daily basis.

More on the Cuban Coffee Queen

“One day in Cuba, I met a lady who made the best coffee and Cuban toast.

She told us stories and showed me how to make a real cafe con leche. I will never forget the Cuban coffee Queen.”

Website: https://www.cubancoffeequeen.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cuban_coffee_queen_/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CubanCoffeeQueenKeyWest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeyWestCoffee

Waterfront (original location!)
284 Margaret Street
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305.292.4747
Pick-up only

Downtown (corner of Southard and Duval)
5 Key Lime Square
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305.294.7787
Delivery, Pick-up

Clinton Square Market 
291 Front Street #6
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 305.922.2896
Pick-up only

This episode was recorded months before COVID-19 happened, and Social Distancing was the new catchphrase.

I spoke with their team today and they wanted to let you know that they are OPEN FOR BUSINESS from 12pm – 8pm every day for TAKE OUT ONLY during the crisis.

Location: 1105 Duval Street, Key West, Florida

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Robin Bartley, the head ice cream maker.

We talk about the love of sweet delicious Key West ice cream, which puts a smile on everyone’s face 😎.

More on Flaming Crossing Ice Cream

Since 1987 Flamingo Crossing makes all its ice cream on the premises with the finest ingredients and is without doubt the best ice cream in Key West.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flamingo_crossing

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flamingocrossing.keywest/