It was the fresh citrus and elevated fertile lands of North Key Largo that earned Garden Cove its name. The waterfront bay was a destination for pirates and sailors who would arrive to purchase fruits high in vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Back in those times, early Keys farmers shared the higher ground with local Seminole Indians. In the Seminole language, higher ground translates to Wachula — which means Buzzard’s Roost. And thus, the legend of the Buzzard’s Roost was born.
Upon opening the menu, the variety of choice is notable. For appetizers, the jumbo buzzard wings with choice of chipotle, teriyaki, or buffalo sauce and the meaty award-winning Texas style chili are tasty starters. If a craving for fresh seafood needs satisfying, try the smoked fish dip or coconut shrimp.
Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes are its fish tacos, ceviche, and tasty lobster Reuben — which is prepared with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and Swiss cheese on rye.
Entrees, like the catch of the day, can be grilled, blackened, Jamaican jerked, broiled or fried. The Buzzard’s Roost also offers its own signature “Bert Style,” which has filets sautéed in lemon butter with tomatoes, scallions, and shaved parmesan cheese. Another favorite, the Buzzard Seafood Pasta, has sautéed lobster, scallops, and shrimp in garlic and white wine sauce served over linguini.
If your taste buds are land lovers, try one of their black angus steaks —including the filet mignon, New York strip steak, and ribeye. All steaks come with option of béarnaise, port wine demi, maitre d’ butter sauce, or bleu cheese crumbles.
The biggest reason the entrees of the Buzzard’s Roost are so delicious is that the core of the kitchen crew has been together for several years, and are more than happy to accommodate guest’s requests. All entrees are accompanied by salad, soup of the day, fresh vegetables, and choice of rice, fries, or baked potato. Pasta entrees are accompanied with house salad.
The legacy of Garden Cove has grown considerably since the days of pirates, and that’s thanks in large part to the restaurant’s cameos throughout the Netflix series “Bloodline,” which wrapped the filming of its final season this spring. For years the cast of the show has eaten at the Buzzard’s Roost and, before leaving, took time to drop by and thank the staff and tell them how much they enjoyed filming in the Keys.
Visit the Buzzard’s Roost at 21 Garden Cove Dr., Key Largo. Netflix released season three of “Bloodline” on May 26.