The Florida Keys boast some of the most iconic eateries and bars in the world.
Creative culinary minds elevate local seafood to new levels and celebrate contemporary fusion, Cuban, Caribbean, Asian, French and other international influences. Our chain of islands is one of the world’s top food and drink destinations.
In addition to the eats, the skilled professionals who define our local hospitality industry do much more than mix unique cocktails and serve delicious meals. These men and women are also our ambassadors, social directors, travel advisors and unlicensed — but often effective — therapists.
To celebrate our unique culinary culture, Keys Weekly brings you this bi-weekly feature to highlight the food, libations and local personalities that define our “must-try” destinations across the Florida Keys. Whether you’re a first-time tourist or fifth-generation local, be sure to indulge in something new or revisit a familiar favorite. And above all, support the local owners and employees who are vital to our Keys communities.
C&C Wood Fire Eats in Key Largo, co-owned by Jill and Mike Atwell, is known for its Neapolitan pizza. The pie comes out of the restaurant’s nearly 1,000-degree oak-burning stove. “But people have been coming in for our oysters,” said Mike Atwell. Specifically, these 15-ingredient Calabrian chili butter oysters, which are also roasted in the oak-burning stove. The Italian chili has a different flavor profile than Mexican chilis. “But they do pack a punch,” Jill Atwell pointed out. “Not too spicy. People love it, love it, love it.”
Oscar Solis, Chef/Manager
La Isla Taco Grill, Marathon
- How long have you been in the Keys?
Since January 31, 2021. Then we opened the taco truck soon after.
- How long have you been in the restaurant business?
About five years.
- Where are you from?
I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in El Paso, Texas.
- What’s your favorite part of the job?
That we create jobs. We have given opportunities to people from the U.S., Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.
- What’s the best advice that’s ever been given to you?
To thank God for what you have, keep fighting for your dreams, work hard and be happy.
- What’s the last thing you bought on Amazon?
- What’s the last thing you watched on Netflix?
Talk about a Key West combination. Wahlburgers’ Key Lime Margarita combines the best of both worlds — Key lime pie and margaritas.
“It’s made with coconut tequila, KeKe Key lime liqueur and sour mix,” said Wahlburgers manager Austin Bokop. “And of course the glass is rimmed with graham cracker to add a little extra sweetness to this liquified pie.”
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