I am a Vegetarian and wanted to try Cuban Nachos but instead of pork, subsitute beans and rice--- They wouldn't do it...
They wouldn't leave the meat out of anything for me!
I ended up eating beans and rice... Which was pretty good but not for 8 dollars...
The Yucca is Yuk Ah (Tastes like glue...) and the Key Lime Pie is very very sour...
This restaurant was our favorite during our trip and actually among our top ten ever. We sat outside...........the weather and lighting(lanterns and candles) was perfect. Live music was playing during most of our time there. We waited a little extra (25 more minutes) for outdoor dining, but it was worth it. The restaurant is situated in mallory square where everyone is out and about. The prices were very reasonable and their food is delicious. It's the best cuban I have ever had.
The portions are big and I am glad that my daughter and I shared a meal. The service was great. We never had to ask for anything.
el meson de pepe is a good cuban restaurant located near mallory square on wall street. this restaurant has an interesting cuban/key west decor. try the ropa vieja (shreaded beef stew) and the black bean soup. like most restuarants in key west they also serve local seafood. moderately priced.
My husband and I were looking forward to some good Cuban food. Upon arriving, we must of sat at the door waiting to be seated for 10 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem waiting, but we were never even acknowledged by the three people who worked there, having a conversation at the bar and the restaurant was empty on the inside. I decided to approach them to see if they were "on-duty" and if the restaurant was actually not open and they were just waiting for us to go away. They seemed quite annoyed that i had interrupted them, and the girl who sat us huffed about it. Honestly, at that point, we probably should have just left. I don't remember anything tasting especially good, or the service to be anything to brag about. We arrived for dinner at exactly 5:00p.m., to beat the dinner rush, and we did. It seemed that once the restaurant started to get busy, we lost our waiter. After returning to our hotel that evening to digest before visiting some local bars, we both became sick to our stomach and had to stay in for the nite. I wouldn't recommend this place. I know there has to be GREAT cuban food nearby. My husband and I are returning the weekend after Thanksgiving and are looking forward to trying a few new places. We heard El Siboney is a family owned cuban restaurant that the locals frequent and really love. I'll let you know!
Favorite Dish: Didn't have one!
This restaurant is located a few steps off Mallory Square, with lots of outdoor seating, live music, great service, and delicious food (huge portions!). We will definitely go back!
Everything was delicious and portions were huge. We asked for a to-go box and made sandwiches the next day for lunch. Even cold, meat was very good!
Service was quick and our waitress was very helpful -- explained dishes to us, recommended good choices, and even provided a free sample!
Favorite Dish: #80 -- combination of three Cuban dishes
Appetizer -- fried pork with parsley
Mango smoothie (non-alcoholic)
We went to the location around the corner from Duval on Wall Street. It's dark inside even on a sunny day, but there's plenty of outdoor seating complete w/chickens wandering around. We sat in the courtyard across the little alley way from the restaurant with a fountain in the center of it. If you have kids, the roosters, hens, and baby chicks would keep them well entertained.
It was Christmas Day and we wanted Cuban food - the concierge found this one for us and we loved it. Given that they were open Christmas Day on a Sunday in the middle of the afternoon, I'd imagine they are rarely closed.
The ropa vieja (shredded beef) was excellent. We had a few seafood dishes that were also pretty good: the whole fried yellow fin tuna was good, though the breaded-fried grouper & black bean soup were a little salty. All entrees were served with white or yellow rice; sweet plaintains or fried yucca; and a cup of black beans.
Service was prompt, dishes came out quickly, prices were reasonable, good portions.
While you're browsing the menu, they bring out warm buttered bread and crackers with 2 dipping sauces (one slightly spicy) that we really liked. For dessert we had the guava cheesecake which was nice.
Favorite Dish: If you like ropa vieja (shredded beef with tomatoes and peppers), you'll like it here - very flavorful and moist...stewed to perfection!
We went to eat at El Meson De Pepe, which turned out to be a kind of Cuban restaurant cum museum. There were old pictures on the walls of Key West athletes of Cuban descent, and pictures of old bodegas, a model plane in the ceiling like one that someone made the flight from Cuba in about 1913 etc. There was also a setup for a band and a dance floor, but it was too early for that, or else they don't do that on Weds. Unfortunately, we do not really like Cuban cuisine much, although we do like Mexican.
Favorite Dish: They brought us bread (warm and already buttered), and round soda crackers with an oil based and a tomato based dipping sauce (both hot). Bob had shrimp (gambas) in yucca ($9.25), and I had tostado rellenos, which is stuffed plantains. There were four and each one about 3/4ths of a cup and stuffed with a different kind of meat ($8.50). One tasted like ground beef with green olives, one was pulled beef, one was pulled pork, and one had shrimp. Unfortunately the plantains were too woody and dry to eat. I was going to get fried plantains as a side dish, but I thought I could eat the stuffed ones, so I got plantain chips ($3.75) which Bob ate some of, but we didn't finish. The total bill was $23.11 before the tip.
At El Meson de Pepe they have a very large menu, http://www.elmesondepepe.com/index.htm here is a link to their menu so you can see for yourself just how scrumptious their menu is and how much you have to choose from. I did not know what to order and asked the server for a recommendation. She suggested the sampler of three different items on the menu. This restaurant has a section for everyone, Drinks, appetizers, soups, salads, side orders, house specialties, typical Cuban dishes, combination platters, fish and seafood, shrimp only, kids’ dishes, sandwiches, and desserts.
I was on the hunt for the best Mojito while I was in Key West. I found that I like the mango mojito’s and the regular mojito’s. Not all places have good mojito’s but this place is in the top 10.
You do not need to make reservations; there are tables inside and outside the restaurant with plenty of seating in both sections. The attire to wear for this restaurant is the same attire you wear in Key West, a button-up shirt and khaki shorts for the guys and a sundress for the ladies; very Key West.
Our server was very helpful and greeted us with a little history of the restaurant and the specials on the menu. Our server was also very tentative, friendly and knowledgeable about the items on the menu. Our drinks and appetizer made their way to our table in great time; we did not have to wait very long. The timing was excellent; as we finished our appetizers our dinner was ready to make its way to our table. Everything was delicious and well worth the price. When I make my way back to Key West I will defiantly go back and I recommend this restaurant to anyone going to Key West.
Favorite Dish: I ordered:
Cocktail Specialties – Mojito
Appetizer – Calamares a la Criolla - Crunchy fried squid served with tangy Creole sauce
Appetizer – Gambas a la Plancha - Tasty grilled jumbo shrimp in their natural shell. Suck, peel and eat them the "Cuban way"
Dinner – Completa de Caballo Grande - Sample our 3 most popular Cuban dishes: Lechon Asado, Ropa Vieja, and Picadillo
this is excellent Cuban food. I've tried this same style in Tampa, but not as good. have read other reviews, and agree that the shredded beef is awesome. my parents enjoy the dish where the description says that means "old clothes" or something like that. also love the plantain. forget what's in it other than bananas. but I feel that a sampler would be good for any first time visitors. that's what me a my parents did, and every year we went back, we knew what to order.
the bread and dipping sauces they bring out prior to the meal is great. is an authentic Cuban tradition from what I understand. they give you 2 choices of sauce. I prefer the spicier one with the garlic in it.
as other people mentioned, there is a live band that plays outside. but think it's after 4 pm....maybe later. but it is great to get dinner here, and wait for the sunset while at Mallory square. next door to the restaurant is a cigar factory. many times, I've stopped in and smoked a great cigar after an awesome meal, then watched the sunset.
we've been allowed to take our 10 pound dog to eat with us here. they insist you eat outside, but is worth it. she likes to chase around the native roosters that run around Key West. I understand the roosters are a species unto themselves, which makes them protected by law. so don't think about hurting them or anything dangerous.
on a scale of 1 to 10 I give Pepe's a 10, not only for food, but atmosphere.
Excellent!!!! Food was outstanding. It was so good we went 2 nights in a row. The service was great. Sat outside - there was a band playing at Mallory square, right by the patio, so we were even treated to live music.
Favorite Dish: Lechon Asado was delicious (pork dish). Also loved their appetizers (got sampler) and delicious Cuban bread. Don't forget to order a Mojito.
This Cuban restaurant is simply amazing. Because of its location off Mallory Square, we were a bit apprehensive thinking it would be a touristy place, and it was just a little bit, but this didn't matter once we got inside. The place is big, sprawling both inside and outside. The seating areas outside were pretty romantic and cool even on a humid night. There is a bar outside and a dancefloor that was populated by incredible dancers while an intense Cuban band played. The food was some of the best I've ever had and the service was friendly.
Favorite Dish: The Lechon Asado is wonderful.