OK, so I was a little disappointed when I realized Hemingway’s Island Grille was based off his Cuba phase, not his African safari phase. No matter, I’m down with Cuba, SORRY AMERICA. Cuban food made in America, at least. That’s better, isn’t it, America?
Google Translate is telling me that means:
I ate in Hemingway’s Island Grille at Pensacola, Florida tonight. My here review is.
Started with a mango margarita, composed of Monin mango syrup, 1800 tequila, and a bit of fresh mango. Not bad, but could’ve had more tequila. Duh. Except, really. Didn’t taste the tequila at all, and wouldn’t you want to actually taste the 1800 for which you’re paying?
(sǝʎ :uoıʇsǝnb ǝʌoqɐ oʇ ɹǝʍsuɐ)
Followed with onion straws, which were oddly good. Each individual.. er.. string was so thin and individual and basically not clumpy. The “key lime mustard sauce” tasted more like a mayonnaise-overloaded honey mustard with some odd spice that I couldn’t place but which didn’t really.. fit. We both ended up eating the onion “spirals” naked.
Then.. lobster bisque! Tiny bowl for the price compared to the bowl size and its price.. But it was good! Not the best, ’twas a little grainy.. But all in all, not bad. Not bad at all. I managed to drop the plastic wrapped-crackers off the edge of the patio, though, of course. That’s my shout out to you, plastic-wrapped crackers.
AND THEN. A backstory. When in Rome (seriously), I had these langostino lobster ravioli that were absolutely, utterly divine. And yes, I know I say “utterly” a lot on here. It was followed by an amaretto gelato that didn’t help my skewed memory of the meal, but nonetheless, it was fabulous. I’ve been wanting a copycat ever since.. I ordered Hemingway’s ravioli in hopes, but meh, they definitely fell short. First of all, on the menu, it reads they come with chopped tomatoes. Cool. Sounds good. I can dig chopped tomatoes. But when it came out, I ate without hesitation but then.. hesitation. Bloody raw red bell peppers?
“Nooooooooooooooooo!” I cried, to the dismay of the server, the shock of the patrons. “Nooo! It cannot be; it is not written!” They stared at me as though I were alien, unwelcome.
Raw red bell peppers? No, thank you. Whatever. I scooped them off and continued. The sauce was theoretically a cream brandy sauce but meh, it would’ve been better with sherry. In fact, I didn’t taste the brandy, it was just oversalted. Sherry, people. Sherry.
Then, dangerous woman that I am, I had a taste of my “dining partner’s” (as my mother wishes to be called) blackened mahi mahi. And to my sad guttural dismay, I found a massive pinbone in the fish, the size of twenty THOUSAND pins stuck together. Maybe not, but check it out!:
The best part, though, was that it was nearly the same size as the mini giant squid I found on the beach the first day. For all of you non-news watchers, giant squids have been popping up quite a bit on the Pacific coast, and I feel someone was trying to make me feel included on the Gulf. No matter, the squid now lives with the bone, and they have a popular animated series by the name of “Bone and Squid”. The theme song goes “Bone and squid, bone and squid, we’re gonna get together again! Bone and squid, bone and squid, two different species but we make it work!”
Anyway, I alerted the waitress and threw in the “though of course you didn’t know I was a food blogger”, just for clout’s sake (see that who raised me), and the manager came a-comin’. He took care of it and all, apologized for the nail-bone and the red peppers, and all was good. Apparently someone new was getting creative in the kitchen. And to them, I have this message:
STOP. Bitter crunchy red bell peppers do not work with the lobster ravioli. And while you’re at it, stop throwing the lobster in the food processor. Leave some to taste. Add more cheese, make it moister. Add sherry to the sauce; I can hardly taste the brandy. The key lime pie you say? I should try it? Well, to you I say the crust was too thick, the plated cinnamon sprinkling too.. raw. To you I say.. plate differently. Not a fan of the raw cinnamon casually sprinkled atop the mediocre key lime filling.
All in all? Not the best dining experience but.. quite pleased with the service. Would go back.
Just to see.