Papa, Six-toed kitties & Bulgogi

Close to heaven here. Okay, in comparison to the -20 my Ottawa friends reported this morning. We woke at leisure…no puppy breath or tongue down the throat. No kitty wailing at the horror of not being fed at 5 am.

It promises to be 27 degrees in Key West today and at 10 am it looks promising.  We decide to walk over to the Hemingway Home around the corner to explore a bit. The grounds are small, the house while not overly large lends itself to the traditional Key West architecture, shuttered, hurricane-chic style of most places in the Key. Stately palms wave gracefully in the breeze and moisture permeates every nook and cranny of the estate.

IMG_3360 (1 of 3)The house itself disappoints. It has not preserved the essence of Hemingway. It seems a bunch of crazy cat ladies have  redecorated. I’m 100% sure Ernest did not hang lace cafe curtains in his kitchen that are adorned with cats. The conspicuous computer in the kitchen being a total “zipper in the monkey suit”.

What does make the estate special are the cats. Many descendants, from the original six-toed cat Hemingway received from a ship’s captain,  roam the property. They are part of the landscape.

IMG_3376 (2 of 3)50 cats currently reside there. Some are altered and a few are allowed to breed to continue the colony. According to Wikipedia, half the cats are polydactly but all carry the gene. The property hosts a cat cemetery. Hemingway named the cats after famous people and the tradition continues.

Lots going on in those paws...Since we rose late, we opted only for lunch today. Another triple D joint, Garbo’s Grill. Garbo’s, basically a food truck parked on Caroline Street,  backs on to another property which hosts a bar, shady seating and restrooms. Tacos are ordered and will take 15 minutes. Drinks are on ice in the cooler. Wanna beer? Head into the bar.

IMG_3401 (4 of 5)The bulgogi tacos are absolutely excellent, spicy with sriracha, juicy and over full. Purple cabbage adds a nice crunch.

IMG_3403 (3 of 5)We also got an order of shrimp and fish tacos which was overkill. We did not realize these were 6 inch tacos, not 3 inch. The shrimp tacos were fine, but I find that deep fried shrimp are better suited to this treatment.

IMG_3407 (1 of 5)The fish tacos had very generous portions of excellent, meaty fish, cabbage and thin slices of ripe mango, topped with a creamy dressing.

IMG_3405 (2 of 5)Time to walk back to the inn, order a classic marg and chill by the pool on this gorgeous day.

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