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Key West Restaurants: 'A' to 'J' >  BobaLu's Southern Cafe




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BobaLu’s Southern Cafe (Southern Food)

Mile Marker 10, Big Coppit Key, Florida
Phone: (305) 296-1664
Payment: Cash Only


     Well, I’ve watched it come out of the oven and seen it placed on the table enough times while I partake of the southern fare, but I finally broke down and ordered the pizza at BabaLu’s. There are several excellent choices on the menu, but since my name is Doug and the Manager’s name is Doug and he named the pizza “Doug’s Pizza” I went for it. Thin crust with red sauce, bacon, garlic and, are you ready? Key West pink shrimp. I loved it and I’d order it again and again. If they weren’t 10 miles above Key West I would make this spot my exclusive pizza place, but when you live here 10 miles seems like a long trip. I had to order the fried okra, fish fingers and a pitcher (or 2) of beer to fill out the meal because I couldn’t avoid it. This is a southern food place with a Keys flare and there’s so much to chose from you can’t possibly order the pizza all by itself. If I’m impressed with all the other pizza options besides Doug’s I’ll let you know, but at this point BabaLu’s just gets better every time I go!

Doug Heyman in Key West
for the Food Reference Website



     I’m not sure those of you who visit the Florida Keys go far beyond your immediate surroundings when looking for a place to eat. You’re unfamiliar with the territory so it makes sense not to go too far off the main route. Fortunately there’s only one road that comes down to Key West and just 10 miles before arriving here there’s a great little spot on the side of that road called Babalu’s. A rough-hewn blue/green building surrounded by shuttered windows and marine paraphernalia will greet you.

     Since BobaLus isn’t in Key West proper it generally caters to locals but you know if the nearby residents like it, and they do, it will be a hit. The menu is so varied that you can eat everything from Keys specialties like grouper and shrimp to home cooking like meat loaf to southern choices like chicken fried steak with fried green tomatoes to pizza. I’ve sampled all of the aforementioned meals and have never been disappointed. I am partial to the coconut-encrusted grouper with their homemade rum sauce on the side.

     This is a family operated business and the people serving you are friendly and on top of what you need. When a family is involved most often they want to cook for you like you’re a part of that clan, so you get more than ample portions of hot tasty food and a warm environment to enjoy it in. The list of sides take up a huge grease board leaning on a chair back that they will set right in front of you. I mean okra, collards, mashed potatoes, peas, green beans, macaroni and cheese, corn, corn bread and the list goes on and on.

     I really do try to avoid desserts when I go out. You need to go to BobaLu’s with a friend so you can share and feel less guilt for indulging in your peach, apple or blueberry cobbler topped with ice cream or coconut cream pie. I said it was home cooking and Mom wouldn’t let you leave the table without a sweet finisher. Since I live in Key West proper I would tend to order my pizza at a venue a bit closer in rather then travel 10 miles, but when the only thin crust pizza on the Keys comes out of the oven it’s looking quite good and I don’t think you’ll be unhappy with that choice.

     There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you stop on the side of the road at mile marker 10. BobaLu’s only accepts cash and route 1 is a 2-lane road that is generally busy and not well lit. So keep the credit card in your pocket and enter and depart the parking lot with care. Enjoy!

Doug Heyman in Key West
for the Food Reference Website



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