Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Wynwood, Fort Lauderdale, Islamorada. Wait, what? Islamorada? In my never ending quest to find good food, in this case a good brunch, I headed to Chef Michael's in Islamorada. And why not? It's a beautiful drive. People come from all over the world to visit the Keys and all we have to do is hop in the car. So I did!

The motto at Chef Michael's is peace, love and hogfish, so it was no surprise one of his signature brunch dishes is a hogfish Benedict ($15). It's your usual "Benny" made with an English muffin and hollandaise sauce. But instead of bacon or ham this one comes with…you guessed it, little bits of seared hogfish. At first glance I thought fish and eggs might be a weird combo but I was sooooo wrong. The hogfish is so fresh there's nothing fishy about this traditional breakfast/brunch dish. Usually Chef Michael's features a quiche special for brunch. The day of my visit it was a chorizo, ricotta, and spinach quiche which was amaze balls. The meal ended with a danish apple souffle pancake ($12), sort of like a fluffy pancake topped with caramelized cinnamon apples. It didn't even need syrup.

Looking around the cozy dining room I saw tourists and locals alike. One group was even celebrating a birthday. Then, I noticed the strangest thing. The 2 kids in the room were playing with Etch-a-Sketches, no iPhones or iPads, good old fashioned Etch-a-Sketches. The restaurant provides them as entertainment for their younger patrons. And that my friends is what people love about the Florida Keys, its simplicity.

Peace, Love, Hogfish.

Belkys Best Bite: Hogfish Benedict

Chef Michael's
81671 Overseas Highway
MM 81 Oceanside
Islamorada, FL 33036

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