The Best Coffee in Town, Key West, Florida

It can be a real challenge to find the best coffee in Key West. It’s a big town for coffee, especially Cuban style cafe con leche, and there seem to be a million choices. You can wander from place to place, drinking coffee, taking notes, and getting progressively more wired. Or you can cut the Gordian Knot and google “best coffee in town.” That miraculously takes you to The Best Coffee in Town, a tiny carryout set cheek by jowl with a laundromat. (We noted the local marriage of great carryout and laundromat in our review of Sandy’s at the M & M Laundromat. The combination makes great sense — something to eat white you wash and dry (or the machines do it all) has obvious attractions.)

As I said, Cuban coffee is coffee with milk. I tried the Best Coffee in Town’s Cuban coffee and thought it was the best Cuban coffee I’d ever had. Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert in Cuban coffee. The last time I’d had coffee with milk was in 1973 in Newark, New Jersey, when I foolishly ordered coffee at a food cart and blithely said, “Sure!” when the guy asked if I wanted a “regular coffee.” I drink coffee, ideally coffee with chicory, black, or perhaps black with a drop of Tabasco sauce.

But there’s more to The Best Coffee in Town than coffee. They also have sandwiches, and on our last morning in Key West, Nancy and I got together again (after our dinner at the Cafe at Louie’s Backyard ) with our co-grandparents, Sue and David Boyd, for breakfast sandwiches from The Best Coffee in Town. Nancy and I stayed on a day so after the young people left so that we could spend time with Sue and David.

Back to the sandwiches. Sue picked up two sandwiches — a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and a chorizo, egg, and cheese — for David and me to split. Behold them.

I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as these sandwiches. The chorizo sandwich was delicious, more peppery and complex than the bacon version. On the other hand, the bacon version was cheesier, and it, well, had bacon. Take your pick. Both sandwiches were great, and they highlighted the special quality of pressed Cuban bread. The fillings were excellent, but the bread raised the sandwiches to another level, beyond the fussy croissant or the stuffy English muffin. The pressed Cuban bread even approaches, albeit at a distance, the magisterial cat head biscuits of the Oak Level Cafe and Flo’s. Excellent.

The Best Coffee in Town also offers a Cuban sandwich, and a Cuban tamale. I’ve never had a Cuban tamale. I’ll explore the menu further on our next trip — for sure. I may also re-test a breakfast sandwich or two, just for consistency. I may indeed. You should try The Best Coffee in Town.

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