Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 02-24-2011
“Drink more Cuban coffee. Do stupid things faster!” is the slogan of this specialty food shack.
I have no idea what the slogan means, but I can tell you that the Cuban Coffee Queen makes wicked good black beans and rice with unctuous garlicky pork Mojo ($6) in a serving enough for two small women or one hungry man whose wife isn’t looking. My first mate says the Cuban tuna sandwich ($6) was good — a burger made from fresh not canned tuna. We both vouch for the Pina ($6) fruit smoothie drink of pineapple, banana, liquid from a young coconut and probably something else. You can also get a young coconut and a straw and drink the coconut liquid straight — that’s $6 despite a typo or old price on the paper menu stating $3.
Our favorite dock hand at the Conch House Marina recommended this signature Key West shack dining establishment, telling us it is known for its breakfasts and Cuban coffee and for offering one of the best lunches under $10 in town. We observed lots of folks looking very happy as they drank their coffee but have not personally tried it.
Free wifi, cute benches with Key West’s signature roosters painted on them and a good lunch for $6? Our vote? Excellent low-budget choice. We’ll be back for more black beans and rice and those smoothies. An especially nice touch is a window on the other side of the shack that says “Locals Only.” During the peak-lunch hour, service can be slow, but it does give you plenty of time to people and rooster watch.
No walls, no ceilings, no tables, entertaining signage, and great cheap food. It doesn’t get more Key West than this.
The Cuban Coffee Queen is between Caroline Street and the big sponge and conch store on the harbor walk.
S/V Lady Jane