Donuts in hand, Sarah and I switched our focus over to lunch (yes, the donuts alone could've been lunch..). As we were driving around, I asked her about a restaurant that was emblematic of her experience growing up in the area, one place did stand out, though more so as a memory of one of her favourite places outside of Ohio: Key West.
And so we drove over to neighbouring Heath to Pappy's Grill on 79, which just recently celebrated its first anniversary. I've been to Florida before, but never Key West, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. If I can summarise my initial reaction as soon as we stepped in, I think it would simply be: chillax. With bright pastels and a rather open floor plan, stepping foot into Pappy's certainly didn't feel like we were stepping into Ohio.
Rather than dine in the main part of the restaurant in sight of the kitchen, we headed to the enclosed outdoor patio which felt like it had an entirely different (yet chillaxed) environment. It was an environment that reminded me of a low-key, casual summer afternoon block party. With a cool breeze and a feeling of isolation from the busy street outside, both dining environments are two of Pappy's strong points.
If you go to a restaurant that is thematically Key West, it only seems logical that the quintessential food staple of the region should make an appearance at some point. (Aside: according to the aforementioned link, did you know that it took about 12 years before key lime pie was recognised as the state pie of Florida?) And so, purposefully forgetting the fact we still had a bunch of donuts to try, we did get a slice of key lime pie, which was definitely worth trying. As we savoured the pie bite by bite, Sarah explained that of there are many peculiarities of key lime pie, but the major point of contention is, of all things, whether or not to top off the pie with whipped cream. After many tastes, it dawned on me that my conception of key lime pie (and even my vague recollection of a lime pie I once made) was that it would be a bit more tart, a nuanced flavour that was cut down by the cream that topped off this pie. This being said, it was still an overall tasty slice of pie, and ending with dessert (let alone with this one) was a great way to end my first visit to Pappy's and indeed a great afternoon of food. For the above photos via Facebook, click here.