Czarina's Royal Table
Olivia's at Old Key West

EXPLANATION OF SORTS: The Czarina is a Real Person who eats -- a lot -- at Disney World. She takes sole responsibility for her opinions stated below. Do let us know what you think about this column at eureka@eurekajim.org

My vote for best home cookin' in the World goes to OLIVIA'S at Old Key West. It's so good that I know Cast Members who make special pilgrimages here for down-home dining at fair prices.

Just walking into the big, breezy space overlooking the Old Key West Marina makes you feel relaxed. Jimmy Buffett fills the air and lazy palm fans rotate on the ceiling. The walls are covered with eccentric Key West souvenirs and photos sent in by hundreds of DVC members, from whom this place is a beloved neighborhood spot. Seating is at booths or tables, and there is an open-air patio where you can enjoy the breeze along with your
Mango Smoothie.

The breakfast menu includes Steak and Eggs at $10.79 and the usual selection of French Toast, pancakes and also an Eggbeater omelette with fruit on the side, all at around $8.00.

Standout lunch and dinner options include the Buttermilk Chicken Breast, deep-fried in the best Southern tradition, served with a mountain of creamy mashed potatoes and fresh, crisp green beans ($9.99 at lunch). This is truly the fried chicken of your dreams ­ and boneless too!

Another fabled entrée is the Chicken Pot Pie, a mammoth deep-dish affair with tons of chunk chicken, fresh vegetables and a puff pastry crust. ($9.99). At dinner, these two items are even larger than lunch ­ my advice is to share them. Sandwiches and fish dishes such as Mahi-Mahi and Blue Lump Crab Cakes are also delish. Starters include
authentic Conch Chowder and a creamy shrimp and artichoke dip.

Olivia's features specialty drinks such as the Turtle Krawl and the Sultry Seahorse from the nearby Gurgling Suitcase bar, and a very respectable wine list. Good beers, too, such as Key West Sunset Ale.

Dress is Key West casual ­ anything but swimsuits and bare feet goes. Desserts are presented on a tray for inspection, and I recommend the Key Lime Pie. Try it, I guarantee you'll leave humming Margaritaville.

October 2001

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