Key (Lime) West

When we walked off the dock coming back from Dry Tortugas National Park, it was a very surreal moment.  We had just completed the goal that we had been working towards for almost 3 years!  We made it to all 59 National Parks!  We were beyond happy, but at the same time, we walked off that dock and landed into a full-blown an IDENTITY CRISIS.  Now what?!  We have been the “National Park People” for so long, what were we going to do?!

So, naturally, we decided to get some ice cream and talk it over.  Then it hit us – we will be food bloggers!!!  So, to get this party started, we decided to find the BEST KEY LIME ICE CREAM ON KEY WEST (Duval Street specifically).  So, please, kick back and enjoy our review of the best place to get your Key Lime fix at the end of the Florida Keys (And YES, we tried them ALL in one day… can you say, dream come true?!)

Mattheessen’s gets a few bonus points from us for being the ice cream that brought us to the idea.  The Key Lime was tasty enough for us to want to get some more.  So that is saying something, right?  We give them a solid 8/10 on the VieKey rating scale.  There are actually two locations on Duval street, so that says something – its a classic and they know how to run a business.

River Street Sweets was our next stop.  This is actually a franchised candy company out of Savannah Georgia, not JUST an ice-cream parlor.  We didn’t try them, but apparently they are famous for their pecan pralines.  We weren’t there for the pecans though.  The ice cream was good, but nothing that blew our minds.  We give it a 6/10 on the VieKey scale.

Across the street, we found the Boardwalk Frozen Custard.  Its a pretty unassuming little shop with cute blue awnings.  We were disappointed when we found out they don’t have a key lime custard.  However, they did have a key lime slushee AND a key lime sundae.  We decided to mix it up and go for the slushee, but looking back, I wish we would have just gone big and try both.  But at this point, our bellies (and our wallets) were struggling to keep up.  We will give it a valiant 5/10 on the VieKey scale – keep in mind, it isn’t really fair to compare slushee to ice cream.  But, life isn’t fair – what can you do?

Moving forward, we only sampled the key lime ice cream.  We realize that this may affect our rating, but it was all we could do to keep the experiment going.  Please dong judge us.

Kilwins fudge shop was VERY entertaining.  One of the cooks was busy making fudge and flipping and rolling and scraping in such beautiful ways.  It was difficult to turn away and focus on the task at hand – KEY LIME.  We got our samples and had a few laughs with the ice cream scooper friend.  Kind staff at this place!  Laughter always gives the tastes buds a boost and the scream here clocks in at an impressive 7.5/10.  Considering it is primarily a fudge shop, I thought they did very well!

While in hot pursuit of the best Key Lime ice cream, we couldn’t help but stop and notice the Key Lime cigars!  I honestly have never wanted to smoke more in my life!  We refrained and were satisfied with just a smell… mainly all I sniffed was the plastic wrapper, but I looked cool doing it, right?

Häagen-Dazs earned a mention here on our post, not because of anything they DID, but more of what they DIDN’T DO.  They don’t have key lime ice cream!!!  What kind of ice cream shop in KEY West doesn’t cary key lime scream?!  Makes me want to scream.  But we didn’t.  We just walked in, gave a disappointed sigh, and walked out.

As we reached the halfway point in our Duval Street crossing, we stumbled upon the Half Way Pit Stop.  This was our first run in with the chocolate-covered, frozen key lime pie on a stick.  Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?  Well, it was.  And now it is in my beautiful belly.

I very much so enjoyed the Key Lime Pie on a stick.  Again, it wasn’t ice cream, but a frozen Key Lime treat all the same – so we gave it a 8/10 on the VieKey scale.  Pretty dang good, if you ask me.

Further down the road, you will find Truval on Duval.  When we first walked up, there was literally nobody there.  The place was open, but there was nobody inside and nobody behind the counter.  We looked at all the flavors and immediately found the Key Lime.  We needed a taste!  Unwilling to give up on our goal of trying every Key Lime ice cream on Duval street, we waited.  We waited a solid 5-10 minutes before someone came to our sample rescue.  We tried it and were only mildly impressed (perhaps it was the impatience that was left on my tongue just before?).  We’ll give it a 6/10.

Our next stop is actually, hilarious to us.  I actually don’t know the name of this place.  But I do know you can get coffee, pizza, shawarma, burritos, fried chicken AND gelato.  I mean, with so many specializations, how could they NOT do a good job, right?  Wrong.

We are going to to go ahead and call it the Krispy Gelato shop, cause that is kind of what it tasted like.  The key lime gelato was a bit too krispy for us – 3/10 on the VieKey scale.

Still laughing about the Krispy Chicken Gelato Shop, we found Kermit’s.  We knew we found something good when the sign read “Key (west) Lime Shoppe”.  These people knew what they were about.

Be careful!  There is so much key lime going on in this shop, you may just sample your self to death.  We had fun trying all the little treats.  But, we were sure to keep our eyes on the prize and tested the key lime ice cream.  And guess what?  It was AMAZING.

So, this ice cream earned a solid 9.5/10!  It was delicious.  Perfect combination of sweet and tart (more on the tart side which weighs heavily on the VieKey scale).  It was delicious.  I wished that I had started on this end of the street to start out with a full cone of this perfect ice cream goodness.  But, there is a huge caveat to this deliciousness – they didn’t make it in house!  It is actually from the ice cream shop down the road!  This was actually our next, and final, stop.

They also sold Key Lime Barbecue Sauce, but since we blew our whole month’s treat budget in one day, we will have to try the BBQ later.  I guess that means we have to come back, right?!

Flamingo Crossing Ice Cream.  They don’t have a website I can point you to, but their address is 1105 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040.  DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE.  The store vibe was great, and the Key Lime ice cream was even better.  This is the place to get your Key Lime, people!

If you can’t tell, we had a BLAST in Key West.  We met fun people, enjoyed the atmosphere of a lot of interesting shops, and just laughed and laughed.  With our bellies full of ice cream, and our hearts full of love and gratitude, we watched the sunset change the colors of the sky on our last day on our National Park road trip (and our first day as food bloggers).


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