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No Name Pub

Pizza in Florida? I know, it doesn’t make any sense. And it’s not like Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona where you’re like, “wha?” but it’s all artisanal and quite possibly the best pizza in the entire nation (not that I know this first hand).

PubpizzaNo, this was total childhood pizza, neither deep dish thick nor NYC skinny. ‘80s pizza is doughy yet still fairly crispy on the bottom. Kind of stiff, some might say cardboard-like. And there’s a buttload of cheese, what would pass for extra cheese anywhere else.

Despite being touristy as anything, No Name Pub where the gimmick is to inexplicably staple a dollar bill on any surface, became our Keys dinner destination. The little I saw of Key West was scary in a Beale St./Bourbon St., whatever other B street filled with frozen drink revelers, way. We didn’t have time to dig for charm. And it took so long to get there that by the time we turned around and left it was already approaching 10pm. I feared it might be slim pickings on Rt. 1 Sunday night. So, we hightailed it to Big Pine Key hoping that the pub in their name might save us with a reasonable closing time (11pm, as it turned out).

PubwallWrong as it seemed, pizza definitely appeared to be their thing. Everyone had pies on their tables, along with pitchers of beer. I always take the opportunity to order a pitcher since they tend to be scarce in NYC. Plus, they’d already turned off the deep fryer, which ruled out most of the seafood side of the menu. It was our second attempt that day to try conch fritters. A pier side bar we’d stopped at earlier claimed to have run out. It was very suspicious. Did we look like people who should be denied conch fritters?

I can’t believe I got my way with the ham and pineapple, maybe James was too beat to argue. It’s not always easy convincing others of the beauty of “Hawaiian” food.

And the best part was the pitch black, windy drive on back roads back to the main highway. On the way down, I’d thought all the signs about deer crossing were bullshit (it’s not like I saw any alligators) but it turns out key deer are real, not a jackalope farce. All sorts of tiny, german shepherd-sized creatures popped into bushes as we drove past.

No Name Pub * North Watson Blvd., Big Pine Key, FL

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