Review of Key West Shrimp House – Madison, Indiana
I visited the Key West Shrimp House for dinner July 29, 2009. First impression: “Cozy, quaint and comfortable. The restaurant was very busy so I did not ask to take pictures of the inside. It looked and sounded like a lot of tourists and/or visitors from out-of-state, possibly residents of the Riverboat Inn that sits on the hill just above the Key West Shrimp House. I noticed license plates from Ohio, Kentucky and Idaho, and overheard a man from the table next to me saying: “She picked this place out off the internet.” Was I ease-dropping? No. He talked so loud I could hear every word. He also said: “The doctor tells me I need to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.” “I don’t know how I am going to manage that.”
I ordered Shrimp-In-A-Net for $ 12.99. The meal included one trip to the salad bar, French fries or rice (I chose French fries) and a bowl full of fat, juicy shrimp. The waitress brought shrimp wrapped up in a net and poured them out in the bowl she delivered to my table. I said: “they are alive.” I forgot to ask “why” on serving them this way. The sauce was a little on the hot side, but not too hot that I could not stand it, and the shrimp were very good size pieces of shrimp about ten pieces total I believe.
From the salad bar I chose bean salad, slaw, a corn salad and a potato salad. There were also fixings for regular salads of tomatoes, lettuce and the usual things at a salad bar.
I just sat like nobody’s business and as if a tourist from out-of-state as well. I enjoyed myself immensely and relaxed as I munched on the French fries and shrimp. I had to peel the outside off the shrimp. I never order anything deep fried. My drink was water with lemon (always saves a few bucks and makes a very good lemon drink with artificial sweetener added).
My impression of the food: Excellent. I will definitely eat there again, and especially when I crave good shrimp. I will try something different off the menu next time.
My impression of the service: Excellent. They required no reservation. The restaurant was busy, but fairly large so I did not have to wait for a table. Everyone was friendly and courteous.
There is a small entrance where you wait to be seated. While being seated, I passed through the main dining room, which was longer than wide (a lot like the shotgun style houses, but wider). In this dining room there were the restrooms and the salad bar. The next room had a bar with stools where I suppose you could sit and have a drink or drinks. There were several different size tables set up in this area. I sat by the window. A couple steps up lead to another dining room with windows all around.
The Key West Shrimp House is a family owned and family oriented business. It is located at 117 Ferry Street. The menu had a wide variety of seafood as well as steaks and chicken. Their specialty is shrimp. This restaurant has a nice view of the Ohio River from the very main back dining room where there are windows on three sides of the room.
The history of this building goes back to being built in the late 1800’s as are many of Madison’s old buildings. It was the button factory where mussel shells were brought from the river and mother of pearl buttons were punched out of the shells. The owners of Key West Shrimp House say no changes have been made in the basic original structure. The lower level looks very much like the construction of old Roman walls from pre-Christian days.
If you like camping out rather than staying in motels, hotels or a bed and breakfast suite, you can camp out just across the street from the Key West Shrimp House and on the banks of the Ohio River. After dinner, I took some pictures of the area surrounding the restaurant.
From the looks of their wine list, they serve wine from far and near. The list included (this is by far not a complete list):
White Wine: Mystique, Madison Vineyards is a sweet white wine made from their estate grown grapes; Chardonnay, Chateau St. Jean (Sonoma Valley, California); Piesporter Goldtropfchen Spatlese, Leonard Kreusch, Germany is light and fruity with floral scents.
Red Wine: Beaujolais-Villages, Louis Jadot (Beaune, Cote d’or, France) is light and fruity; Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Opal (Australia) is rich and soft with depth of fruit and oak with a soft tannish finish.
They had seven different brands of beer on the menu, as well as twenty-seven mixed drinks. As stated above, I drank water. I was driving and I do not drink and drive, not even one glass of wine.
Final impression: This is a great place to eat and especially if you like shrimp!
Written by: Connie S. Limon
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