American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
Divine Desserts in Key West
If you've read my American Nomad posts before, then you might already suspect that I have a bit of an obsession with food. I could blame it on my husband, Dan, who's an excellent cook, but I'd be kidding myself. Growing up in New Orleans, where good food is paramount, I was surrounded all year long by tasty vittles, from boiled crawfish to shrimp po-boys to pecan pralines. So, it's no wonder that, in the past ten months, I've written about all sorts of cuisine, including muffulettas and raw oysters in New Orleans, enormous steaks in Amarillo, barbecued ribs in Memphis, cherry chipotle salsa and fruit preserves in Michigan, stuffed pizza in Chicago, key lime pie in Key West, all-you-can-eat buffets in Las Vegas, and sushi in Los Angeles.
Well, now I have a new favorite restaurant. On my last research trip to Key West, in preparation for my upcoming Moon Florida Keys guide, Dan and I happened upon a romantic hideaway in Bahama Village. Not far from busy Duval Street, the main drag of Key West's Old Town, lies an intimate, dimly lit, bordello-style lounge and restaurant that focuses exclusively on fine wine and unforgettable desserts. Dubbed Better Than Sex (411 Petronia St., 305/296-8102, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Tues.-Sun. Christmas-Easter, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Wed.-Sun. Apr.-Dec.) by the husband-and-wife team who owns and operates it, this sensual place is all about indulgence and romance. Merging their considerable skills, the former disc jockey and the third-generation baker have created a one-of-a-kind, exotic oasis for those who love the more decadent things in life.
With red curtains, glowing candles, opulent chandeliers, and live guitar music, Better Than Sex provides the perfect setting in which to enjoy a medley of delights, from a glass of dark chocolate-rimmed Merlot to enormous warm chocolate brownies. In keeping with the light-hearted, ultra-romantic theme, the menu features clever names like “Cookie Nookie Pie,” “The Missionary Crisp,” and “Sugar Daddy Cheesecake,” not to mention sensual descriptions like the “Better Than Sex” one: “Deep. Dark. Chocolate. Penetrates big bold Bing cherries swimming in a ménage à trois of chocolates and baked dark dense almond bread and butter. A Bread Pudding that melts in your mouth.” This naughty sense of humor permeates the entire menu, where you'll spy notations like, “No separate checks please. We believe in bondage.” Such playful deviance even carries over to the blackboard, where the nightly special is called “tonight's one-night stand.”
Of course, such impishness makes Better Than Sex an ideal place for lovers or first dates – not families on vacation – which made it more than appealing to us. So, after dinner one night, we headed over to this dessert mecca, where we decided to share two winning creations: the “Peanut Butter Perversion” (pictured above), a peanut butter silk pie on a chocolate chip cookie dough crust, and the “Kinky Key Lime Pie,” a fluffy, lime chiffon mousse pie with macadamia nuts – surely the best, and most original, key lime pie in town. Both were excellent choices, as was the libation I ordered, a sparkling red Dolce Stilnovo Moscato in a white chocolate-rimmed champagne flute. Ooh-la-la indeed!
The only advice I'd offer is to skip dinner altogether before heading to Better Than Sex. Given how full we felt upon leaving, we certainly wish we had. Also, although you can probably walk in without a reservation, as we did, advanced reservations are a must for large groups and for special occasions like Valentine's Day.
For more information about Key West's unique restaurants, consult the Key West Chamber of Commerce (510 Greene St., 1st Fl., Key West, 305/294-2587) or the Florida Keys Dining Guide – and savor your next visit to the Florida Keys!
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Photo / Text © 2010 Laura Martone