Key West >Food & Dining > Louie's Backyard
700 Waddell Ave, Key West, FL | Directions 3304024.547313 -81.792450
Daily 11:30am-3pm and 6-10:30pm
okk – this place is in a great location and has an awesome view but the food is way too overpriced and the staff is rude like the others say!! step it up louie's !
Id rather not – When I called to make a reservation they girl was very rude and the wait staff seemed like they had better things to do..the food was ok but over priced
Wonder view and good food - Host not friendly – This place (coverted house) has a wonderful back porch and deck that overlooks the water on the south end of the island.
We went for Sunday brunch in February 2011. The food and service was good. No alcohol until noon - so we waited to order and just took in the view of the water from the upper deck.
My only complaint is that the host wanted to seat us in the full sun on a hot day even though there were other tables with umbrellas or not in the sun. We asked to move and he and our initial waiter seemed miffed. At rfirst I thought we were perhaps being unreasonable, however, it was good to see that as other diners arrived (and he tried to seat them in the sun) they protested as well and moved to other tables. Each time the host seemed miffed - I guess he just does not get it. They need to work on the way the staff interacts with patrons.
Worst Restaurant Experience EVER! – If I could give this restaurant ZERO stars, I would! We were HORRIBLY insulted!!!
To make a VERY long story short, from the moment we arrived to the restaurant, the staff seemed arrogant and rude. We made a reservation for 13 and when we went upstairs, we found two separate round tables. We mentioned to the host/manager (still trying to figure out whether he's the owner) that we thought we'd be seated together, and we were then told that when one makes a reservation for any number of people, you should always ask whether the party will be seated together. We then simply asked whether there was a way the two tables could be pushed together, and we were told he didn't like the way it would make the restaurant look and that he did not appreciate us trying tell him how to run his business..
At that point, we obviously decided it was best for us to leave and when we told the host/manager that we felt it was an inappropriate way to treat patrons, he said our party was not important when he had another 20 people waiting to be seated. While we were walking away, he and other staff members proceeded to call us extremely vulgar and insulting names. It was absolutely the most incredible, offensive, disrespectful and abusive experience at a restaurant any of us had ever experienced!
To sum it up, most of the people in our group have eaten at the best restaurants across the world and have NEVER been treated this way. Because this restaurant is such a tourist trap and knows they will continue to get business, they do not value their customers and simply, DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!!!
Needless to say, we, nor anybody we've told our story to will NEVER return to this ungracious, classless and vulgar restaurant, and I am willing to beg you not to either.
disrespectful owner – we have always loved going to louies backyard UNTIL new years day 2010. our waiter took my wine glass w/o taking drink orders. when i asked him to bring my wine glass back because i would be drinking wine, he began speaking in a loud tone "it is the law to card, i need to see your id," i said i didn't mind showing him my id at all, but he should have asked me first, before taking my wine glass. long story short, the owner ended up coming over yelling at me "hunny you look 12!" which i found EXTREMELY offensive. how dare anyone, let alone the owner, speak about my age/appearance in a negative tone. the bottom line is be careful. the owner is rude and disrespectful. we simply wanted a different waiter - and the owner ends up at our table shrieking about how young i look?beware all women that don't look 21...
Still a Favorite – While I don't think the food is as memorable as it was when I first dined there in the early 90's, when you add location and ambience, Louie's Backyard is still on my list of can't miss dining spots in Key West. 2007 broke a string of 10 consecutive years visiting Key West so I can not address the reviews written that year; I can only say we never had a bad or poorly prepared meal nor were we ever treated badly or ignored by the staff. We'll be back in July and dinner at Louie's is top of the list.
service could have been better – The food was good, service(that night anyway) marginal. First it's are you ready, are you ready to order ? then we can't find her when it's time to order. The next door neighbor was grilling outside and the smoke forced us inside as there were no other tables. Not bad, but I think once is enough at Louie's
Doug Shook kicks Louie's into high gear. – Having recently returned from Key West October 18, 2007, I can say with gratitude that Louie's Backyard has defied time and is as great as ever. The last time I dined at Louie's was 20 years ago, shortly after Doug Shook took over as Executive Chef. Being in the restaurant business, Louie's those many years back, seemed like a jewel from the ocean, an oasis from the tourist environment of Duval Street. During this last visit I must have had 5 dinners and 2 lunches simply because no other on the island could deliver such consistently delicious food and gracious service. Each day Chef Shook fillets the freshest fish possible, caught and delivered by his fisherman. There may be fresh grouper served over braised red chard and brought together by a multi-layered vegetable demi-glace, or hog fish served over white chantrelle mushrooms, the lunch and evening "specials" are just that, very special. You must try their Bahamian Conch Chowder with Bird Pepper Hot Sauce. I have had other chowders that are OK, but come up short of the complete flavors of Louie's take on this dish. Other dinner entrees that have all been exemplary included Sauteed Veal Sweetbreads as tender as anyone could want; Pan Roasted Young Chicken that was as perfectly cooked as any chicken I have had and served with a melange of Artichokes, Eggpplant, and crist Roasted Fingerling Potatoes. A very special salad, not available outside of tomato season, brings together diced watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, and goat cheese. But it was layered in a circular ring with the goat cheese on the botton, the tomatoes and watermelon on top, placed on a bed of arugula and "sprikled" with balsamic jelly, not just the usual balsamic vinaigrette. It was truely inspired. Sevice was exemplary. I was made to feel as though I had walked into my own home. Wait staff were friednly, excited about the food served, and helpfull in every way that I could expect. Coupled with the ocean view, Louie's remains very special indeed.
Thumbs Down from a Restaurateur – As a veterean restaurateur, I am overly understanding of the dificulties of running a restaurant. Five of us went to Louie's Backyard in Key West because I was there years ago and loved it, but when I and another guest at our table of 5 ordered our Shrimp entrees "Well Done" because we (the paying guests) just like it that way...I was told by our server "oh, don't worry they cook it." Guess what, it came out not "Well Done." The server stopped by to ask how our meal was. I said "not cooked enough" (but who wants to wait for a sauced entree to be completely re-made while the rest of the table is already eating.) No manager ever stopped by to ask how our meal was. Experience ruined...and a couple hundred dollars wasted.
I Just read another review about Louie's on the web and now I am REALLY GLAD a manager never stopped by our table. Seems a diner from Chicago tried to return an unsatisfactory meal..Diner was told by mgr he couldn't and would have to pay for it...he was told Police would be called...they were, Guest was threatened with arrest if he didn't pay for meal. (I would have comp'd guests meal AND given a free return card...but that's just me, who's made lots of $ in this biz) I asked the concierge at our hotel what is going on at Louie's Backyard. He said they are arrogant and he stopped sending hotel guests there. Restaurant's like Louie's give a bad name to to other restaurants who treat people with respect. Yes, Louie's food is creative, but good food + poor treatment = a bad experience, and there are plenty of other places to get "a great meal" in Key West.
Don't bother. Lots of better places in KW. – I am an experienced resaurant critic and I would not usually take the step to write a review like this but if I can save just one person from wasting their time and monay at Louie's Backyard, it will have been worth it. Well, where to start! How about the arrogant hosts and wait staff that assume you know nothing about food or wine. Then let's move on to the food. I went back twice just to make sure I was not getting an off night. It seems as though every night is an off night. The chef can not get the propoer balance of seasoning on any dish I tried. Salads had limp greens. The lamb chops were overdone. The steak was tough and cold. Shrimp was rubbery. Need I go on? I don't know where the good reviews are coming from but I suspect employees? AVOID LOUIE"S!!!
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