There are many restaurants in Key West. Many have their own motif and culture as well as Key West “color”. The Rum Barrel is one of these places. One of a conglomerate of establishments owned by the same “guy” I guess you would say. It has a very colorful “pirate” theme which played into its neighbor (also the same co.) the Pirate Soul Museum, which is no longer open I might add, but the Rum Barrel carries on for its fallen pirate. Since it opened 8 or so years ago it has always been one of many lunch stops for me due to its proximity from the marina and our charter boats. Now for years there were many things on the menu that were excellent. The cheesesteak was always awesome, killer steak fries, great appetizers, and the burger was one of the better burgers in town. Now, well, not so much, and I think I may have an idea of why. In many aspects of the restaurant business you find that the quality of food that leaves the kitchen is almost solely dependent on the kitchen management. In turn the food ordered followed by how it is handled, prepared, and served starts with the head of the kitchen. I will tell you now before I get into the rating of this burger that this was one of the lowest quality of burgers in Key West I have had in a long time. So its my belief that the beings running the kitchen are probably not the same people who were behind the good food that was put out over the last how ever many years since its opening. I also noticed a complete menu change as well which leads me to my assumption.
Well, on to the burger. Three words will sum up the burger I ate last week. “Order A Cheesesteak!” I’m serious. It was very dry, extremely overcooked, and pretty much tasteless. If I had ordered it raw it might have come out medium, because medium came out “well overdone”. Between the bun and the patty it was no better than any fast-food $4.00 special. I know sometimes you don’t get them all right, but three of us ordered three different burgers, and all three came out looking and tasting the same. At least the TLO and pickle were fresh, I’ll give that to them. Their steak fries haven’t changed a bit though, which is at least something good about it.
So, there is no need to go on about this one anymore. Like I said this burger used to be a very good one and I was surprised of how much it has has changed. Maybe your experience, if you dare to walk the plank and try it, will be different. I say just “Order A Cheesesteak”.
Bun – 4 – very dry
Patty – 3 – way too overcooked and almost tasteless
TLO – 7 – fresh crisp veggies
Fries – 8- the fries are still killer
I give it a score of 4.5 because not all was lost