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“Beautiful Sunset Location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Louie's Backyard

Louie's Backyard
700 Waddell Ave, Key West, FL 33040-4729
305 294 1061
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Ranked #82 of 365 Restaurants in Key West
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: American, Caribbean, International, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
West Palm Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Beautiful Sunset Location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

We happened upon Louie's and decided to have a drink. It's the perfect spot as the sun sets, with a deck overlooking and basically overhanging the surf. We grabbed the last table right against the railing....perfectly serene. My husband said his rum runner was below avg. (I thought it was tasty) and I had a good margarita. My only complaint is the service. While our waitress was nice when she took our order and delivered our drinks, she never came back. We sat for more than an hour with no attention whatsoever. No pressure to order more drinks here! So we just enjoyed our front row seats and slowly sipped our melting ice. Drinks were reasonably priced by our South Florida standards. Great happy hour spot, to drink or not.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Worth the money”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Great food well served beautiful surroundings. This is one of the most gracious places in the country . The food is of very high quality beautifully plated and they do not clear till everyone is finished .oh you don't get manners like this anymore . Really enjoy and treat yourself it's worth it!

Visited July 2013
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Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Ruined by Rudeness”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We went to Louie's Backyard to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on the recommendation of our hotel concierge. We told him we wanted a romantic restaurant on the water with great seafood. We read several mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, but decided to listen to the glowing recommendation from our concierge as well as an acquaintance who had lived in the Keys and told us that restaurants come and go all the time in Key West, but Louie's has been there forever because it is so outstanding. WELL..... Our 25th anniversary dinner was ruined at Louie's. Our concierge, when making the reservation a week in advance for us requested a table on the deck with a nice view of the water. I called to confirm that was done, and the concierge called again the day of our anniversary to confirm the reservation and request. So, 3 times, Louie's was called to confirm that we'd requested a table with a nice view of the water for our 25th anniversary. Our reservation time was 7:30. We arrived at 7:20. The maitre d', as others have mentioned, was a dour man who barely looked up at us. We were seated immediately to what was probably the WORST table on the deck. It was back in a corner with NO view of the water because it was tucked away behind thick foliage, and there was an unsightly old, rusty, white large box fan sitting right next to the table (probably because there was no hint of a breeze as it was tucked away in the corner.) Before even sitting down we immediately asked for a better table and told the host that we had requested a table with a nice view. Without an apology, he left us standing there while he went to consult with the maitre d' who was now standing outside on the top tier of the deck. He brusquely told the host to move us (using a "shooing" motion with his hand) and pointed to a table on the opposite back corner. We could tell by his body language that we were a complete bother to him. This second table was horrible, too. It, too, was tucked back next to some plants and was situated perpendicular to the ocean view so that either I or my husband would have our back to the water view. By now, I was ready to leave, and we should have. When the server came over, we told him that we had been moved once and wanted to move again to a table with a view as we'd requested. There was an empty table set for four with a perfect view of the water available. I asked if we could have that table, but he said no because it was set for four. Huh? So remove two place settings! But no, instead he just walked away. My husband had to get up and go ask the maitre d' himself if we could please, for the third time, be moved to a table with a nice view of the water. He gave my husband two choices and walked away without coming over to apologize or move us himself. The two choices were 1) a bench seat table at the very back of the top tier of the deck, or a regular table also on the top tier, but closer to the edge. Neither was a great option. We chose the non-bench seat table and had to seat ourselves. By now it was between 7:30 and 7:35 - our original reservation time. (Remember, we had arrived 10 minutes early.) At this time, a couple who had the table next to the 4 place setting table were getting up to leave. They, too, had a table with an awesome view - front and center. After they left, the table was reset for two. A good restaurant would have asked us if we'd mind waiting just a few minutes because they will have a table opening up soon with an excellent view since we were a few minutes early anyway. OR, they would have given us the table with 4 place settings, changed it to 2 place settings, and after the other couple left, set that table for four. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to do it right. The clinker was that after the table with the perfect view was reset for two, another couple came in at 7:40 and were seated at that table. We heard them ask someone to take their picture because they were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. How ironic. They were probably LATE for their 7:30 reservation, and they got what should have been our table. To top it off there were never any apologies for having to shuffle us around. By now, the entire celebratory mood of our evening was ruined.

And the food after all that rudeness and shuffling around? Mediocre at best. Our waitress recommended a shrimp and conch appetizer that she said would be perfect for sharing. It was very pricey and very small with 3 shrimp. Perfect to share? So we each could have had 1-1/2 shrimp? I ordered the shrimp and grits which supposedly is their signature dish. My husband ordered the fresh catch which was grouper. Both were completely not worth the price, especially considering the rude and uncomfortable ambiance that was Louie's Backyard.

On our last night in Key West we took the ferry over to Latitudes on the Westin Resort property. We wished we had gone there on our anniversary, so we did a do-over! It was pricey, too, but every table there has a great view of the water, the food and service was fabulous (after a bit of a wait for our table), and they have the sunsets. Louie's is on the Atlantic side, so water but no sunset.

Restaurants are pricey on Key West, but there is no need to pay those kinds of prices to be treated poorly and be served mediocre food, as well. Stay away from Louie's Backyard unless you like paying high prices to be treated like you don't matter and like they're doing you a favor by gracing you with their presence.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Virginia, United States
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Excellent service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Great outdoor setting on the water. Shrimp and grits were excellent. The cheesecake to die for. Wonderful service. Who could ask for anything more?

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A Must Do in Key West”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I visited Louie's Backyard after 2 recommendations, and we weren't disappointed. We called on the day of to secure a reservation, which I would recommend. We sat on the deck overlooking the water and had a beautiful view of the sunset. Our waiter, Ken P., made some excellent suggestions and delivered a wonderful dinner with a wry wit. Everyone was friendly, and the dinner was excellent from start to finish.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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