BEST OF MARATHON: FOOD TRUCK & BARTENDER SPOTLIGHT – Florida Keys Weekly

Jenerator @ Dockside
How long have you been a bartender? 18 years.
What’s the most creative way you’ve cut someone off? I usually just take their drink, hand them a water, give them something to eat and say, “We’re taking a break.”
If you could make a drink for someone alive or dead, who would it be and what would you serve? The Rickety Jenerator shot. I can’t give the recipe out (laughs). And I’d give it to Ozzie Osbourne in his drinking days.
What’s your signature libation? The Rickety Jenerator (see above). But also, at Dockside we’re going for a strawberry jalapeno margarita, which is nominated.
What’s the best way to get your attention when it’s three-deep at the bar? Be the next one to walk to the bar. Waving money and yelling doesn’t work. Just wait your turn.
How has being nominated for the Best Bartender in Marathon changed your life? I have been given a lot of support from the community, who is ready to see a woman take out the Overseas guys this year.
Andy Sharf @ Overseas
How long have you been a bartender? Since 2005.
What’s the most creative way you’ve cut someone off? I once kicked out a one-legged hobo on acid. I paid for a cab, put him into it and sent him to the Sunset Grill. I weaponized a hobo. You’re welcome. And I kept his fake leg for collateral. Wonder whatever happened to him.
If you could make a drink for someone alive or dead, who would it be and what would you serve? I would serve “40 oz. to Freedom” to Bradley Nowell, the lead singer of Sublime.
What’s your signature libation? Guinness and Jameson. And don’t be a p****.
What’s the best way to get your attention when it’s three-deep at the bar? A 100-dollar-bill handshake.
How has being nominated for the Best Bartender in Marathon changed your life? It literally hasn’t at all. Thank you.
Cheddar @ Overseas
How long have you been a bartender? Since 2005.
What’s the most creative way you’ve cut someone off? Usually, I just do placebos. Pour drinks with no liquor in it. And I told one guy his wife was here when she wasn’t.
If you could make a drink for someone alive or dead, who would it be and what would you serve? Guinness for Andy Sharf with two shots of whiskey in it at Irish Kevin’s onstage. This has actually happened already.
What’s your signature libation? Corona with a shot of Rumple Minze. That’s what I drink. Suck it up.
What’s the best way to get your attention when it’s three-deep at the bar? One hundred-dollar bill. Get you front of the line every time.
How has being nominated for the Best Bartender in Marathon changed your life? Catching s*** from all the other bartenders in town.
So Marathon locals loved food trucks SO MUCH that they couldn’t just pick three of them to be nominees, as is the custom. There are four food trucks in the running for the Best in Marathon title: Irie Island Eats, La Isla Taco Grill, Bongos Botanical Beer Garden & Cafe and Takeria La Palapa. We have a sneaking suspicion that the pandemic may have had something to do with their popularity, as dine-in eateries were verboten in 2020, and everyone just wanted takeout. Matt Sexton of Bongos even said that the pandemic gave him time to build up the area around the food truck to create an idyllic outside dining experience. “Yesterday in the rain, kids were just happy to stomp in the puddles out here,” he said. But perhaps Chris Lordi, chef/owner of Irie Eats, put it best: It’s all about the food. “We offer consistency and quality,” he said.
CHARLOTTE TWINE/Keys Weekly
Takeria La Palapa
At Takeria La Palapa, co-owners Raul Ornelas, left, and Maria Teresa Villegas, center, posed with their colleague Yusleidi Diaz. “Google reviews said we have the best customer service,” said Ornelas.
La Isla Taco
Alberto Lopez, left, head cook of La Isla Taco Grill, seen here with cashier Abby Garcia, feels they got nominated because “We do it fresh and we’re friendly.”
Irie Eats
At Irie Eats, chef/owner Chris Lordi, center, posed with the Best of Marathon finger with staff members Richard Cabral, right, and Erica Heckman, left. “We offer consistency and quality,” he said.
Bongos
Owner Matt Sexton of Bongos Botanical Beer Garden & Cafe is proud of the ambience and of the food that the eatery offers. “We have Chef Andy Niedenthal, the most overqualified food truck chef who ever existed.”
(305) 743-0844: office
(305) 743-0866: fax
9709 Overseas Hwy
Olde Towne Centre
Marathon, FL 33050
(305) 363-2957
91760 Overseas Highway
Tavernier FL 33070
Britt Myers / Publisher
[email protected]
office: 305.453.6928
fax: 305.509.7347
5450 MacDonald Avenue, No. 5
Key West, FL 33040
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