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Annie’s Cafe is located along the main road, Highway 24, that leads into town and is hard to miss with their unique and artsy exterior. In addition to the Dolphin mascot that welcomes guests, a large garden surrounds the entrance to Annie’s with potted plants and unique artful pots created by local potters.
Having passed Annie’s several times on our trips in and out of Cedar Key and its funky face it presents were enough to entice us to try them out. We also learned Annie’s is one of the few Cedar Key restaurants open for breakfast so it gets a fair amount of business from locals.
Our first dining experience was a late lunch/early dinner. Jo had a little trouble deciding among the menu options but took a chance on the grilled Mullet, a seafood she had never tasted before. Her serving was several small fried panfish-style fillets she found pleasant tasting and not overly strong, reminding her of bluegills. As a side she had their spicy french fries, which were “meaty” but not overly spicy. The Cole Slaw was a generous serving and had a “homemade” appearance – unfortunately it was rather bland tasting as if an ingredient was missing from the dressing.
I stuck with a more familiar seafood, their Grouper Sandwich which came open-faced with tomato, onion, and lettuce on the side. The Grouper was a decent sized fillet but I found it not as firm as the Grouper I had at the Big Decks Raw Bar earlier in the week. The lettuce was finely chopped vs being larger leafs of lettuce which made it a challenge to pile it on my sandwich. The bun was sort of soft and squishy making it a more challenging to eat without the contents squiring out.
The dining atmosphere at Annie’s is comfortable and the service was friendly and reasonably fast. On that alone, plus it’s artistic atmosphere, we’d give Annie’s 5 stars. However, the food didn’t quite measure up to its reputation – more like 3.5 stars. We decided we needed to return for a breakfast because I think that is what they are more well-known.
Breakfast Review: Annie’s Cafe Cedar Keys
A few days later we did return for breakfast on a Saturday morning. As one of the few breakfast spots in town they were quite busy and the wait staff were hustling to keep up with the orders. Like our earlier experience, the wait staff were super-friendly and competent. Our meal came reasonably quick, considering how busy they were. Once served, however, we didn’t get much attention (probably because they were so busy and maybe short-staffed).
Jo ordered their 3 egg omelet with mushrooms, onions, and some other veggies. While the serving was large and came served hot, it didn’t meet her expectations. The consistency of the egg and the taste reminded her of a dish made with “Egg Beaters” or egg replacement. It was yellow so there had to be some yolk in the dish . . . but it didn’t seem like it was made with fresh eggs.
I ordered my usual “two eggs over easy” with “hash browns.” My eggs also had a commercially prepared look and taste. It came with one large oval with two smaller yolks and seemed to lack freshness. The hash browns were also “different” having a taste and consistency more like fried mash potatoes.
The breakfast at Annie’s was a big disappointment. The prices are reasonable and the service is good, with friendly and experienced wait staff. But our breakfast food had a “fast food” appearance and taste. Such an artsy place, we expected better fare from the kitchen. 3 stars overall.
While Annie’s in general gets high marks from online Reviewers for Best Breakfast in Cedar Key, we noticed reviews for the Daily Grind Mercantile Coffee Shop (located downtown at the main intersection) got even higher marks. We had noticed the Daily Grind in our walks around town but didn’t realize they had a more extensive breakfast menu than your usual coffee shop. So on our next visit, we have to try them (we did see our review here).
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