Pepe’s Cafe, Key West FL

“The Food is good. The Roaches are not.” That was what I titled the review I wrote on Trip Advisor in October 2012 after visiting Key West on an annual trip. Here is the rest of the review:

It pains me to write this review. Pepe’s has been a tradition for my husband, me and our friends for over 6 years. No matter if we all come together, or come as a individual couples, it’s a tradition in our little world to make Pepe’s our first stop upon arrival in Key West and we always made more than one visit during our stay. It was our solid, go-to choice for simply good food. I spend the entire time I am not in Key West craving their baked oyster appetizer. I tell you this so you know I am not one of those reviewers who just didn’t like it there or someone who had a poorly cooked steak and couldn’t get over. I am someone mourning the loss of a tradition. Morning the loss of my all time favorite oyster appetizer. It is with great sadness and confusion how they could have recently served me those favorite oysters of mine, the catch of the day and then in the same visit serve me up an oversized portion of disgust. After enjoying our dinner and reveling in memories of all our meals at Pepe’s, I went to use the restroom, located right next to the kitchen. I entered like everything was normal and found it was infested- and I mean infested- with cockroaches. Huge, gigantic roaches. I learned they are actually called ‘waterbug cockroaches’ and as just as infectious and unclean as your american cockroach but they tend to live in damper areas. And, they are just as hard to get rid of. But let me tell you, no matter their classification there were countless amounts of them and they were climbing up the sink and toilet as I was I there. Using it. Yes- this is true. Of course they didn’t come out until I was already in the restroom or I would have never entered let alone began to use it. They were fast and crawling all over everything and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! I couldn’t believe I just finished eating dinner here!! I just couldn’t believe there were cockroaches crawling up the toilet. I still can’t. I have worked in restaurants for over a decade and as a result have become desensitized to many things in restaurants but this was, by far, the most disgusting and disturbing experience I have ever had. There is no way this place doesn’t make enough money that they can’t deal with situation and even if they don’t, it is inexcusable that after spending $100 on a meal I had to share a bathroom with cockroaches. And remember, this is next to the kitchen. Of course I called my friends to share this disappointing news and we are all saddened by this experience. No one hopes more than us that they find a way to clean up their establishment and restore it to its glory days. Until then…I would think twice.

Overall *
Value **
Atmosphere ***
Service *****
Food ****

Posted on TripAdvisor