Gateway: Living

Wicked Good Eats brings taste of New England to the Key Peninsula

From left: Kristy Stephens, Sarah Webb, Michele Key, Danyale Morado and Ivan Heidal stand for a portrait outside of Wicked Good Eats.
From left: Kristy Stephens, Sarah Webb, Michele Key, Danyale Morado and Ivan Heidal stand for a portrait outside of Wicked Good Eats. jbessex@gateline.com

Childhood foods have a special place in the heart and can bring back memories with every bite.

Bringing her native New England food to her new Key Peninsula community was one goal behind Michele Key starting her new restaurant, Wicked Good Eats.

“My dream has always been to open my own little restaurant,” Key said. “I wanted to be able to leave something for my kids.”

Key is currently battling cancer and is operating the restaurant with two of her daughters, Sarah Webb and Danyale Morato, working as managers.

“It’s been really good,” Webb said of the new restaurant. “It definitely brings us back.”

My dream has always been to open my own little restaurant. I wanted to be able to leave something for my kids.

Michele Key, owner of Wicked Good Eats

Key and her husband moved to Washington state from Maine about ten years ago when her daughters were still in high school.

“I really miss the food from Maine,” Key said.

Specialties at Wicked Good Eats include a lobster roll, made the “right way,” according to Key.

The roll features real Maine lobster — cooked in Maine and overnighted to the restaurant — on a buttered and grilled, East Coast style hot dog bun sent from family back in Maine.

“There’s no imitation lobster. It’s 100-percent real lobster,” Key said. “Every time (a customer) get a lobster roll here, it’s the real thing.”

Other Maine-style foods include steak bombs and whoopie pies, which are joined on the menu with more West Coast familiar items such as fish and chips and hamburgers.

“Our customers have been so excited about the lobster and the steak bomb,” Key said. “Those two things are so popular.”

The food has been so popular since the restaurant opened July 9 that it has been running out of food daily as menu items sell out.

We’re so friendly and inviting. We want to meet the community and have people try our food.

Sarah Webb, manager at Wicked Good Eats

“Some people are driving out to see us, other people are driving by and some have been waiting to come and see us,” Key said. “We’re getting a big mixture of people”

Key is building her strength back up after a recent hospital stay in order to work full time in the restaurant alongside her daughters. Meanwhile, both Webb and Morato have been serving food and making connections in the community.

“We’re so friendly and inviting,” Webb said. “We want to meet the community and have people try our food.”

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

Wicked Good Eats

When: The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Where: It is located on the Key Peninsula at 11717 SR-302 KPN.

Info: Call 253-313-5265 or online at facebook.com/michelemkey.

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