For two weekends every October, the sounds of laughter and German folk music echo across a field in Lake Worth. The American German Club's traditional Oktoberfest celebration, which sprawls across 10 acres under an open-air pavilion and a tent, has been going on for 40 years now and doesn't show any signs of stopping. Each day kicks off with the parade of flags and, sometimes, a ceremonial keg-tapping. Afterward, indoor and outdoor kitchens perpetually sizzle up authentic German bratwurst, leberkäse, and pastries. Meanwhile, bartenders pour four styles of Hofbräu Bier, as well as imported liquors and domestic brews. While vendors display traditional German crafts, the festival's stages erupt with folk-dancing, choral singing, and Bavarian tunes from two German groups, Heldensteiner Band and Die Lustigen Bayern.
“Slawn-cha,” April says, pronouncing the pub’s name in slow, punchy syllables. “It’s Gaelic. It means 'cheers to good health'—” she stops abruptly, spying a familiar face behind the bar. “Let me let you talk to Clem. Don’t let his accent throw you. It’s thick—and he knows it!” The two scuffle a bit before he comes forward. “You were talking to an obnoxious lady, were you?” he says. “She’s better known as the princess. She drives me crazy.”
But April’s right. Clem's intonation is heavy with lilts, a nod to his Irish birthplace; it’s perfectly at home amid the thick-slatted wood floors, rustic stacked-stone walls, and wooden furniture all imported from Ireland. “There’s also live music five nights a week. And there’s the food,” he adds. “I’ve always been in the bar business, and these recipes are from top chefs in Ireland.” He’s especially proud of the fish 'n' chips. “Best in the county,” he says. “Made with cod and homemade beer batter—my family’s recipe.”
Clem goes on to explain that he met his partner at a St. Baldrick’s festival—an event dedicated to children fighting cancer. He throws out a startling statistic: “we’ve raised over $1,000,000 for the charity over the last four years.” With this humble side note, and with what he says next, it’s clear the earlier banter comes from a place of deep caring. “My favorite thing is the people I get to meet, everyone from firefighters to teachers. There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet.”
Palm Beach Smoothies’ baristas are known for shaking things up—both literally and figuratively. The colorful shop flouts tradition by blending fresh oranges and pineapples with such unconventional smoothie add-ons as Red Bull, green tea, applesauce, and cinnamon. Aside from fruit-based concoctions, the baristas whip up five varieties of smoothies with creamy almond milk and low-fat yogurt. When ordering an indulgent blend of graham crackers and marshmallows, guests can ask their barista to top off the s’more-style shake with whey protein, wheatgrass, or the fiber-packed pages of a campfire songbook. Each of the more than 25 smoothie varieties pairs nicely with the café’s grilled paninis, turkey wraps, and organic steel-cut oatmeal.
Unwind Cocktail Lounge & Chocolate Bar's libation pourers sling chocolate confections and mixed drinks inside a modern lounge. Unite with one, three, or five partners-in-leisure to pick a thirst quencher from the chocolatier's extensive martini list ($10 each), including the Milky Way martini, the Belinitini, and the Chocolate-Covered Strawberry martini. Merriment cravers can also sate appetites for entertainment by singing about cocoa precipitation at Thursday night karaoke or by dancing to DJ-spun music on weekend nights. On top of and melted all over its adult beverage selection, the lounge also applies chocolate expertise to other methods of consumption, including a fondue setup, chocolate-covered Twinkies, and melted M&M’s finger painting.
Caliente Kitchen blends a lively menu of zesty south-of-the-border bites with an alluring part-restaurant, part-nightclub atmosphere. For starters, guests can occupy a gabby tongue with a gift of made-to-order guacamole ($12) before crunching into a piquant plate of veggie tacos, loaded down with peppers, onion, mushrooms, and fresco cheese, and accompanied by rice and beans ($10). The enchiladas de mole verde invigorates lethargic appetites, making relishable ripples on a sea of taste buds with tangy green mole sauce soaked into tortillas rolled around pulled pork or chicken-breast stuffing ($14). Prepared with chicken ($15), pork ($16), or steak ($17), a traditional mexicano burrito brings meat, beans, and pico de gallo to meet cheese and sour cream, a mouthwatering mashup that ends in tragedy shortly after the five ingredients start getting along.
The Palm Beach Improv stage has played host to some of the biggest names in stand-up spectacle, hosting prominent jesters Tracy Morgan, Daniel Tosh, and Damon Wayans in the last year alone. A rising stand-up star, Amy Schumer has woven her quilt of yuks on such programs as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and is fresh from her April 2010 Comedy Central Presents special which, unlike stage adaptations of C-SPAN hearings, premiered to high ratings. As an actress, Schumer has had her face televised on 30 Rock and will soon guest-star opposite Larry David in the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Patrons at Palm Beach Improv must be 21 or older, and a two-drink minimum is enforced in the club.