The humor ambassadors of Fort Lauderdale Comedy Club stock their Oakland Park stage with snickers and snorts as audiences savor the jokes of headlining local and national comedians. Shirking the detached feel of stuffy theaters, smoky halls, and abandoned wells, Fort Lauderdale Comedy Club grants audiences an intimate standup comedy experience as fans catch every punch line and smell every punch breath. The ever-changing calendar features a solid crew of human antidepressants, such as lanky LA funnyman Eric Grady (March 23–24), who cooks up buffets of hee-haws with observational humor about marriage, stepchildren, and the perils of being 6 feet, 9 inches tall. Funny bones flee their ligaments as veteran standup comedian, television actor, and host at Tampa Bay Newstalk 820 AM Artie Fletcher (March 30–31) deposits hefty loads of jokes accrued from 25 years on the road. Groups of two or four can chase down meaty laughs with wine and beer (a $5 value each) or a refreshing, alcohol-free soda (a $3 value). Dress codes are comfortable and casual, and all hecklers will be shunned and turned into chum.
The chefs at The Manor, a trendy nightclub fused with an upscale restaurant, craft a menu of surf-and-turf and elegant fusion cuisine. Diners can catch seaborne centerpieces such as the chili-rubbed firewood salmon ($10.95) and release them into the brooks, bayous, and unmanned water parks that comprise the human body’s 80% H2O makeup. Grilled Korean-style short ribs backstroke in a citrus-soy-chili marinade before basking on plates ($11.95), and the raspberry seared scallops partner with mixed greens that add to pulchritudinous stomach-wall gardens ($11.95). Diners can chase bites down esophageal tunnels with drinks, including Grey Goose–driven concoctions such as the Godiva-laced orange espresso martini ($12).
Legends Tavern & Grille pairs its menu of eclectically inspired pub cuisine and hearty finger foods with a selection of craft beers from foreign and domestic breweries. Although the cooks forge familiar comfort foods, such as beer-battered Alaskan cod, they also use culinary creativity to keep the menu fresh and their spatulas motivated. Burgers come topped with everything from goat cheese to mojo pulled pork, and housemade crab cakes are served with a roasted-red-pepper rémoulade. In addition to the food and drink menus, the tavern entices patrons with special events throughout the week, including live entertainment on Friday and pub trivia on Wednesday.
The saloons of yesteryear didn't usually stretch across12,000 square feet. But at Cowboys Saloon, a modern take on the watering holes of the Old West, visitors have plenty of space to dig into a hearty meal, grab drinks from one of three full liquor bars, or kick up their spurred heels on the 2,000-square-foot dance floor. Live concerts, weekly events, three pool tables, and a mechanical bull help the saloon attract passersby and extroverted tumbleweeds to its tables.
Three pelican statues stand guard in front of a tropical mural depicting island coastline and a sailboat drifting on aquamarine waters. Beyond these nautical-themed walls, visitors and regulars congregate in The Wayward Sailor Pub as they have for more than 50 years. Presently captained by executive chef Ramon Maldonado, the pub’s culinary team crafts a diverse menu of Tex-Mex dishes, sandwiches and burgers, and pub favorites such as homemade shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. Huddled among the pub’s memorabilia-speckled walls, which are festooned with Pittsburgh Steelers banners and mounted fish, flat-screen televisions broadcast the latest sports games. Live music, open-mic nights, and pan-flute solos on the necks of empty beer bottles also entertain patrons as they chow down.
Maracas draws in hungry diners thanks to playful menus stocked with traditional and unconventional Mexican cuisine. Commence dinnertime chewery with an appetizer of chicken flautas, which feature shredded chicken rolled into crispy tortillas and snuggled under a blanket of avocado, cotija cheese, lettuce, and sour cream ($6.95), or opt to begin with Mexi egg rolls ($6.95), which successfully blend Mexican and Chinese culture without the emergency-room visits associated with fireworks-stuffed piñatas. Surf seekers can sup on aquatic options such as camerones mojo, which partners sautéed jumbo shrimp with guajillo peppers, tomato, and lime ($17.95), while those with a taste for turf can order a meat feast of bisteak y papas ($16.95), a Mexican take on steak frites topped with cilantro lime butter. Fajitas come in varieties ranging from achiote grilled chicken ($13.95) and spiced tofu ($12.95) to blackened tuna ($15.95) and are served atop sizzling platters that have been tempered in the molten waters of Mexico's lava lakes. A lunch menu is available to battle daytime cravings, and a Sunday brunch ($9.95)—with an all-you-can-drink option available for an additional $5—helps worker bees enjoy their last few hours away from the paperwork of the hive.