With a wide range of edibles and drinkables, Backstreet's is open Monday through Saturday until midnight and Sunday until 10 p.m, making it a great place for some post-work unwinding and chatting (click here and here for the full selection of menu items). Plunge into a mouth watering filet mignon ($24.95), or reign in a sea-herd of shrimp scampi gorgonzola over linguini ($14.95). They also serve several specialty hamburgers like the Peter Luger Burger, a chargrilled burger bathed in Peter Luger steak sauce and topped with a Stetson hat of provolone cheese ($7.95), as well as gourmet pizza and sandwiches. Other menu items are specially made for sharing like baked escargot or Jamaica jerk tuna bites (both $8.95), allowing people to mix and match plates to pass between them and great for teaching the edible golden rule of nobody going home without trying everything.
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.
Dixie Grill and Bar's uniquely embellished interior dons vintage trinkets and memorabilia for diners to feast their eyes on as they delve into a menu of classic American eats. Couples can jumpstart gustatory glands by sharing an appetizer of deep-fried mozzarella served with house-made marinara sauce ($7.95). Muting belly bellows more effectively than a swiftly thrown leather shoe, the grilled cheeseburger wedges a half-pound of Angus beef slathered in barbecue sauce, onion straws, bacon, and cheddar cheese between two grilled cheese sandwiches ($11.95). Thaw out a frozen palate with the spicy fire burger smothered in jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and an optional coating of house-made fire sauce ($9.95). The Jack Daniels sauce chicken entree wins over tasters with two grilled chicken breasts slathered in a signature whiskey glaze ($13.95), while the Key West shrimp sports a fresh coat of crispy-sweet coconut batter ($14.95).
The hookah's natural habitat is not a nightclub with crashing music and empty drinks slamming against tables. The hookah experience, according to Kimm Smith of Hookah House, should be unrushed and mellow. "It's very meditative," she says, "and should be shared with people you care about." This was the atmosphere in which co-owner Zo spent his childhood in Algeria, where people would spend long hours gathering with friends and families in hookah lounges. He and his Bostonian wife, Michelle, wanted to bring that aspect of Algerian culture to the United States, both to spread a feeling of community and as an homage to the marriage of their distinct backgrounds.
As the fruit-tinged smoke of shisha rises from between murmuring visitors, it passes rich fabrics, which drape the exposed-brick walls, and bright lanterns dangling from a marigold ceiling. Stories seem to overflow from the furniture and textiles, gathered during the couple’s travels in Algeria or preserved from Zo's former life as a sommelier in Paris. This is where patrons linger, resting shoeless feet on bright cushions and pillows as they converse or check email on the free wireless internet. Atop inlaid tables, servers place Turkish coffee, house blends of Moroccan tea, and small plates of Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
On some weekend evenings, live jazz stirs guests to twist among tendrils of smoke before a DJ steps up to spin a range of music, from Earth, Wind & Fire to Jimi Hendrix. Belly dancers, with bells and scarves for all to borrow, demonstrate to patrons how to pass lie-detector tests with just their hips. A psychic-in-residence reads coffee grounds most nights, translating the earthy onyx shapes into predictions about the drinker's future.
It's easy to both start and end a night at Blue Martini. During the early hours of the evening, guests can catch the last rays of sun on the patio as they dine on light fare such as fruit-and-cheese plates and flatbread pizzas. This lightness is necessary, because once the sun goes down, guests have to be light on their feet as the lounge turns into a full-on dance party. From then until closing time, guests can keep their energy up with glasses of wine or one of the house's 42 signature cocktails. The bartenders shake, stir, and blend together ingredients to make these drinks, which range from skinny-raspberry mojitos that contain less than 250 calories to the lightly flavored key-lime-pie martini or cucumber lemonade.
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.
The Fijian expression “Bula!,” a salute to health and happiness, can be heard reverberating within the earth-toned walls of Kavasutratu as visitors take shots of kava served in coconut shells. Before first tastes, the bartending owners of Kavasutratu edify sippers on the history of the refreshing drink, which derives from a root found in the Pacific and is known for its deeply calming qualities. The lounge’s breezy, beach-theme setting mimics kava’s tranquilizing effects with its bamboo bar, dim lighting, and plentiful decorative greenery to nap under. Ears lose themselves in the soothing music that emanates from Kavasutratu’s sound system, and large, flat-screen TVs flash a variety of abstract visuals.