In the 1990s, before everyone headed to Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, the in place to be was downtown Lake Worth. Restaurants such as Dave’s Last Resort, Brogue’s, and Rum Shack provided an escape from the everyday, with their better than average bar food menus. They were adult fast food before the term was even invented, and set the standard for what middle class diners were looking for when they went out in search of a good meal.
Later, the party moved North to Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, and the price point followed suit.
Luckily, there is now a bit of a revival going on in Downtown Lake Worth, led in part by new restaurants such as the two and a half year old Rhum Shak. Owned and operated by “celebrity chef” Kevin Knight, the Rhum Shak is a little hole in the wall where, if you weren’t paying attention, you might miss it. It is about a block further west than most of it’s competitors, on the corner of Lake Avenue and J Street, and what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor.
Recently, Palm Beach Happening was able to sample some of their marquee drinks and dinners, and thoroughly enjoyed everything.
That isn’t an easy feat to achieve, as there’s always something to complain about. Still, with their ever changing menu and full bar, if you can’t find something you like there, you aren’t looking. Heck, if you catch owner/bartender/server Kevin Knight on a good night, he might even throw together something that isn’t even on the menu!
We started our meal with two of their awesome cocktails: Pirate’s Booty (Cruzan Raspberry Rum, Dekuyper Island Blue Pucker, Blue Curacao, Lemonade and Splash of 7-UP) and Drunken Monkey (Pinnacle Vanilla Vodka, Dekuyper Creme De Cacao, Banana Liqueur and Baileys). Half the fun of the drinks is learning a bit more about their history from the bartender!
We then started our culinary adventure by sampling two of the appetizers that they are known for, beginning with the stuffed meatloaf. This dish consisted of an individual meatloaf with a creamy spinach & artichoke center on garlic Texas Toast and drenched in our signature beef gravy. In a word, yummy!
We then enjoyed their baby back ribs. Now, when the rib is advertised as fall of the bone delicious, most people are a bit skeptical. Still, once we tried to pick it up, it literally fell off the bone!
After those amazing appetizers, we had to have another drink to, you know, cleanse the palate. Yeah, that’s the ticket! For our second round, we sampled the sucker punch (Flor De Cana White Rum, Calico Jack Coconut Rum, Banana Liquor, Midori Melon Liquor, Pineapple, OJ, Cranberry Juice and 151 Float) and wench’s wet dream (Curacao, Liqueur, melon, Rum, coconut, Cranberry Juice). The sucker punch is supposedly so strong you’re only allowed 2!
From there, we tried a tasting portion of the smoked wahoo fish dip. This trendy appetizer was very good. It tasted fresh, creamy, and had just enough texture so that you knew it was fish.
We then tried the Teriyaki and Thai Pineapple Chili Wings. You know how sometimes baked chicken wings have a, well, slimy texture to them? These were just the opposite. Crispy, crunchy, juicy, amazing!
We finished our meal by taking down a plate of the mini meatball subs and gorgonzola tater tots! Can you say decadent? The tater tots were out of this world delicious, with the mixture of gorgonzola cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, bacon, shredded jack & cheddar cheese, and au jus for dipping combining for a party in your mouth. The meatball sliders were great, too. The meatballs are immense, and the marinara, melted mozzarella & parmesan cheese, combined with the garlic & parmesan encrusted sub rolls were such a flavor explosion that you just couldn’t stop eating them!
So, if you ever find yourself in downtown Lake Worth looking for a great place to stop for a drink and a great meal, and we know you will, stop by the Rhum Shak. You’ll be glad you did!