11511 Ellison Wilson Road, North Palm Beach, FL 33408. On the southeast corner of the intracoastal waterway and PGA Blvd. Phone: 561 627-1545. www.panama-hatties.com
Have you ever had one of those nights when you say, “Wow, how did I get this wasted?” Well, I haven’t had one of those in a while. Usually, at the start of the night I have a decent gauge on how much I am planning to drink, but I shocked the hell out of myself on our first night back home. Ross and I found out about a deal at Spoto’s (our favorite raw bar spot – and a review for another day), so we headed out for some oyster shooters and then decided to swing by our favorite little tiki bar. Apparently, the technical name is ‘The Cruzan Rum Bar’, but we just call it ‘The Rum Bar’. Always have, always will. We had a few glasses of wine at Spoto’s and thought a nice pina colada would top off our own little welcoming party.
I see where you’re going here my dear. I’ll take a little side trip before we finish that story. The Rum Bar has been my favorite for several years now. The combination of awesome location, great drinks and always friendly service are nearly unparalleled. Maria and I are closing in on our first year together, and Rum Bar was one of the first places I took her when she arrived from NY. She quickly came to love the place like I do. It’s just right anytime of day. You want an afternoon libation? Go and sit at the back bar and watch the boats glide by on the intracoastal. Or maybe you are a boater, as we are on occasion (renting is nice, no headaches), so just pull up to the dock out back and tie up before you tie one on. Perhaps the nighttime is more your thing. The weekends are packed. Kick off your shoes, take a walk in the sand and play a little ring toss or if it’s cool enough, sit around a blazing fire while you sip the best pina colada you’ll ever have. I’ve never been a huge fan of the food, but they recently changed the menu for the better, and we had a couple of extremely edible items on one of our recent trips. Saul (pronounced sah-ool, aka The Moneymaker), Kevin or the recently returned Mike (you were sorely missed my friend), or any of the other bartenders will always take good care of you. They’ll even change that ‘hammer to the head’ Jimmy Buffet channel if you ask them nicely.
I had no preconceived notions about the food, because up until our last visit I had never had it. So, we perused the revamped menu and I ordered something called the black and bleu burger. Blackened beef patty smothered in melted bleu cheese, topped with bacon on a fresh bulky roll. It’s not my usual burger order, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. It was exactly what I was in the mood for and although I gave Ross a few bites, I had to fight him off at the end. His chicken avocado sandwich was good, but nowhere near as delectable as the juicy, cheesy burger I had. Well, lets get back to the story of our first night back in Florida. To our dismay, none of the familiar faces were behind the bar. A friendly new girl made our pina coladas. Honestly, not the best one I’ve ever had there, but I’ll give her a free pass since it’s her first month. Half-way through the pina colada is when I started to realize how drunk I was getting.
I’ll continue the story in a second. Just want to say, The Rum Bar is great anytime, but the winter is really the best in my opinion. When it gets cool at night and you throw on a sweater or sweatshirt, sit around one of the three fire pits and just meet and chat with people from all over the map. Love connection or not, always an interesting evening. Okay, so the story. We ate our dollar oyster shooters at Spotos (a fantastic deal by the way), had our obligatory glasses of Riesling and headed to The Rum Bar for the aforementioned pina colada. Now maybe it was that we were wasted, I’m sure it was a contributing factor, but I think my stupidity was the key. After our one drink, we decided to leave. I suggested strongly to Maria that I give her a piggyback ride, she aquiesced, and I began to run down the wooden boardwalk in flip flops as fast as I could. Hard to see where this is going, right? I hooked a flop close to the exit, wavered for a couple of strides and knew we were going down. I shrugged her off to the left so she landed in the sand and fell HARD myself on my left side, mostly left elbow. Please, don’t try this at home, I’m a professional idiot. Thankfully, Maria came out unscathed. Me, not so much. The good news is Johnny Knoxville called, thinks I’d be a great fit for Jackass.
Jackass, thats an interesting and fitting word. As soon as Ross picked me up a lightbulb went off in my head. We are definitely going to fall, I thought to myself. My mistake was not voicing this and for that I sincerely apologize. Ross’ elbow looks like Russell Edgington’s face after being dug up (shout out to the True Blood fans that understand that reference). And I take back calling you a jackass because it was truly sweet how you flung me into the sand to ensure that I didn’t get hurt. We heard a lot of whoops and hollers from the bar – so luckily someone got some enjoyment out of it. Ross rallied and we went to his favorite pool hall, but the elbow is still raw and in pretty bad shape. Anyhow, I digress…the Rum Bar is fabulous. We love it and we will continue to go there for the wonderful drinks and atmosphere. Perhaps, we’ll just leave out the high speed piggy back rides.
Let’s take the “perhaps” out of that last sentence. I too am happy that a few lucky souls had some good laughs at our epic bag, too bad you didn’t record it, would’ve been You Tube gold. Last time for that, but certainly nothing close to our last time at the never disappointing Rum Bar.
Maria’s Rating: 4 Cocktail Napkins out of 5.
Ross’ Rating: 4.5 Cocktail Napkins.