Haven’t made Fourth of July plans yet? Boca Raton’s Tilted Kilt, the only South Florida branch of this Irish-Scottish-British pub chain, is hoping you’ll celebrate at its second-annual July Fourth Block Party. The outdoor bash will offer an expanded events schedule whose proceeds will benefit vital service organizations.
The free party will begin at 5 p.m. on Independence Day. Families are invited to bring the kids for face painting, balloon art and a bounce house, while adults can enjoy a hot dog-eating contest and (for a small fee) a Craft Beer Expo. The Two Eds Band will provide live music, along with DJ spinning and emceeing from Nikko Entertainment.
Available from 5 p.m. to close, the Craft Beer Expo features concoctions from at least eight local breweries, including Funky Buddha, Barrel of Monks and Copperpoint. These fine purveyors of suds ‘n’ foam will offer three-ounce samplings—six of them for $5—with all monies raised funneled straight into the Boca Raton Police Athletic League and the Boca Raton Firefighter & Paramedic Benevolent Fund. The night culminates, of course, with an ideally positioned view of the city’s fireworks, which blast off from De Hoernle Park at 9 p.m.
The festivities cap a busy summer for Tilted Kilt, which recently unveiled a new menu of pub grub. Specializing in European fare with an American twist, the restaurant’s new appetizers include loaded tater tots, chili con queso, pub-fried pickles and a Bavarian-style pretzel with beer cheese sauce (Fat Tire amber ale, to be precise). Salmon Vera Cruz, grilled pork chops, chili spaghetti and Gaelic chicken are among the added entrees.
I sampled a few of these items at a recent press dinner. Highlights of the media fête included sinful standbys like Shepherd’s Pie and the addictive Buffalo Mac & Cheese, whose spicy fried chicken counters the gooey goodness of the cheddar-jack cavatappi pasta.
Owner Samir Changela touts the Kilt’s “scratch” kitchen and chef-driven ethos. The restaurant’s items are more artisanally prepared than the flown-in comfort food of Applebee’s and Friday’s, though they tend to fall in a similar category.
Like any Irish-influenced pub worth its weight in malt and yeast, The Tilted Kilt’s strongest calling card is its libations. It boasts 44 beers on draft, from the traditional Guinness and Smithwick’s imports to IPAs, shandys, cream ales and hefeweizens, many from local brewers. I tried, and loved, the dark and smooth yet punchy B. Rabbit Espresso Cream Stout, from Copperpoint Brewing Co.
The cocktail list features prickly, accessible spins on classics, including the Outlaw Old Fashioned (featuring Jim Beam and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka), the ManMosa (with Sam Adams lager, Absolut Vodka and OJ) and the Mango Ginger Mule (Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum with mango puree and ginger beer).
Guests can enjoy their drinks at a pair of pool tables or parked in front of 60 televisions, which broadcast satellite sports from around the country (there are even flat-screens positioned atop the two urinals in the men’s room).
Fair warning: While the July Fourth festivities are open to families, parents might want to leave the kids at home when visiting the Tilted Kilt the other 364 days of the year. Though Changela doesn’t market the brand’s “Kilt Girls” first and foremost, the eatery remains, as he cheekily described it, “a breastaurant,” whose servers’ attire would humble the average Hooters Girl. Just sayin’.
The Tilted Kilt is at 3320 Airport Road, Boca Raton. For information, call 561/338-5458 or visit tiltedkilt.com/boca-raton.