Best Place to Gamble 2010 | Gulfstream Park | Bars & Clubs | South Florida
Courtesy of Gulfstream Park
It's all about betting beneath the beautiful blue skies of South Florida. Inside Gulfstream Park, you'll find the same type of things you see in all the (non-Seminole) casinos: a sea of slot machines, a few electronic blackjack machines, a bustling poker room, simulcast betting. But Gulfstream's recent renovation left it cleaner and newer than the other South Florida casinos. Right next to the track, you can patronize the massive development of new stores, restaurants, and bars. But the best thing about gambling at Gulfstream is betting on — or just watching, for that matter — the stunning thoroughbred beasts that race here. The horses are the finest and fastest in Florida. The facilities are immaculate. The jockeys are nothing but professional. On a nice afternoon, you can take off work early. You can finger through the program as you sip a cold $1 beer in the sun. You can watch the ponies galloping around the track. And if the air is clear enough, you can see all the way to the ocean.
The closings of the Bamboo Room and City Limits had left a gaping hole in the Palm Beach County live music scene before this quaint venue on Lake Worth's J Street swooped in. With the help of booking genius Steve Rullman, Propaganda offers lineups stacked three to four deep, often four or five times a week and regularly filled with up-and-coming local acts. It's an amazingly personal setting for national acts like Dashboard Confessional, Cracker, and Vivian Girls. West Palm Beach's blogger darlings Surfer Blood owes a lot to this Communist-themed club as well, cutting its teeth for months there before taking its show on the road. And, considering the spot's limited square footage, man, does its sound system pack quite the punch.
C. Stiles
Sweet yet hellaciously bitter. Full bodied yet smooth. Drinkable yet ultrapotent. Big Bear's Double Diablo is both the devil on your shoulder and the angel sent from heaven. Double Diablo is the creation of brewmaster Matt Cox, who has fashioned a strong amber ale made from intensely rich caramel malt. That sweet base is balanced with a heavy dose of floral, bitter hops. The result is as tenacious as its name: rich, fruity, and piney. It's also deadly potent at almost 9 percent alcohol by volume. The beer debuted at the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival this January and stayed on at Big Bear's brewpub in Coral Springs for a couple of months after. Knowing Cox, the next batch probably won't come around until this winter. Heaven (and hell) will just have to wait until then.
The Starlite Lounge is hidden in an indistinct Pompano strip mall, behind a bank and a Super 8, parked between a laundromat and an antiques store. Stepping through the door, though, is like walking into a dark, wonderful warp zone that combines all the comfort (and pricing) of a bar in 1970s South Florida with all the toys of today. Inside, you'll find clean pool tables, dartboards, shuffleboard, a Wii that begs to be played, a collection of flat-screens tuned to local sports, weekly live music, and a jukebox full of classics. The drinks are cheap and stiff, the colorful cast of regulars is warm and welcoming, and the small team of bartenders is attentive and accommodating. It's easy to miss, but once you've been, it's hard to forget.
If your gay best friend bought a condo, this is what it would look like: an intimate room with sexy, low lighting. Red couches, black chairs, and a disco ball in the corner next to tasteful paintings of naked men. Hidden discreetly underneath the coffee table are games of Yahtzee and Monopoly and decks of cards. One back wall is lined with bottles of wine, primarily from small, boutique vineyards. The abundantly friendly waiter helps you read the menu by candlelight. After you pick out the perfect pinot gris, he selects the most delectable cheeses to go with it: one soft and tangy and French, another made from Parmesan spiked with peppercorn. Each plate comes with fancy little crackers, green olives, and spicy red peppers. The snacks are made in the tiny back kitchen, just large enough for a cutting board. You have to pass through the kitchen on the way to the bathroom, but you don't mind. Because this is your friend's house, after all, and he's made you dreamy with wine and cheese. If he's not careful, you might move in.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of