Mike and Mike Sports Bar in Lake Worth: Gourmet Bar Food and Wings So Hot You Have to Sign a Waiver to Eat Them

Nicole Danna
If you're driving west on Tenth Avenue in Lake Worth, you probably wouldn't spot Mike and Mike, a new sports bar that -- unlike the ESPN radio talk show Mike and Mike in the Morning -- isn't so well-known just yet.

Once you drop in for a bite, however, that will all change. A dozen or more flat screens may line the walls, and the bar room may have all the necessary accouterments (pool tables and darts), but this place isn't just about the game.

"We want to have a killer menu too," says John Roth, the chef selected by the owners to create the food selections you won't find at any other tavern-style restaurant.

Partners Mike Goss and John "Q" took over the former
Boat House, a well-known breakfast spot at 3801 Tenth Ave. N., in May. Since then, they've been priming the place to become the new locals' sports bar (there aren't many in the area) but also the spot to find gourmet bar food. No, that's not an oxymoron, or so they insist.

It may sound like a crazy concept, but for Goss, it's what will set them apart. With the help of Bizaare Ave.'s executive chef, he is ready to be "the place" to go for gourmet grub -- minus the astronomical tab at the end of the night.

Sit down at a booth or belly up to the bar and you're quickly greeted with your own bucket of fresh-fried, wafer-like salted potato chips. The thin-cut, golden discs are just the right mixture of crunch and grease, still slightly warm with a few chewy-center skipovers. I have no problem envisioning myself washing it down with 99-cent drafts, $5 pitchers, and $10 buckets any night of the week.

Next up: tackling the eight-page menu, which is nothing short of what you'll find at most well-rounded bar/restaurant types, with a few exceptions. 

There's a breakfast menu for the early birds, a crowd Goss said he couldn't kick. For just $5.95, regulars can get the biscuits and gravy special, served with two eggs and home fries. Feeling a little sweeter? Ask for the French toast with "secret syrup," a viscous, buttery molten bath coating two large slices of French toast and served with two eggs, two slices of bacon, or two sausage links, all for $3.95.

The menu features soups, salads, burgers, wraps, and sandwiches as well as tacos and dinner entrées. There's even a side dish list a mile long, with everything from bacon cheddar fries to chipotle macaroni and cheese -- even your very own homemade bread loaf. Each week will also feature several entrée specials. 

We ordered off the appetizer menu, which has the usuals like chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, potato skins, nachos, and quesadillas. 

The difference? They're homemade, never frozen, says Goss. Every menu item includes ingredients that are bought locally and never premade. 

"So when you get the mozzarella sticks, I'm literally back there pulling the fresh mozzarella and frying it to order," says Roth. Same goes for the buttermilk-battered chicken tenders, served alongside his own blue cheese or ranch dressings. Even the tortilla chips, salsa, and guacamole are Roth's creations -- nothing store bought or prepackaged. Sounds labor-intensive, right?

The one thing you won't find on most menus: the Monte Cristo spring rolls. A citrus-marinated, slow-roasted pork rolled with ham and Swiss cheese, then flash-fried to order in a crispy rice-paper wrap, served with a Mojo aioli. A sucker for anything fried and accompanied with a fresh-whipped dipping sauce, I find them a savory departure from the frozen, too-oily, or nearly flavorless spring rolls you find at many bars. Think Mexican-style Cuban wrap, minus the pickles.

Of course, what would a sports bar be without wings? At Mike and Mike, however, be prepared to put your chicken-chewing to the test. The restaurant has set aside a wall dedicated purely to those who choose to participate in the "Wall of Flame."

"Anyone who can eat a dozen of our hottest wings will have their picture taken and will be up there on that wall," Goss said of the secret wing sauce you'll have to sign a waiver to try. "It won't be easy. I don't ever want to make it up on that wall."

No matter what you're in the mood for, Mike and Mike has a little bit of something for everyone -- and everything is bar-food-priced, despite the attention to detail. Burgers still cost you $7.95, an entrée salad with chicken no more than $14.95, and a 12-ounce rib eye $15.95.

Be sure to swing by Mike and Mike on January 15, when the restaurant will host its official grand opening. Celebrate with them and enjoy a laundry list of various food and drink specials.

Mike and Mike
3801 Tenth Ave. N.
Lake Worth 33461
Telephone: 561-889-3772
Hours: 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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