By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Samir Changela didn’t go to culinary school. But the restaurant business became his passion while he was studying in college and then in pedorthics school.
The board certified pedorthist, someone who makes orthotics, spent years working as a server, bartender, fry cook and manager at Applebees and Cheesecake Factory while going through school.
And after practicing what he went to school for he decided to leave that behind for his true passion, restaurants.
He found Tilted Kilt and decided to pursue purchasing the franchised, full-service restaurant in Boca Raton at 3320 Airport Road.
“I love what I do,” the owner of the restaurant said. “I love the restaurant business. I love food. That is where my passion is. It’s about seeing the smile on your face after someone eats your food.”
He said what sets Tilted Kilt apart is that everything is cooked fresh. If you want your wings grilled, he said it is not a problem because the chicken is made-to-order.
“Our food is fresh made from scratch,” he said.“We have a chef on the line.”
The in-house chef is Chef Robert Thompson, who has been cooking for three decades. He has worked at Bobby Rubino’s and Tony Roma’s. After worked as a sous chef for both Hilton and Marriott Hotel and has worked at various country clubs in South Florida. He has specialized in both Kosher and vegan cuisines.
He joined Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery when the restaurant opened in Jan. 2015 as a sous chef and worked his way to his current title of executive chef.
The menu offers dishes that make you think of overseas like the Bavarian style pretzel appetizer, Pub Pretzel, Fresh-baked soft pretzel, brushed with melted butter and dusted with pretzel salt. Served with Fat Tire Ale Beer Cheese Sauce, honey mustard sauce and pepper jack cheese sauce or the signature Shepherd’s Pie, seasoned ground beef, carrots, peas and mushroom gravy that is served with Parmesan mashed red potatoes and garlic bread.
As for drinks, the “Kilted Bombers and Boomers” incorporate Irish favorites like the Belfast Boom with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Guinness and Jameson Irish Whiskey or the Irish Slammer with RumChata Cream Liqueur and Guinness.
But there is also the American twist with items like Loaded Tots where you can get golden tater tots loaded in three different styles from the regular with Fat Tire® Ale Beer Cheese Sauce, bacon, green onions and sour cream, Chili Cheese, smothered in jalapeño jack cheese sauce, chili and green onions or Blue Buffalo, tossed in buffalo sauce, garnished with blue cheese crumbles and ranch. Or an order of wings with several different sauces or an American staple, a hamburger.
“The reason it’s called the Tilted Kilt is that we are a British, Scottish Irish pub with an American twist,” Changela said.
The Tilted Kilt does have televisions, waitresses in costume and a variety of beers on draft like a traditional sports pub. But they also have cocktails and full entrees that combine the pub vibe with a full-service restaurant.
The restaurant will be the venue opening the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Festival Days on Aug. 1 when it hosts “Finalist Night” for Boca Raton Bowl Idol where eight competitors vying to perform during the Boca Bowl will perform live onstage for a panel of judges and a live audience.
A combination of audience vote and judges selections will determine three finalists, who will perform once more to see who will be chosen as this year’s Boca Raton Bowl Idol.
Admission is $10, which is a donation to Spirit of Giving.