Published: March 4, 2010 12:53 p.m.
Last Modified: October 6, 2011 9:56 a.m.
Last Modified: October 6, 2011 9:56 a.m.
after 0 votes
Please log in to vote.
Phone:863-644-8461 (S. Fla. Ave.); 863-859-7772 (North Lakeland)
Hours:Open 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday (S. Florida Ave. location doesn’t open until noon on Sundays).
Price:$3.99 to $31.99 (50 wings).
Children's Menu:The children’s menu has a drawing of a woman in a bikini for the youngsters to color.
Must Try:Fried pickles, Buffalo platter, fish sandwich, mushroom-swiss burger.
There are high tables, low tables and booths inside with a large patio where it's much quieter than indoors, where it's very loud.
Some servers' tops are great examples of décolletage. No one said Hooters is named after the owl on its logo. If it had been called 'Honkers,' would the logo be a car?
The chain started in Clearwater in 1983.
The menu is long and includes plenty of dishes that are not wings.
A list of 'features' is left on the table. These are not specials, just 'features.' The prices are the same as on the full menu.
From the appetizer section of the regular menu, fried pickles ($4.99) looked like fun. Back at the office with leftovers, after the first taste, co-workers' noses stopped turning up and started twitching at the thought of a dill pickle chip coated and fried to a delightful crisp. A dunk in remoulade helped, too.
With a soup plate full, there are plenty of the hot, crispy and salty treats to share with a friend or just nibble with a beer.
A Buffalo Platter at $13.99 is a lot of fried eating and meant to be shared. At $14, it should be a generous serving.
You get six fried shrimp, a pile of chicken strips and some wings. The end two pieces of the wing are attached to each other. The tip makes a cute handle.
Spice on the nicely cooked shrimp sneaks up on you.
Naked wings (uncoated) were oily. Coated were better for taste and texture.
Chicken strips had plenty of crunch and oil. If the kitchen keeps carrot and celery sticks in water, they won't dry out and look unappetizing on the plate.
Blue cheese for dipping comes in a sealed container, and my server opened it for me.
You can order a pre-made burger or make your own. I opted for a mushroom Swiss burger at $7.99. Medium, please.
It came close to well done, under a layer of mushrooms and an abundance of melted Swiss cheese. Pickle, shredded lettuce and two rings of onion came on the side with a sealed, 1-ounce container of mayo.
A little, plastic bowl held cool, but tasty, baked beans.
The burger would have been better cooked less. If you like yours almost well done, you'll probably like this.
The fish in a Big Fish Sandwich ($8.49) covered both halves of the bun and optional (for 49 cents each) onion and cheese pretty much hid the fish. A little less salt would have been nice in the otherwise fine fillet.
Other toppings included shredded lettuce that looked a touch tired, one slice of tomato and a small piece of lemon.
A Cobb Salad ($8.99) is usually arranged with the toppings in lines on the greens. Hooters Cobb Salad ($8.99) came in a jumble of toppings on clean, crisp romaine with two containers of Balsamic vinaigrette that neither looked nor tasted like Balsamic.
Instead of the line of blue cheese that is standard in a Cobb, this had some shredded, very mild Cheddar under the chicken. It's quicker to make a salad this way than arrange the toppings attractively, but this isn't a Cobb salad.
Desserts are old friends Caramel Fudge Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cake and Key lime pie ($3.99). Been there. Ate that. Spilled crumbs on my tie.
The restaurant met inspection standards on the last visit, Jan. 5.
A few things they can do to improve are:
Cut the salt on the fish.
Clean the drink menu.
Work on the Cobb Salad.
Hooters is a big outfit. It goes through a lot of food. According to the company Web site, food is a larger part of the business than are drinks.
Hooters earns three stars.
Trent Rowe can be reached at 802-7512 or Trent.Rowe@TheLedger.com. Check out his food blog at aquickbite.blogs.theledger.com.